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How To Cut Stained Glass by Hand

I love glass! I have always loved using stained glass for projects because there is such a wonderful variety in the colors, swirls, texture, patterns, and when you flip a piece of stained glass over, surprise! There's more! Glass works so well in mosaics, but you need to know how to cut it so you get the right kind of results.


First and foremost, I cannot stress safety enough. Glass can cut you, but this doesn't mean you have to be intimidated by it. When you are cutting glass or grinding glass, please wear safety goggles. Also, there are thick rubber gloves you can buy very inexpensively for when you are handling larger pieces of glass.

A Basic Cutting Technique using a Glass Cutter (scorer)

Hold the cutter in your writing hand and starting at the bottom of the glass, apply steady pressure and slide your way to the top of the glass making a score on the glass. You should be able to hear the glass being scored as you go. It sounds like a scraping sound. Once you start, do NOT stop in the middle or lift your cutter until you reach the opposite side of the glass.

After you make your score, use running pliers to complete the break. On the head of your running pliers is a line; be sure to line this up with your score and then gently squeeze until the glass breaks. If you are cutting curves, you will have to make several scores to reach the results you desire. Note: You cannot cut 90 degree angles with hand tools!

Download my free EBook entitled, "How to Cut Stained Glass," and you will learn how to cut 6 different cuts: straight cut, circles, ovals, inside curves, outside curves and s-shapes. Also included are helpful practice patterns you can print out and use to perfect the art of cutting stained glass. Get it here

The recorded webinar "How to Put the Beauty of Stained Glass to Your Mosaics" demonstrates in detail how to use these hand tools for cutting glass. Take this 1-hour recorded Webinar.


  • Thanks for all the tips you send me…Please do not give up on me… I have now started to do some Mosaics, ( What a difference ),..So much more rewarding…Thanks for all your help..Tony in Florida.

    Tony Ferlazzo
  • could you please let me know what type of board you use to cut glass



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