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tissue paper and glue stained glass birdsQuite a few years ago, the managers of the Ann Arbor apartment complex where we lived had contests to encourage tenants to plant flowers in summer, and to decorate windows at Christmas. Instead of colored lights I made faux stained-glass birds and angels. I drew and cut “frames” for the figures from large sheets of heavy black paper. Then I layered my small kitchen/dining table with newspapers, placed a frame on top, and covered it with plastic wrap. I sprayed some diluted white glue on the plastic, and tore/cut bits of tissue paper to cover my designs. More glue, more tissue. With the heat on in the apartment, they dried pretty quickly, but this process took at about a week. We ate in the living room, with plates on our laps—a sacrifice for art’s sake. Once a “sheet” of tissue was dry, I glued a frame to it and trimmed away the extra tissue. Taped to the large living room window, they glowed like stained glass in the sunlight. From outside, at night they were bright and colorful.

I won the $50 first prize for the best holiday windows.

While The Scrap Box does not usually have tissue paper or glue, we have lots of scrap book-cover paper. Black, dark blue or green, or even red for Valentine’s Day would make beautiful “frames” for a similar project. You could use some of our white paper if you make stained glass snowflakes, which in this area could decorate your windows for months!

If you don’t want to draw your own designs, use our die-cut machine (no charge if you are a member; or buy a $5 day membership). Cut your shapes, then use scissors to make them hollow.

Below is a video explaining how you and your child could make this project.

If you don’t want to mess with glue then use a piece of clear or frosted contact paper: lay it sticky-side up, place the frame/shape, then add torn tissue over. For durability you can cover the finished artwork with another sheet of contact paper. Finally use scissors to trim around the shape. Use permanent markers to add detail.

This is also an idea: use glue sticks to apply the colorful tissue directly to the window glass. Be sure to use a washable glue so you can clean the window once you tire of it.

tissue paper stained glass project

Found again this year!

After these many years, I recently found these decorations. They are a bit faded, and very fragile, but they look lovely on display again for the holidays…

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