Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Stained glass" Christmas decorations

This is going to be a picture-less post, but here's a link with some examples if you're visually-inclined: http://www.windowbutterflies.com/FreeChristmasPatterns.html

I had never thought of fake stained glass as something that could be nice to look at. However, once I tried it, I learned that any picture you can draw or trace can be made into a window decoration using special paints. They are translucent when dry, which gives it a more natural look. We are using it as a Christmas craft. I'm not suggesting that you leave them up all year round. :)

The process is really simple and low-tech (for those of you who are doubtful about your craft abilities):

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  • 1) Ask for window-cling paints at your local craft or toy store. You will also need some kind of clear plastic surface to work on.
  • 2) Make the outline of your drawing with black paint (or the color of your choice) by placing a pattern underneath your plastic sheet, or by drawing free-hand. * Let dry 1-2 hours, depending on how thick the paint is, etc. You want it dry enough to not run into other colors.
  • 3) Fill in all the areas with the colors of your choice, being sure not to let them touch. ** Let dry overnight.
  • 4) Peel off and stick to a window pane. Can be removed and reapplied several times!

*Tip: Think about how you want to break up the space into shapes.
**Tip: Keep in mind that any pieces left isolated (such as "floating" facial features) will be detached from the rest of the picture once you remove it from the plastic.

The contour drawing from my tester can be found on this post. I liked the way it came out once I had filled in the different colors. But it was a very small picture, and the ones we are doing with the Sunday school are meant to fill up a whole window! Of course there are more technical difficulties as you get bigger, the main one being that as you use more paint, the drying time is longer. Try not to move them right away.

Concerning age: Even preschoolers can participate, if they can be taught how to regulate how much paint they are using (squeeze some out, then spread).

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