6 Glass Fusing Ideas for Beginners

6 Glass Fusing Ideas for Beginners

Hot Shot Oven & Kiln

The enchanting art of glass fusing opens a world of colorful, creative possibilities. It’s a wonderful way to wow friends and family with shiny charms in a variety of shapes and sizes.

We’re here to help you get started with these 6 glass fusing ideas for beginners. Read on for the basic knowhow you need to begin exploring this fun technique!

Why Glass Fusing Is Great for Beginners

Melting glass pieces together in a kiln might seem complicated. But compared to other glass working processes, making fused glass is straightforward. It takes little skill and just a bit of background knowledge.

Not to say it’s without challenges. But many arts and crafts hobbyists find the kiln forming technique of fusing to be both delightful and accessible. As we get into these project ideas, we think you’ll agree.

1. Classic Coasters

fused glass coaster with bow
Image Source: Etsy - FusedGlassCo

With a flat design and small size, drink coasters are a smart place to start your glass fusing adventure.


Fusible glass — Flat ¼-inch thick, 4-inch wide, clear squares as your base, plus pieces, stringers (thin tubes) and frit (granules) in a variety of colors

Glass cutting tools — for shaping pieces as desired

Household glue — for holding your pattern together

Kiln (more on kilns in a bit)

Basic Steps

  1. Clean your glass with glass cleaner or a vinegar solution.
  2. Arrange your pattern on your clear square piece. Use a bit of glue to keep it in place. You can either fuse your design on top or between two glued squares. Keep cleaning all glass pieces as you work.
  3. Place your glass on your kiln shelf (prepared with kiln wash or kiln paper to keep the glass from sticking).
  4. Program your kiln for a full fuse followed by an annealing phase. Here’s a general example:
    1. Ramp up slowly (at 400 °F/hour) to 1,000 °F. Hold for 15 minutes to equalize.
    2. Ramp faster (900 °F/hour) to 1,460 °F. Hold for 20 minutes.
    3. Cool as fast as possible to 960 °F. Hold for 60 minutes.
    4. Cool slowly (at 200 °F/hour) to 800 °F. Hold 10 minutes to equalize.
    5. Cool faster (at 400 °F/hour) to 300 °F.
    6. Turn off the kiln and allow the glass to cool inside to room temperature.

NOTE: The right firing schedule depends on the type and amount of glass you’re using. Consult with an expert to determine your best specs. For a deeper dive, check out our guide to using a glass fusing temperature chart.

2. Dazzling Panels

tack fused colorful glass panels
Image Source: Etsy - JulliaTyasko

Scale up the coaster project to create a larger piece of art. Glass fusing is ideal for creating vibrant decorative panels or plates for entertaining.


Similar to the coaster project – but start with a larger clear glass square or rectangle.

Basic Steps

Follow the same basic process as with the coasters.

For your design, work with your inspiration. Start from a photograph or sketch, or do an abstract design. Stringers are great for outlining shapes. Frit is helpful to fill in intricate designs.

3. Magnificent Magnets

fused glass animal magnets
Image Source: Etsy - divabeader

Magnets are fun small projects. After fusing your piece, stick a magnet on the back to make an intriguing conversation piece for the kitchen or office.


Again, the materials are the same. But you can start with many different sizes or shapes for your base. To make it easier for the magnet to hold the weight, we’d recommend no larger than 4 inches wide.

Basic Steps

  1. The same process applies. But this time, consider doing a tack fuse. That means firing at a lower temperature so that the pieces stick together but hold some of their shape. The result is a uniquely 3D product.
  2. Here’s a general guideline for the program:
    1. Ramp up slowly (at 400 °F/hour) to 1,000 °F. Hold for 20 minutes to equalize.
    2. Ramp faster (900 °F/hour) to 1,360 °F. Hold for 15 minutes.
    3. Cool as fast as possible to 960 °F. Hold for 45 minutes.
    4. Cool slowly (at 200 °F/hour) to 800 °F. Hold 10 minutes to equalize.
    5. Cool faster (at 500 °F/hour) to 300 °F.
    6. Turn off the kiln and allow the glass to cool inside to room temperature.

As with the full fuse schedule we discussed, this is a generic guideline. Talk to an expert to determine your best specs.

4. Stunning Suncatchers

circular fused glass suncatcher
Image Source: Etsy - Richmondglassworks

Now expand on your magnet designs to make a larger piece to hang in a window. Spread rays of joyful, colorful light around your living room!


You’ll need the same materials for this one, too.

But to enhance this project, experiment with pieces of fusible glass in different colors, textures, and shapes. Consider incorporating metal foil or wire for added interest, as well.

Basic Steps

Follow the same steps as with the coasters above.

Here’s one possible addition when arranging your pattern. Drill a hole in the glass base for hanging wire. It’s a good way to practice your glass coldworking skills.

5. Whimsical Swizzle Sticks

fused glass swizzle sticks / drink stirrers
Image Source: Etsy - Loriesglass

Drink stirrers make good beginner fusing projects because they’re small and fun. Plus, they’re great for using up scraps from other projects.


Similar to our other projects, with one key difference. Start by cutting clear glass sheets into strips a ½ inch wide by 6 inches long. These will form the base for each stick.

You also might want some tweezers for placing small pieces of glass on the base.

Basic Steps

  1. Have fun arranging your designs. Use a tiny drop of glue with each piece laid. It’s a good idea to do the design right on the kiln shelf because these small pieces are harder to transfer.
  2. Build up the design on one end. This part will fuse into a small handle. Use different colors to keep the sticks organized.
  3. Program your kiln for a full fuse, as discussed with the coasters.

6. Cool Kiln Carvings

kiln carved glass design
Image Source: Etsy - EmptyNestMakers

Kiln carving is a unique process to make textured designs in sheets of glass. In essence, you’re doing a bas relief with your glass over a pattern of ceramic fiber paper.


Start with a flat ¼-inch-thick piece of fusible glass—clear or colored—up to 6 inches wide.

The other key material is that fiber paper to create your design. We should note here that fiber paper can smoke a bit when fired. So be sure you have good ventilation in your studio. Also use a dust mask when removing paper or sweeping up.

Basic Steps

  1. Cut out your design. Start with a simple heart or star. Trace a leaf. You can add layers for more depth. What you make is up to your skills and inspiration!
  2. Place your fiber paper design on the prepared kiln shelf. Place your glass base on top.
  3. Program the kiln for a full fuse as above with the coasters. This will allow the base to take the shape of your design.
  4. You might also want to experiment with different top temperatures and soak times. Think lower top temps (1,420 °F) with shorter holds (5 to 10 minutes) to create gentler slopes in the design. Higher top temps (1,520 °F) with longer holds (up to 30 minutes) will allow the glass to completely conform to your design.

3 Fusing Fundamentals to Get You Started

One of the most beginner-friendly aspects of fusing glass is that you don’t need a lot of skills or equipment. But here are three things you should consider.

Essential Fusing Equipment

For starters, you need a kiln that can fuse glass.

If you’re a home hobbyist, you want a kiln that’s safe and easy to use. Consider Hot Shot glass kilns, for example. They come with Cool-Touch technology and precise temperature control—ideal for home studios.

Along with your kiln, you’ll need various accessories, such as a kiln shelves, kiln paper, and kiln wash to help keep things clean.

And, to stay safe while you’re cutting glass or using the kiln, wear protective eyewear, clothing, and gloves.

Selecting Fusible Glass

artisan holding and inspecting a fusible glass panel

To avoid frustrating results—fused glass that breaks or falls apart—you need to choose carefully. A few pointers:

  1. Use glass that’s about 1/8 to 3/8 inch. The thinner side is good for projects that prioritize transparency. But for the projects listed here, glass on the thicker end is better.
  2. Look for glass specifically labeled “fusible.” It’s also best to go with trusted brands such as Bullseye, Spectrum, Uroboros, and Wissmach.
  3. For any given project, make sure the different glass pieces you’re using are compatible. In other words, they must have the same coefficient of expansion (COE). COE is a measure of how glass reacts to temperature changes. If one of your pieces has a COE of 96, then all your pieces need a COE of 96.

Understanding Firing and Annealing

As you see in the suggested firing schedules above, you can’t just heat up your kiln to the top temp as quickly as possible. Nor can you cool it down so fast.

That’s because glass expands when heated and contracts when cooled. Heating or cooling too fast adds a lot of stress. And stress leads to cracking—not the result you want!

Always adhere to those controlled segments for your ramp ups and cooldown / annealing. Patience will pay off.

Celebrate Your Successes and Keep Growing

If you try one or more of these beginner glass fusing projects, our guess is you’ll want to do more …

So go ahead! Dig further into glass working with our beginner guides to glass slumping and glass casting. We’ve even got some more glass fusing ideas for you. Have fun!