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Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Decoupage Glass Tiles Part 1 - Cutting the glass to size

One of the blog followers contacted me recently to ask if I knew of anyone who might be interested in purchasing sheets of glass. I did not and suggested I rather do a few blog on using glass for crafts and she seemed keen on the idea. Here is the first of these blogs with promises of more to follow.

I have to admit that this was the first time I would be cutting glass and I will readily admit that there was vast room for improvement. Still, I was given a rather large pile of glass by someone towards the end of last year and I have wanted to do something with this ever since. Having received the glass for free, I was able to experiment to my heart’s content. In the end a bit of glass was wasted, but not nearly as much as I initially allowed for. This is something you always need to budget for when starting a new hobby. Allow yourself room to experiment and learn and it will release a lot of the stress.

You need a little bit of machine oil and a sharp glass cutter.

Dip the wheel of the glass cutter in the oil.

You also need a clean sheet of glass. I used a very thin 2 mm glass from a frame that broke. (It was probably the only time in my life where a frame broke and the glass stayed intact). I also used a metal ruler and wax pencils also known as china markers. China markers are able to write on just about any surface and are therefore brilliant for marking glass. The marks can easily be erased with a cloth and the leftover residue of oil (from the knife) on the glass afterwards.

Having watched demonstrations on cutting glass by experts, I believed it would be as easy as they made it out to be and set of marking my glass with the china marker.

I laid the glass on a flat smooth surface and cut. Nothing. I listened for the distinct grind that you should be hearing, but only got a slight swoosh. I then applied more pressure and finally achieved a cut, nowhere near the lines I had drawn!

I used a pair of flat nosed pliers to gently break the glass on the cut.

This was the result of my first day’s attempt.

I could work with most of these, but the ones that were not usable; I collected in a box to discard with properly later. Never discard broken glass in plastic bags.

Glass splinters can best be cleaned up with a wet cloth, or better yet, a wad of wet newspapers.

I went back the next day to try my hand at cutting glass again. This time I had no thin pieces of glass left over, but only 5 mm thick sheets. There were two broken sheets in the pile and I decided to experiment further on one of these.

I took a couple of cuts, before I realized that I needed to apply less pressure, more oil, and lift my hand a little higher. I also found it worked better, for me at least, if I pulled the knife towards me, rather than pushing it away from me. In the end I got some rather clean cuts and straight lines that broke straight as well. I also found that it was mush easier to cut straight lines in glass than it was to draw it by hand. Go figure!

I also learned that if I slipped my ruler in under the cut and gently tapped the cut piece with the back of the cutter or pliers that the glass would cleanly and effortlessly snap off.

In the next blog I will show you how to decoupage the glass to create your own glass tiles.

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Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
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