In this first part of the project I will show you how to make a blank roundle.
That is the blank glass on which you paint the suncatcher. Rather than a normal small roundle this project will be based on a large 10″ piece of glass it will have two hooks with a piece of chain between them. This will make it different from the normal smaller roundles I do which only have a single hook so they can be attached to a suction pad. (Also the normal ones I do are normally about 6″ in diameter).
I’ve made this sun catcher (light catcher) to celebrate a wedding but obviously you can make them for all sorts of occasions; birthdays, Christenings, New Homes etc.
Celebration Sun Catcher. Part 1. How to Make a blank Roundle.
Equipment and Materials.
- One piece of 3mm glass cut to the correct size.
- 9mm flat profile adhesive lead strip.
- 0.9mm steel wire (or a couple of paper clips).
- A pencil (or something else which is round and about the same diameter).
- A boning tool (or some other hardish plastic implement).
- Craft Knife.
The Process for making the Roundle..
Firstly cut the lead strip to size. You will want it all round the glass plus an inch or so overlap (3cm). Work out a centre point in the lead NOT counting the overlap. Pierce two small holes on the lead each equal distant from the centre (about 3 or 4 inch, 8 or 11cm either side) and in the middle of the lead width wise. The exact distance the hooks are from the centre is really up to you and depends how you want the chain to hang.
Now make your two hooks. Cut two 4.5 inch pieces out of the steel wire. Wrap each around your pencil and put in a couple of twists. If you are adding a chain like me the you should put it on the wire and ensure it ends up in the loop.This should give you a circular loop with two prongs coming from it of equal size. (If you’ve done it right.
Next put the prongs together on your hooks and poke each through one of the holes in the lead. You need to end up with the round cicle on the shiney non adhesive side of the lead and the two prongs on the adhesive side. (which should still have its backing paper on). Splay the prongs out so the hook wont fall back through the hold.
Adding the lead.
Take a couple of inch of the backing paper off the lead round the centre. Place the edge of the glass at the centre of the lead and in the middle (width wise). Pinch the lead down either side of the glass. (This is quite difficult to explain in writing so please look at the video).
Work your way towards the first hook. With this you want to get the two prongs on the edge of the glass and gain pich the lead down either side of the glass. Do this with both hooks.
Now work you way around the glass pinching the lead down. (Always pinch towards the ends of the lead, working each way from the centre). If at any stage this proves difficult the try warming the lead up with a hair dryer. BE CAREFUL. It can get quite hot quite quickly as it retains heat really well. Stop just BEFORE you get to the overlap. Only pinch down the underneath of the over lap. The top bit will be done later.
Smoothing the Lead.
Next take the boning tool and use it to smooth down the lead. Again you can warm up the lead to make it easier if you wish and again you should work from the centre of the lead towards the ends)
Once finished, including the piece under the overlap you can then go ahead and pinch down and smooth the top of the overlap.
The should be your roundle finished.
How to Make a blank Roundle. Summery.
I know this seems difficult and a lot of faffing around BUT it is something you can get quite proficient at once you have done a few. Knowing how to make a blank roundle can be really useful as sun catchers tend to a staple for most glass painters. They make great gifts.