When this stained glass window was created more than 130 years ago, it hung in a house in Denver, Colorado, where it was simply just a part of the home. Stained glass artist Louis Comfort Tiffany designed this window based on a study of Carolina parakeets by naturalist painter John James Audubon. To make a stained glass window like this one, artists use small pieces of colored glass to form a design and then hold these pieces together with strips of lead supported by a frame. Where have you seen stained glass windows before?

Instructions

Materials

You will need:

  • black or dark-colored construction paper
  • a white or light gray colored pencil
  • scissors
  • utility or X-Acto knife
  • glue or glue stick
  • colorful cellophane or tissue paper

Step 1

rectangle cut-out of dark blue construction paper, laid on tabletop
Carefully using your scissors, cut a rectangle of black or dark construction paper to any size of your choice.

Step 2

margin drawn on construction paper, half inch from edges, using white colored pencil
Use a white or light gray colored pencil and a ruler to draw a half-inch border on your paper.

Step 3

Using white colored pencil to draw outline of flower on construction paper
Using the colored pencil, draw a design inside the border you drew. It can be anything you want! Remember that you will be cutting it out, so the simpler, the better. Tip: draw shapes next to each other but they don’t touch, so there’s a small border in between them.

Step 4

Using knife to cut out shapes from construction paper
Carefully cut out your design using scissors or a utility or X-Acto knife. Make sure you don’t cut into the borders in between the shapes. If you’re using a utility or X-Acto knife, place a piece of cardboard underneath your colored paper, so you don’t damage any surfaces.

Step 5

Using scissors to cut different colored cellophane into small pieces
Cut small pieces of colorful cellophane or tissue paper that you want to use for your stained glass design.

Step 6

Back of cut-out construction paper covered in glue
Cover the back of your design (where there are pencil marks) with glue.

Step 7

Applying different pieces of cellophane onto back of construction paper using applied glue
Use glue to stick pieces of cellophane or tissue paper over your design. Try using different colors and layering pieces for different effects.

Step 8

Finished stained glass art activity propped against window, with light passing through cellophane pieces arranged in shape of flower
Once your glue has dried, turn your piece of paper around, place your stained glass design in a window, and watch the light shine through! What will you create?

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