Have you ever broken a piece of glass in a picture frame? Or picked up a great frame at a garage sale that was missing the glass?
That has certainly happened to me plenty. I used to think that the only way to replace the glass was to buy it at a home improvement store or craft store. But then, it only comes in certain standard sizes, and we all know that picture frame glass is rarely a standard size – it’s always seems to be just a wee bit smaller than it should be if it’s even close to standard.
Let me show you a simple way to cut glass to any size you want. All you do is measure, draw a straight line, and snap. It’s really that easy!
How to Cut Glass
1. Measure the inside of your picture frame so that you know the exact size to cut the glass.
2. Lay down a thick towel (I use a beach towel) to protect your workspace. Your towel won’t be damaged, but it’s best to protect your surface from glass knicks.
3. Wipe off a larger piece of glass with a soft cloth (I used a left over piece of glass I had removed from a frame for another project). Do not use Windex, but you may use water if you need to. Measure out the height you need with a tape measure or ruler on one side of the glass. Draw a straight line using a felt-tiped pen or dry erase marker. I always mark my lines 1/8″ smaller than I want the final cut to be due to the way my glass cutter is set up (see Step 4).
4. I bought my glass cutting tool at Hobby Lobby, but they should be available at any craft or home improvement store. It has an angled head on one end with a small rotating cutter disc on top of the head.
When you line the head up with your straight edge (like you would do if you were cutting a straight line with any sort of blade), the disc is about 1/8″ away from the straight edge. That’s why I mark my measurements 1/8″ smaller than I want my final cut to end up. Does that makes sense?
5. Armed with my work gloves and eye protection, I line up my straight edge against my marked line and use the glass cutter to make a straight line down the glass. You don’t want to push too hard – only hard enough that there is a hairline cut in the glass (see the white line in the picture below). Don’t worry, the cut doesn’t go all the way through the glass.
It’s very important that you DO NOT take your glass cutter off of the glass while you are making the cut. If you do, it will cause the glass to break unevenly. The cut should go entirely from one end of the glass to the other.
6. Once your hairline cut is made, all you have to do is snap the glass at the cut. To do this, simply hold the glass on each side of the cut and then snap it AWAY from you. You will be impressed with your straight line!
Note: It is MUCH easier to snap the glass where the piece coming off is at least an inch or so wide. If you are trying to just trim off a tiny piece of glass, you are going to need a lot of force to get that piece to snap off.
7. Repeat the process for the glass width you need for your picture frame.
8. You’re done! Add it to your picture frame and you are good to go.
Any questions? Have you tried this process before? Let me know in the comments.