Decorative Solder: How To Add Extra Details

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​How to Create Simple Decorative Solder

If you've ever wondered how to add extra details to your stained glass pieces, ​consider decorative solder. There are many styles to use and some are easier than others.

Creating a simple decorative solder could take your piece from "Nice" to "Wow." And once you get the hang of it, you'll start looking for places to jazz up your stained glass with your fancy soldering!

Some folks dread soldering because it can be a bit of a challenge. Just remember not to get too hung up and stressed out about ​it. It can be a relaxing exercise if you just try to go with the flow. (Haha Did you catch the pun there? )  

When soldering, if something doesn't go quite as planned, keep the following in mind:

  • If you don't like where the solder landed, you can move it. 
  •  In case you didn't add enough solder, you can​ easily add some more.
  •  Put too much? You can always remove some of the excess.

It may take a little fiddling to get ​the solder just the way you want but the nice thing about working with ​it is that nothing is permanent! 

Here's a little video demonstrating a simple decorative solder technique you can use to get started. ​It will add an interesting finish to the edges of your suncatchers and you'll be surprised at how much you'll learn from doing this, that you may find your smooth soldering getting easier. It's all about learning how to control the solder. ​

​Remember, practice will make things become almost second nature. So what are you waiting for? Heat up that soldering iron and practice, practice, practice! And don't forget to let me know how it goes in the comments.

Want to know more about which soldering irons I use? You can find a complete list of my favourite tools and supplies here: Stained Glass Tools - Getting Started

Ever wondered how to add details to your stained glass with solder? This video demonstrates adding a simple decorative solder to the edge of a stained glass piece.
#stainedglass #solder
How to Solder Stained Glass, Decorative Solder, How to Make Stained Glass, Stained Glass Tutorial, Beginner Stained Glass, Stained Glass Ideas, DIY Stained Glass
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Leave a Reply 12 comments

Diane - March 1, 2018 Reply

Can I put decorative solder on lead came edging ?

    Samantha Calder - March 2, 2018 Reply

    Great question Diane! I’ve never actually tried doing that. I suppose it would be possible but there would be 2 things to watch out for. Firstly, make sure your iron isn’t too hot (especially if you’re using hobby came) as you could potentially melt right through it. And secondly, if a mistake is made when working on adding decorative edges on solder, it’s easy to remove. If something didn’t go exactly as planned on the lead came, you wouldn’t be able to “erase” it per se. It would end up marking the lead and you’d have to be happy living with that.

Peyrole - March 2, 2018 Reply

merci pour cette vidéo,
Cordialement,
Nadine

    Samantha Calder - March 2, 2018 Reply

    C’est mon plaisir Nadine.

Eileen - March 2, 2018 Reply

Would like to know if that’s what they are doing around edges of agate stone edges for jewelry and I’m doing jewelry would like to try my hand it seems fun .I’ve seen it or what appears to be silver around edges of arrow heads flat stones etc. And broken China for jewelry

    Samantha Calder - March 2, 2018 Reply

    Hello Eileen. Yes you can solder the edges of agate slice or broken ceramics, I’ve done both in the past. Make sure your foil is well adhered and be careful when working with the china. Once you break it into pieces the edges will be porous and absorb water. It’s best to grind it and clean it, then let it dry thoroughly. I’d look into putting the pieces into the oven at the lowest setting to drive out any moisture before foiling or let them sit out for a couple of days before proceeding. Good luck!

Elin Landenburger - March 17, 2018 Reply

Do you have any videos of other decorative soldering techniques. I cannot find any good ones on youtube. I enjoyed the one that you did showing how to ridge the edge of suncatchers. Would love to see more!

    Samantha Calder - March 18, 2018 Reply

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one Elin and it’s great to hear you’d like more like this. I don’t have any other videos at the moment but there are plans to cover more decorative solder techniques in the future. Please feel free to join my email list if you like to ensure you get all the updates on new posts and videos. Happy soldering!

Elizabeth - March 21, 2018 Reply

Enjoyed video, I am just starting back up and appreciate the tips! Thanks

    Samantha Calder - March 21, 2018 Reply

    It’s wonderful to hear that you’re diving back in! And I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the video 🙂

Laurie - March 29, 2018 Reply

What do you have your solder iron set at?
What kind of gloves are you wearing?

    Samantha Calder - March 30, 2018 Reply

    Hello Laurie, I usually use the iron in the 110 – 150 degree range. It just depends on the day! As for the gloves, they’re nitrile (also known as mechanics gloves). They’re very similar to latex gloves but since I have a lot of allergies and don’t want to develop a latex allergy, I use the nitrile. Plus, the nitrile is a little thicker than the latex and I can re-use them a few times before I need to dispose of them.

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