Cut Paper Stained Glass

Stained glass makes an exquisite Christmas decoration.  The technique is simple and the results are beautiful.  You can make almost any design or pattern.  Start with a simple pattern if this is your first time.  Although it isn't difficult, cutting out the stained glass pieces does take time, patience, and hand-eye coordination.  Once you are comfortable tracing and cutting, you can move on to complex designs.  If you use an easy pattern and safety scissors, this is also a wonderful, safe way to let kids make "stained glass." 

You will need:

1.  A piece of black card stock or heavy black paper

2.  Tissue paper in various colors

3.  Scissors or an X-ACTO Knife

4.  A thick needle

5.  A pencil

6.  Glue

7.  A picture to use as a pattern

Outlining a picture with a needle

1.  Select a picture.  You can find pictures of actual stained glass windows online or use a picture from a coloring book.  You should be able to divide the picture into large pieces of color.

Put the picture over the black paper.  Take the needle, press the point firmly into the paper and outline the picture.  Just outline the main components, not every detail.  Go around those outlines, about 1/8- 1/4 inch away.  This will make the black part of the window.

 
A nativity scene being cut out of black paper 2.  Using your scissors or X-Acto knife (We think the knife is easier to use!) cut away the parts inside the thick black line.
Tracing the shape of a face on tissue paper 3.  Turn the paper over.  Take a piece of tissue paper, and put if over the section you want to cover.  Trace the shape, in the middle of the black line.
Pieces of paper being glued into place

4.  Cut out the shape and paste it into place.  Put the glue on the black lines.

Continue cutting and gluing until you have filled in all the empty spaces.  This will take some time.

A nativity scene made from tissue paper.  It looks like stained glass. 5.  Let the window sit for a few minutes until the glue is dry.  Turn it over and you will have a beautiful stained glass window.

This method of cutting paper replicates the more difficult method of cutting glass for stained glass windows.  A large church window contains thousands of pieces of painstakingly cut and shaped glass, bound together to create a picture.  The glass glows as light passes through, creating a stunning display of color.

Crafts

This wreath adds a bright spot to your holiday decor.

These rustic heart and bird ornaments are amazingly simple and inexpensive. All you need is salt dough and spray paint.

These tiny mittens make adorable ornaments, present toppers, or even key chains and brooches!