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Tiffany Style Stained Glass Lamp Shade

Before I took my first stained glass class in early 2016, I bought this book to try to learn about stained glass:

Now that I have completed all 3 stained glass classes at the Touch of Glass shop in Bloomington, I was looking for patterns for future projects.  This book has a pattern for a Tiffany style stained glass lamp shade:

The photo below is from the book, and illustrates the colors they chose.  I stayed with the aqua-marine and blue colors for my project.  For the bottom accent piece, I think the book used a clear colored piece of glass.  I chose to use a cream color.


This project requires a brass vase cap, which sets on top of the lamp, and sets over the threaded rod holding up the vase.  You also need some 20 gage copper wire to beef up the glass structure.  I ordered these online. On the receipt below, the jump rings and solder are for a different project than this one..........I ordered them to spread out the shipping cost over more items.

Stained Glass selection and purchase

Hobby Lobby only carries at most 2 sheets of 8x10 glass the same color.  This project will take more than 2 sheets.  I went to my stained glass class instructor's shop, and picked out my glass for the lamp. It is Touch of Glass in Normal, Illinois.

At the top of the picture, is the aqua-marine color I chose for the top and bottom pieces. The lower RH side is the blue for the main 2 panels.  Under the blue is the cream colored piece for the little accent pieces at the bottom of each panel.  The cream colored piece came from Hobby Lobby, the other two were from my stained glass guy at Touch of Glass in Normal, IL.

Panel Construction

If you build all 6 panels on the same board with the same aluminum guide pieces, in theory, all six will be identical with respect to size on the angles, and top. It took me about 5 hours to cut, grind, and solder my 6 panels.  I tend to cut over-size, which means more grinding, so more time.

And here are my 6 panels all soldered up............

I like the cream colored accent pieces at the bottom versus a clear glass.  This should be a pretty one when completed!

Black electrician's tape for tent raising method

I followed the book's directions and applied the tape to the 6 panels...........

I held all 6 pieces in the center and gently raised the center.  Once the cone was formed, I used the ends of the black tape to secure the cone in place.

I checked the top to make sure all the 6 panels were aligned correctly with each other.  I used the top brass vase piece to make sure it would install ok. In some cases, I pushed down on the top vase cap, while I tack soldered the top joints to get them in the correct position.

I fluxed the top vase cap, then tinned the top with solder............

Once the top joints were tacked, I tacked the bottom joints also with solder.

Then I soldered in the 20 gage pre-tinned wire on the top to give the shade strength...........this is a slow process.........

The next steps were:

-solder the top vase cap to the top of the shade

-solder the inside joints. I used some wood blocks to get the line horizontal to solder.

-solder the outside joints.  I made a fixture with a hanging horizontal stick, so I could set the shade on it, to get the top joints horizontal to solder

Next was soldering the 20 gage wire to the bottom of the shade. I used some wood blocks to keep the joints horizontal to solder.

This did not solder all the copper tape on the bottom edges, so I checked and made sure all spots had solder.

Here is soldered up shade........after I scrubbed inside and outside with flux remover and soapy water..........

Final Touches

I touched up any bad looking solder spots. Then I ran my hand over the whole shade, feeling for any sharp spots..........which I filed off with a file.

Last step was to apply the patina. This is a chemical reaction on the solder that turns it very dark brown.

Finished Lamp without Base

Looking pretty good!

Next step is to order a base for the lamp. I could turn one from wood, but I'm going to buy a nice metal one. I checked first, but could not find any lamps the right size. I ordered one from web site..........We will see how good the look and quality are on this base when we get it.

Finished Lamp Shade with Purchase Base

With a 60W appliance bulb (bulb is smaller than regular bulb, this is required to fit in the harp of this smaller base)...........

The lamp is prettier lit up than my photographic skills will show!

Closing Thoughts on this Project

Don't touch the bent wire holder for the soldering iron, you will get burned!  (which I did when I picked it up to move it).  I should buy a cheap flower pot ceramic base, like we used in class to prevent the burns.

Everything went ok on this project.  The  black tape method worked well. You should check the fit with the brass top cap, and even push down on it if necessary to tack the top of the shade.

Note that this shade is sized for a smaller size table lamp.  The pattern could be scaled up for a taller and bigger table lamp.