Tutorial: “Stained Glass” Leaves

Every year, we have a village-wide event called Family Day where friends and family of the community come to share a meal and take in some Innisfree-style entertainment as well as a craft fair. One of the things we do to get into the holiday spirit is decorate each table with something hand-made. This year, we decided stained-glass leaves were the ticket, and the artists got to work in the studio learning how to make fake stained glass to be cut into leaf shapes, and then adhered to jars with candles inside to let the light shine through. I didn’t get pictures of the final product somehow- but here is our process, with help from the internet.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Wax paper
  • Tissue paper, ripped into about 1″ by 1″ squares (ours varied a LOT)
  • Mod Podge or Elmer’s glue
  • Old paintbrushes
  • Scotch Tape
  • A flat working surface
  • Leaf shapes
  • Scissors

If you wish to turn your leaves into table decorations like we did, you’ll also need glass jars and tea lights.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Tape a length of wax paper down to a flat, protected surface. We put down a plastic table cloth before we began because it’s easier to get off a sticky gluey mess that way! The tape helps the edges not to curl.
  2. Gather many different colors of tissue paper and tear into 1″x1″ pieces (ours varied a LOT!)
  3. You’ll need a cup of watered down glue (about a 2:1 ratio glue to water) and some old brushes that you don’t mind getting all sticky.
  4. Spread some glue down on your wax paper, then place tissue paper pieces as you wish. Spread glue over the top of the tissue paper to smooth them down. (Ours didn’t end up being very smooth, but it worked nonetheless!)
  5. Cover the entire wax paper surface- this might take a while, but we really enjoyed the process.
  6. Wait for the surface to dry before cutting into desired shapes.
  7. We collected leaves from outside for our stencils- this was a great opportunity for a nature walk, and we got some really great leaf shapes out of it! Trace your leaves onto the wax paper with a sharpie marker once the surface is COMPLETELY dry.
  8. Cut out leaf shapes and hang in a window! If you want to make the jar candles, simply use hot glue to adhere the leaves to the surface of the jar. If you want to re-use the jar, just peel off the hot glue after running through a hot dishwasher or use a razor to scrape off the glue.
This is an idea of what they would look like, but ours turned out being a rainbow of colors and of course you wouldn’t get the lines from the leaves- Image courtesy of sparkandchemistry.com



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