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Make a stained-glass window entirely out of paper

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Make a traditional and attractively coloured stained-glass window complete with textured transparency effect using tissue paper.

Each child gets to choose their very own design using this simple technique for creating imitation stained-glass windows that look just as good as the real thing!


  • Canson® Vivaldi® A4 paper (240 gsm) in a dark colour (for the stained-glass window framework)
  • Canson® Colorline® paper (220 gsm) in white (for sketching the stained-glass windows)
  • Canson® silk paper in an assortment of colours
  • Metal ruler
  • Craft knife
  • Thick black felt-tip pen
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Preliminary designs

First, cut some 10 x 7 cm rectangles out of the white paper (the same relative proportions as a sheet of A4) Next, test out some window designs by sketching them on these cards using a thick black felt-tip pen.

The design will need to be kept relatively simple: bear in mind that the lines you draw will be one centimetre wide in the finished window.

Transferring the design

Once you're happy with your design, transfer it to A4 format.

As you enlarge it, you might find that some of the lines are surplus to requirements, or conversely, that some areas are a little too large and need to be divided up.

Designing the frame

Using suitably stiff paper, cut out a one centimetre wide strip. You will use this as a guide to help you achieve a consistent width when tracing your design.

Place the guide on the lines of your drawing and trace along both sides using a fine felt-tip pen. Continue doing this for each line. The outlines of any curved parts can be drawn freehand, but try to maintain a consistent width when doing this.

Leave a one centimetre wide margin around the edge of your design.

Marking out the parts to be cut out

To avoid making any mistakes due to all the different lines you've drawn, blacken/crosshatch the solid areas (the parts that are going to be retained).

Cutting out the stained-glass window

Finally, cut out all the "empty" areas using a craft knife. The long straight parts can be cut out with the help of a metal ruler to ensure a more precise finish.