If you have been searching unsuccessfully for the perfect size, color, and design of a ready-made stained glass panel for your home, or are looking for a truly meaningful anniversary or birthday present for that special someone in your life, then having a custom stained glass piece created to your unique specifications could be just what you need!
But where to start? Going through the following steps will help guide you through the process.
1. Find a stained glass artist that does custom work.
You’ve already completed that first step by being on my website! I’m happy to work with you to create a custom piece. Nailing down the details of what you need and want in the following steps will help me (or any other stained glass artist you may choose) develop a design that meets your needs. Some examples of custom pieces I've created can be seen in the Gallery section at https://www.stainedglassyourway.com/galleries/custom-and-one-kind-stained-glass-pieces
2. Determine where and how the piece will be displayed.
Will you be hanging the piece in a window from chains, or will it be fitted into a window frame, transom, or cabinet door? If hanging it, you will need to be able to install screw hooks somewhere in your window frame to attach the chains. If having it fitted, it will need to be secured with clamps. Please note that the stained glass panel will NOT replace an existing exterior window (they are not tempered glass or insulated). It will need to be installed on the inside of the window frame in front of the existing window glass. Smaller suncatchers can be hung securely with suction cup hangers, but should only be displayed on windows or glass doors that are not opened and shut frequently to ensure they don’t fall.
3. Determine what size you want/need.
Now that you know where you plan to put it, what are the dimensions you need for that space? If hanging it, it can be any size that gives at least a two inch clearance on all sides when hung. If having it fitted, I need to know the exact dimensions of the inside of the window frame or cabinet so I can make the piece slightly smaller to fit and allow for slight expansion in temperature changes.
4. Determine the type or style of design you want.
This is the fun part! But it can also be the hardest to figure out. Providing me with photos either of other similarly styled stained glass pieces you like, or even actual photographs you would like to have rendered (my specialty), is the best way to help me understand what you are looking for. If you’re trying to color coordinate it with the rest of the room, send me a couple photos of the room too so I can see what shades of colors it needs to complement. Feel free to reference other pieces you see in my store if you like the style but want a different size and/or color scheme (https://www.stainedglassyourway.com/store).
5. Determine how much you want to spend.
This is the not as fun part—but it IS something you must determine and communicate to me up front, as the rest of the design process depends significantly on your budget. If you’ve read my blog article about the stained glass process (https://www.stainedglassyourway.com/blog/stained-glass-process), you’ll understand how labor intensive it is. The complexity / number of cut pieces in your design is the biggest factor in the amount of labor required, and the cost to create it. Overall size matters (especially for shipping and packaging costs), but complexity matters more. I can make a very simple 2 ft square panel with 4 cut pieces of glass for $150. But a same sized panel with a design with 50 cut pieces may cost $450 or more. If I know your budget up front, I can create a design with the right combination of detail and simplicity that will portray what you want and be within the budget you have set. (Or, I may have to tell you I just can’t do what you want within your budget—which at least saves us both a lot of time versus finding that out later in the process). This will also cut down on the number of revisions to your pattern if I can get close the first time!
6. Determine when you need it.
If you need it completed by a certain date, please tell me up front as well so I can determine if it is possible given the complexity of the project and my current order load.
7. Determine what glass types and colors you want incorporated.
The location it will be displayed and your privacy goals, as well as your personal preferences, are factors to be considered when choosing the type of glasses and colors to be used. My article about choosing the right stained glass (https://www.stainedglassyourway.com/blog/choosing-right-stained-glass) can help you understand some of the pros and cons of the various glass types. Sending me photos of the room and area where it will be displayed can also help me work up a color scheme for the piece. After I’ve gotten an understanding of what you like, I will send you pictures of several glasses that I think will work and you can pick and choose from them (or ask for other options). I’ll work with you to get it just right.
Many people tell me to just use my best judgment, but there is no right or wrong answer in art. I may make some suggestions if I think something might look better than something else, but at the end of the day—this is your vision and what I like may be different from what you do. My business is called “Stained Glass YOUR WAY” for a reason! So don’t be afraid to ask for a purple elephant if that’s what floats your boat. It’s going to be hanging in your house, not mine!
8. Contact me!
So that’s basically it. Once you have the answers to all (or most) of the above sorted out in your head, use the Contact Form on my site to let me know you’re ready to get a quote on your custom piece and let the creating begin!