Pattern Transfer on Glass

With the smooth glossy surface of glass, achieving a pattern transfer is a sometimes confusing and difficult task. Transferring these patterns onto the glass is not always an easy task.

So, what are the different ways to transfer a pattern onto glass? This would depend on the glass and the type of pattern needed. This page will discuss several pattern transferring techniques, and how to accomplish the process of tracing a pattern onto glass.

Permanent Marker

patterns, permanent marker, light box

About the easiest way to achieve a pattern on glass would be to cut out a card stock or plastic example and then using a permanent marker, draw around the blueprint and onto the glass. This technique comes in handy when trying to acquire a certain shape or outline on a piece of glass for cutting purposes. If the glass is clear or more transparent, you can sometimes just place the glass over the pattern and trace the design with the permanent marker. This will eliminate the time and effort of making pattern pieces.

If using a glass saw to cut out the glass design, be sure to seal the drawing with either beeswax or Chapstick before using the saw. Water will definitely wash away the design and it would then need to be reapplied.

Rubber Cement

A pattern transfer can be made out of paper and adhered to a piece of glass with rubber cement. Simply coat the back of the pattern and place it on the glass. Also cover the top of the image with rubber cement. This protection will keep the pattern intact when using a glass saw.

Light Box

If the glass is opalescent, then a light box is an ideal way to obtain a pattern. The light from the box will help to make the lines more visible. This works great for most glass, except for the really darker colors. Simply lay the pattern on the light box, place the glass over the pattern, turn on the light and using a permanent marker trace the design.

This technique really comes in handy when you are trying to draw a design on glass to be painted. The details can’t be obtained by just cutting out a card stock pattern and using a marker.

Carbon Paper

Tiny designs and details can be obtained with carbon paper. Of course this will only work if you are planning on painting the design. Simply paint the glass with a white or light color and allow it to dry completely. Then using carbon paper and the pattern trace the design. Be sure you have the glass on the bottom of the stack, then the carbon paper and on top the design to be transferred.

Contact Paper

Contact paper makes a fantastic template. Simply transfer a design onto paper backed clear contact paper. Next remove the paper backing and carefully apply the sticky side of the contact paper onto the glass. This method is great when you need a pattern that is going to be cut using a glass saw. Even the constant water from the saw does not make the paper float off.

Elmer’s Glue

Much like rubber cement, Elmer’s Glue can be used to adhere a paper pattern to glass. Use a printer to transfer the design to regular plain paper, the just cut out the design, leaving a small border around the design. Mix up a thin solution of some Elmer’s glue and tap water. Coat the glass with the mixture and place the paper on the tacky glass. Use an overcoat of the Elmer’s glue mixture to seal the paper and allow everything to dry. Coat the paper with some Petroleum jelly, chap stick or bees wax and use a glass saw to cut the pattern.

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