“stained glass” autumn leaves

I don’t generally think of myself as a “crafty” mom.  Yes, I knit and sew, but I don’t usually jump up and down with excitement when it comes to planning seasonal or holiday crafts for the kiddos.  I have some reservations about planning an activity that has to look “just so” (maybe because of my own frustrations when paint gets slopped on, etc., or I’m more into the finished product than they are Smile ).
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But when Meg was running her “Things We Do After Nap” series a couple of weeks ago, her mention of stained glass with contact paper reminded me of one of my all-time favorite art activities.  In fact, I love this activity so much that I will sometimes check at the store just to make sure that contact paper still exists—without it we couldn’t do this craft!
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You’ve probably seen some version of this art project somewhere—I first did it with Christmas tree shapes, which we’ll probably do next month.  Basically you need:

  • Cardstock/Construction Paper
  • Contact paper
  • Tissue Paper
  • Template of the shape(s) you want to use

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The littles will need some mama-prep with the first part.  Trace the template onto cardstock and cut out a “frame” in the shape of the template (see first photo above).  Then affix contact paper to one side of the frame and cut around the outside border of the frame. Now you have a sticky “window” on which to create your stained glass.
Prepare your tissue paper by cutting strips of tissue paper into squares, rectangles, or even triangles, and now your “stained glass” is ready (photo #2).  Even the smallest scissor users can do this!
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Now comes the exciting part—with your leaf or other shape sticky side up, start slapping down those tissue paper shapes until you’ve covered all the contact paper.  (During this part, my poor this-is-the-first-time-my-mommy-ever-set-up-a-craft-project-for-me-to-do son kept squealing “Ooooo!  This is fun!”  Of the seven leaves hanging in our window, he made five.)
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Finally, hang them in the window and enjoy the bright colors!

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