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Posted on Monday 31 December 2012 at 7:38 pm

My Parents Are AWESOME (or How to Make a Stained Glass TARDIS): A Photo Essay

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My mom makes fantastic stained glass sun catchers. A few weeks back, I called her and asked if it would be possible to make a stained glass TARDIS or two while I was home over Christmas break. My mom is awesome so of course she said we could give it a shot. She was busy making pies, cookies, fudge, etc. for Christmas and getting tons of calls from her work even though she was supposedly on vacation, but my dad has helped her a lot before so he and I ended up doing most of the labor with mom directing and supervising. What do y'all think of the results?


I love them and am super excited about them. One is mine and one was given to my high school best friend as a Christmas present. I think she loved hers. There are a few flaws and weaknesses, what else do you expect for a first time effort, so my mom, dad, and I have already starting plotting improvements to maybe make another one or more next year (dare we shoot for a 3-d lamp?). In the meantime, if you want to know how to make a stained glass TARDIS ...

First you need a pattern. Here's the one I made. If we try again, we will definitely thin the black lines a bit, possibly extend the base, and fatten up some of the thinner blue pieces. Overall, though, it isn't a bad pattern.

Next you need glass. Large pieces of glass.

Then you cut the large pieces of glass into lots of small pieces of glass. Dad did this step. Here we have tools, broken glass, and two fully-cut TARDISes. Of course, playing with this much glass, odds of someone getting cut are pretty high so that's my dad's blood on the pattern. Oops.

Next you file the glass pieces. Every piece has to be smoothed out so there are no rough or sharp edges. I did this part.
Filing 1
Filing 2

I also did the next part: foiling. You have to wrap foil tape around all the edges to give the solder something to which to stick.

Here's one TARDIS completely foiled and the other not done yet.

Finally you solder. Actually, you paint everything with flux, then solder, then clean it, then paint everything with a patina to make the solder look black and aged rather than shiny and new, then clean it. It will darken naturally, but not uniformly and it takes too long. As you can see, Dad did all the soldering (don't ask me why the photo is rotated) but I did the brushing and cleaning.

And that's it! Two lovely stained glass TARDISes. The first one is the one I kept and the second is the one I gave to my friend.
Feeling: Ecstatic
Exploring: Parents' Kitchen Table
Listening: Mom Cooking and Kaylee fussing over her dinner


labellerose at 4:51 pm on 01 January 2013 (UTC) (Link)
They are gorgeous! Well done. :-)
bratty_jedi at 1:26 pm on 07 January 2013 (UTC) (Link)
gilpin25 at 1:07 pm on 04 January 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Very impressive!
bratty_jedi at 1:26 pm on 07 January 2013 (UTC) (Link)

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