Jun 18, 2010
I know there are a bazillion different craft projects for kids around the web that make use of light streaming through coloured tissue paper for a stained glass effect, but they are mostly on a small scale.
I had five little girlies together on Wednesday, and wanted something that they could work on as a team. They ranged in age from two to five years old, so I couldn't do anything too structured, and I wanted something that everyone could contribute to regardless of abillity, like with the autumn leaf rubbing banner.
A while back the pharmacy near us changed from a Longs to a CVS and they had a clearance sale during the transition where I picked up these neat glue pens for 25c each. We used to use them as kids in the UK, but I'd not seen them out in the US before now. They just have clear school glue kind of glue in them, and a fabric tip that the glue squeezes out through like a pad for dabbing glue on.
I got out the pack of coloured tissue paper we had and the girls helped me to rip up bits and then they started to glue them onto the window with the glue pens. These glue pens are just water soluble glue, so I will be able to wash it all off the window with water when I need to, although I think it's so gorgeous that it'll be staying up as long as possible! I guess the project was kind of like a kid's version of decoupage really.
The kids didn't just stick the bits of tissue paper up, they peeled them off and rearranged them and moved them about. Even once the glue had dried it was pretty easy for them to peel a lone one off to restick it. That's how we started off with all three window panels having art on, but then they gradually moved the pieces on the side panes over to the middle one.
I helped them find gaps and paste down little rogue edges that were sticking up. We made pretty good headway with it, and when our three little friends went home, my two wanted to continue. At this point I started cutting more shapes for them like hearts and flowers and leaves. My five year old wanted to add details to the shapes with black sharpie, so at this point the tasks kind of split up with me and her cutting, her drawing on them and my four year old doing most of the sticking.
They Kept at this for ages. I think they were excited to see it grow as a piece of art, and really wanted to cover the whole window. There wasn't enough time to cover the whole window before bedtime, but this is how far they got.
The next morning they were back up at the window sticking and cutting, still in their PJs! I had to get the step stool out for them to reach the top.
Later on they came back to it again and I had to get a taller bench out for them to reach the top.
I think this is my favourite piece of art that they have created to date. The colours are just lovely, and when the light streams into the livingroom in the morning it's going to look beautiful!
It also looks really cool from the outside of the house at night :)
When someone says "why not let your kids loose with glue and tissue paper all over your windows", it does sound like a recipe for messy disaster, but surprisingly it really didn't make that much of a mess. I covered our futon couch with an old bed sheet and made sure the curtains were tucked out of the way, so apart from having tonnes of scraps of tissue all over the livingroom for a couple of days, there really wasn't anything much to clean up afterwards, except windexing off any left over glue that was on the two side windows. I think a lot of this was down to how the clear school glue went on really well with the sponge top pens, so we didn't need brushes and pots of glue to do it. These glue pens allowed the kids to get a good amount of glue on the window without it dripping everywhere and another cool thing about them is that you can unscrew them and refill them, unlike with traditional glue sticks!
Be honest, you want to make one yourself don't you? I certainly do! I know it's going to fade over time, but fingers crossed that won't happen too quickly. I like that they chose to do leaves and flowers and hearts, but if you look closely there's one single butterfly and a couple of boiled sweets in there too!