A stained glass cactus DIY has been on my to-do list for months, and finally pulled it together! I’ve seen these pop up all over Pinterest and absolutely love the look of them. Don’t you think this is a perfect candidate for this month’s Bernzomatic ST500 3 in 1 Micro Torch and Soldering Iron project? Me too!
It’s been over a year that I’ve been a Bernzomatic Torch Bearer and I feel like I’ve come a long way, but I still have so much to learn. Those bigger torches are giving me side-eye in my studio, challenging me to up my game. I will soon! But in the meantime, I’m loving tackling new projects, like this stained glass cactus DIY!
Here is the feed I pulled up for this idea on Pinterest. I have no idea who originated the idea, but I can see all different artists have taken it in their own direction. So I did too!
SUPPLIES to make a Stained Glass Cactus!
My first action – visit my local stained glass shop (The Stained Glass Shop). Check out these snapshots from my Instagram Story. Wearing the gloves, I looked through the scrap pile for greens and reds, and when I didn’t find exactly what I wanted, I made my way to the big league – the glass sheets.
Cacti come in many shades of greens, so think broad. Add in some red, orange and yellow for flowers.
Bernzomatic Solder wire, brush
Kiln brick or other heat absorbent surface
Glass pieces in greens and reds
Glass cutter with oil, I bought this pistol grip version for $30.
Metal running plier
Combination Grozer/Breaker Plier
GOGGLES AND GLOVES!
Directions to make a stained glass cactus
Hold your cutter to add a score line across the flat side of the glass. Listen for the sound of it scoring. Carefully handle the pliers, snap the pieces apart. Keep repeating until you get the shapes you want. Keep in mind, the more you practice, the better your pieces will look. Practice those curves! I was up until 3 a.m. making these and still feel like I need a lot more practice!
Now that all your pieces are cut, set them out in the design you want, then add copper tape around each piece. Make sure to burnish each piece – rub so the foil is flush with the glass. Like Angie from The Stained Glass Shop told me, “Your project will only be as good as your foil work.”
Even if it isn’t perfect, don’t give up!
Use a small brush to coat the foil tape with flux. Here’s a great tip I learned online. Use pushpins to keep your design in place as you add the solder.
Turn on the tool according to the package directions. It’s nice that it doesn’t have to be plugged in, all you do is add butane. you can tell when it runs out of butane because the red coils in the exhaust hole with lose color.
Once your tool is heated and you are wearing your goggles and gloves, touch the solder wire to the tip of the iron until the solder melts, then drag it across the foil tape.
Ready to be soldered! Oh! Make sure to really clean your glass with rubbing alcohol before soldering!
I knew I wanted to stand these inside mugs or pots, so I soldered a base on each one. Or you can solder a loop at the top to hang them as ornaments!
The finished stained glass cactus examples!
The taller cactus didn’t come out to nice, it’s a little rough, but the other turned out great!
Interested in more ideas? Check out the official Bernzomatic Torch Bear page to see the things other designs have made!
This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Bernzomatic. All ideas, opinions, and the excitement to work with this new art genre are 100% my own.
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