Care for a little art project to beautify your home? You can make “stained glass” to put up on your windows with a printer (laser or ink jet), transparencies (made especially for using with a printer), markers (Sharpies work well, but so do regular kids’ markers), and blackline pictures, which you can find all over the internet.
First, select a picture you’d like to use. Here are a couple, but you can just do a search for “coloring pages” in Google’s image search and get tons of stuff.
Then, open up a Word document (if you don’t have something like PrintShop or the like), and arrange one or two per page, depending on how large a picture you want. For younger children, I’d recommend a page that is about 5×7 or 4×6 to make it easier for them to finish. (Come to think of it, Windows-based computers can use the picture-printing wizard to help you if you save the picture to your hard drive first. For that, you can right-click the picture and select “Save As” from the menu.)
Once you’re happy with the arrangement, put the transparencies in the printer (be careful of which side goes up!) and select “Print.” Before you hit the final “Print” button, be sure you change the type of paper to “Transparancy” so the printer uses the right amount of ink.
Have the children color in the pictures, then trim off the excess and hang them on the window.
* The darker the markers used, the more beautiful the picture.
* Give them examples first. Use an image search to find stained glass windows on Google. Younger children, especially those who aren’t blessed to go to an old-fashioned Catholic church building for Mass, need to see what the goal is.
* Have extras in case they mess up. I guarantee that they will, and if you’ve got one whose life is over because she can’t fix the picture and it’s messed up and I can’t believe it and you can’t hang that up I’m ruined life is over and I hate art and I’m no good at this… Well, you’ll just want another so you can say, “It’s okay, honey. Start again on this one.”
* Either print one for yourself or just resist the urge to fix it for them. If the Prodigal Son has green skin and his father is a pale blue color, it’s not a big deal. If Mary is fuschia because the only peach-colored marker is already being used and it’s just time
to do Mary’s face, I’m sure she won’t mind.
The big reason I liked this idea is that it seems more permanent than the tissue paper and construction paper ones I’ve done in the past. Plus, I have to say, it’s MUCH easier to print the picture than it is to cut out shapes in the middle of the picture.
You can also frame the transparancy with black paper if you’d like to really make it pop.
(Note: Pictures to follow.)