Step 1: Cut little squares of colorful glass. To do this, you need a glass cutter, running pliers, and cutting oil. I used a pistol grip glass cutter (the red one in the picture), which stores oil inside and automatically oils your cutting wheel. If you are using a regular glass cutter (the green one), then you would need to apply oil to the wheel. The oil creates a smoother score line.
P.S.: I had to look up the names of these tools just for this blog post. Previously I had called them various names like oily glass cutter thing and glass popper.
Use a ruler and score starting at the very edge of the glass all the way to the other end. You have to always cut from one end of the glass piece to the other. You will probably want to practice this on scrap glass, because it takes just the right amount of pressure. Too little and your glass will not break in a straight line. Too much and you grind the glass too much and have a jagged, nasty score line.
Now to break the glass at the score line. I would highly suggest some running pliers for this. Line up the line on the pliers with the score line. Apply pressure until POP! If you’re lucky, you have a nice smooth straight line.
Continue cutting until you have some nice little squares (or rectangles or triangles or whatever shapes you want).
You can the score line and the pliers line better in this picture.
Step 2: Wrap glass pieces in copper foil. Copper foil tape has an adhesive backing that will stick to the glass. Wipe off any excess oil that might keep the adhesive from sticking. Wrap tape around all edges one time and cut with scissors.
Press down all the edges and corners flat.
Step 3: Apply flux to the copper foil. Flux is like the za za zoo of the metal dating world. It’s the spark, the chemistry, the glue…you gotta have the za za zoo! So, apply the flux generously with a paint brush or these metals will not get together.
Step 4: Solder around all the edges of the charm. Touch the heated soldering iron to the solder. This is where the magic happens. This always reminds me of Terminator 2: Judgement Day! The solder begins to melt and forms cool little metal blobs.
Apply the blobs to the copper foil and do your best to smooth it out. Continue adding new blobs as needed and smoothing around. It’s okay if some little balls fall off onto your workspace. You can try to reuse them or leave them be. Also, see how I have the tweezers – the glass gets super hot and your fingers would be super close to the hot iron without tweezers. I still need some major practice on my soldering technique, so my lines are not as smooth as I would like…yet.
Step 5: Attach findings to the charms. I used jewelry findings from Micheal’s for my wine glass charms.
Now attach the little circle finding to the charm. This is probably the hardest part of the whole project. You have to attach this tiny little circle to the charm using the solder. So, apply flux, then apply a little melted solder blob, then QUICKLY touch the little circle to the solder. The solder cools off really quickly, so you have to act fast. This would probably be much easier with a crafty helper!
I bent the end of the larger hoop with pliers, so the charm will stay put around the wine glass.
Side note: This is a sad day. My new digital SLR camera is sick and going to the camera hospital. I’ve had problems with the focus and flash. So until I get it back, all my pictures will be taken with my iPhone. Maybe I should make it a crafty get well soon card.
Step 6: Open a bottle of wine and celebrate! I think they turned out pretty well!