Have you ever wondered how to make tissue paper stained glass art with your students? Here’s a look at two different ways you can try out this art technique.
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This art was inspired by my first preschool classroom, which was in the basement of a church. The windows of the classroom only showed a sliver of sky and had grates covering part of them.
Needless to say, we didn’t always get a lot of color or sun coming in through those windows.
As spring was closing in, I thought it would be fun to brighten up those windows and hide the grates. What better way to do that than with beautiful spring tissue paper art?
How to Make Tissue Paper Stained Glass 2 Ways
The kids definitely had a blast exploring these “stained glass” art techniques. They ended up decorating our classroom windows all spring!
Tissue paper in various spring colors
Start out by cutting some squares out of tissue paper. You can cut any shapes you’d like, really. Even better, let the kids cut out their own tissue paper shapes!
I used the school’s paper cutter to cut the tissue paper squares. This die-cut machine made easy work of cutting flowers out of tissue paper, too. You can, of course, also cut some flowers out by hand.
Next, place the various tissue paper shapes in separate baskets or out on a tray. This way, the kids can pick and choose which shapes to use for their tissue paper stained glass projects.
Related: What is Process Art for Kids?
A Quick Field Trip
Consider taking a trip to a local church, or an art gallery that exhibits stained glass. Since I taught in a church preschool, I was able to bring the children to the church’s sanctuary.
We kept the lights off and observed the various stained glass windows in the sanctuary. The kids and I talked about the colors and textures of the windows, as well as the basic process behind creating them.
This isn’t a necessary step to the process, but my students really enjoyed it. Plus, it gave them some clear background understanding of what real stained glass looks like.
Tissue Paper Stained Glass Art Technique #1
Begin by taping a large piece of wax paper to a table. Then place out bowls of liquid starch, along with paintbrushes.
Model how use the materials by painting a little bit of liquid starch onto the wax paper. Then add a tissue paper shape and add a bit more liquid starch on top.
My students were very intrigued by this activity. Some of them sat down and joined in right away, while others popped by later.
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Many of the students enjoyed this process art activity. A few of them were VERY focused on arranging the colors and shapes the way they wanted.
Some did become a bit frustrated when the tissue paper tore or crinkled. It led to some good conversations about why the paper broke and whether or not the art still looked nice. In the end, it wasn’t really a problem.
Tissue Paper Stained Glass Art Technique #2
For this version of the art activity, you’ll want a large piece of Contact paper. Tape a piece to a table, with the sticky side facing up. Set out the tissue paper shapes, and then sit back and watch the kids create.
Since the paper was already sticky, the children just use their fingers to place the tissue paper onto it.
Related: Blooming Trees Spring Crafts for Preschoolers
Once again, most of the kiddos enjoyed this process art. Some stayed longer than others, and a few just weren’t interested.
I enjoyed watching the children carefully apply each piece of tissue paper to the contact paper. It seemed that pressing the tissue paper down with their fingers had a kind of cathartic effect.
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Displaying the Tissue Paper Stained Glass
How you display these masterpieces is completely up to you! I enjoyed having them up in our classroom windows for months on end (and so did the kids).
I suggest you use painter’s tape to secure the edges of the art if you’re placing it in windows.
When I asked the children which piece they liked looking at the best, most chose the sticky paper one. When I asked which they preferred doing, the vote was split down the middle.
Almost all of the kiddos want to make more tissue paper stained glass windows for the room, and I plan on taking them up on it!
Have you ever created stained glass art using tissue paper? Which of our techniques did you like the best?
More Spring-Themed Fun for Kids
Be sure to check back on Tuesday and Thursday for more spring-themed activities! In the meantime, hop on over to see what my co-hosts are up to today:
Flower Petal Sensory Play from Fantastic Fun and Learning
Butterfly Pancakes – Fun and Healthy! from Nothing if Not Intentional
Spring Activities for Kids: Invitation to Explore Flowers from Buggy and Buddy
Spring Teacher Resources
Want to save time planning? Check out Preschool Teacher 101 for a variety of done-for-you preschool teaching resources. You’ll find lesson plans, math and STEM ideas, and literacy activities. Be sure to read about our membership options for even more savings.
Here are a few spring-themed items you might be interested in. Click on the photos for more information: