Stained Glass Decorations
Parental supervision is recommended
Add some sparkle to your favorite room with these 'Stained glass' decorations. With foil plates, markers, transparent plastic wrap and a kid's imagination the results will be breathtaking.
What you'll need:
- Permanent magic markers with pointed tips, we usually use Sharpie brand markers in an assortment of colors - and black
- Paper patterns; 1 per child
- Small paper plates (about 7 inch diameter)
- Aluminum Foil
- Plastic Food Wrap
- Ribbon for hanging, optional
- Construction paper to cover the back, optional
How to make it:Making the Decorations
Read all the directions before starting. As an overview, you'll be drawing the stained glass designs onto the plastic wrap, and then putting them onto foil-covered plates. This creates a beautiful sparkling decoration whenever light is shining on it.
Step 1 - Print Patterns
Choose the decoration you want to make. Download and print the pattern(s).
- Bells (72 dpi) or Bells (90 dpi)
- Angel (72 dpi) or Angel (90 dpi)
- Candle (72 dpi) or Candle (90 dpi)
- Tree (72 dpi) or Tree (90 dpi)
- Poinsettia (72 dpi) or Poinsettia (90 dpi)
The pictures should be about 5 or 5 1/2 inches across once you have printed them. Mac owners should try the 72 dpi versions, PC owners the 90 dpi versions.
Step 2 - Place Pattern and Plastic Wrap
- Tape the pattern to the table at the 4 corners.
- Then take a piece of plastic wrap that is large enough to easily cover the plates - at least 11 inches square - a bit bigger is better than too small.
- This next step is important - tape the plastic wrap to the table over the pattern. Be sure that the drawing is centered under the plastic wrap, and stretch the plastic wrap slightly so that it is smooth and taut. Tape all 4 corners and the centers of all the sides - 8 pieces of tape. If the wrap is loose, it will be hard to draw on.
Two people have written that they used transparencies instead of plastic wrap, because the plastic wrap sometimes tore. Tape it to the table, draw and color as usual. Then cut the transparency into a circle, and attach it to the plate by wrapping a large piece of plastic wrap over it, as per the regular directions.
Step 3 - Color
Be careful, those are permanent markers! We have noticed that the markers will smudge if you color one color into another - so it is easier to color all the COLORED areas first, and then draw the black outlines later. Otherwise, you'll likely touch the black lines with the tip of the marker, and it will smear into your color and dirty up the marker. Since the black marker won't be affected by drawing over other colors, you can even color several areas that will all be the same color as one.
TIP - press gently with the marker, pressure should not be needed, and can damage the plastic wrap.
TIP - When tracing the black lines, take your time - that is the most important part of the project. Younger children will probably want help with this step.
Step 4 - Cover the Paper Plate with Foil
Crumple the foil a bit, then smooth it out, and cover the bottom of the plate with the foil, shiny side showing. Wrap the extra foil around to the 'top' of the plate.
Step 5 - Put your Artwork on the Plate
Carefully remove the tape that's holding the plastic wrap to the table. It won't come off the plastic wrap, so just trim the sticky part off. Turn your artwork over, so that the markered side of the plastic wrap is down. Place it on the foil covered side of the plate. Center it, and wrap the excess plastic wrap around the back and tape it.
Step 6 - Optional Ribbon
If you want to hang your ornament with a ribbon, take a 10" piece of ribbon or yarn, and tape it in a loop to the back of the plate. (Otherwise, I've used thumbtacks to hang it)
Step 7 - Optional Backing
Take an uncovered paper plate and trace around it onto a piece of construction paper. Cut out a circle a bit smaller than the one you drew, so that it will only be on the back. Make some double-sticky rolls of tape to attach it to the back, or glue it down with a good craft glue, one that will stick to the plastic wrap.
For a simpler project:
Print out the patterns and color them. Then cut them out. To make them more translucent, dab a thin layer of baby oil (or cooking oil) on the back of the paper. Let dry on newspapers. Hang in the window (with tape). Be careful where you put them, as the oil might stain wood furniture. Other visitors have written that they've simply had the children color the pictures and then hung them up in the window.
Retta wrote: I know this isn't for kids, but I love patterns like this for appliques! Kids things like this are generally cute, and easy to use for patterns for material. Just cut out the pieces, sew them to tee-shirts or sweat shirts, and voila! a magnificent gift for just your time. You might have to enlarge some of the patterns (we have bigger patterns on our Christmas coloring page)
A reader wrote: I used the patterns and used "Gallery Glass" to make stained glass ornaments to put on the windows. I usually do the outline with the liquid leading and let the kids use the paints to color the picture. "Gallery Glass" is a paint product made by Plaid. You end up with a soft plastic sort of product that will stick to glass and is easily removed.