Traditional stained glass has always been associated with fine art galleries and huge windows in Gothic cathedrals. But stained glass can be much simpler and safer for you to do at home and you can even get your kids involved. Many people are afraid of all the glass and heat associated with traditional stained glass, but other materials can make a bold statement too. Here is some more information about safe stained glass crafts.
When it’s a cold or rainy day and you don’t want your kids outside in the weather or inside playing video games all day, set aside some time to make a stained glass craft with them. This can provide an opportunity to learn about shapes and textures for younger children and about traditional stained glass and history for older children. In general, kids like to draw and color and this kind of craft can provide an opportunity to explore and enhance their skills. You will need several items prepared to help you make the most of your craft time. You should have some construction paper or some other kind of paper to use as a background or frame. You’ll also need scissors or other cutting utensils like knives for more complicated patterns as well as tissue paper in the colors you want to use for the design. Finally, you’ll need some glue that dries clear and a good place to work.
When you have all of the supplies gathered, sit down with your kids and discuss how the project is going to be done. Brainstorm ideas for designs they can use for their stained glass. Take the construction paper and cut out the design in the middle of the paper. The point of cutting out the pattern is to have a hole where you will see the “glass” and have color and variety. Some of the easiest and most basic shapes you could use are stars, hearts, other geometric shapes and trees. If your children aren’t comfortable cutting out the design themselves, you can have the trace the pattern they want and then you can cut it out with scissors or an x-acto knife. Sometimes you really have to think about your design so that you cut out the right parts, especially if it is somewhat complicated. This is particularly the case if you are going to be doing something like a person or animal. While more complicated patterns can be much more difficult, they can also be very attractive when they are finished. Then, decide which side of the paper will be the back and tape or glue the tissue paper you want to see through the spot onto the back.
You can create more intricate designs if you color on the tissue paper or incorporate colors in other ways. For example, you could do a fish and have the scales of the fish drawn on the tissue paper with different colors to make it stand out. Many children also would enjoy embellishing the art project with other items. You could use glitter, sequins, googly eyes or anything else you can think of that goes with your design. You can also vary the texture of the project by crumpling up the tissue paper and flattening it out before attaching it to the paper. The extra texture will give more dimension to the art.
No matter what kind of design you end up making, you should be creative and think of new things you can do to make it more interesting every time. Once you have made your craft with the children, you can go find a spot in the house to hang it up. Stained glass crafts are particularly nice looking when they are hung on or near a window that lets light in through the back.