Friday, January 4, 2013

Stained Glass Craft Tutorial

This week I took over a craft class for elementary school girls in our neighborhood. The craft is supposed to relate to the Torah portion of the week. This week's portion is "Shemot" the first portion in the book of Exodus, where Moses encounters G-d in the form of a burning bush.  

I've been itching to join the fun of "Craft Schooling Sunday" over at Creative Jewish Mom, and I already wrote the instructions out for my mom, I though I might as well share with all of you! This project was inspired by a project my mom used to do with acetate  as well as numerous other projects around the blogosphere. It was designed to be done in one hour with supplies I already had in the house.

I showed the girls (and a couple moms) pictures of other burning bush inspired stained glass. Then I asked them to draw what they thought the burning bush looked like. 

Per kid:
  • 1 sheet of regular printer or drawing paper
  • 2 pieces of clear plastic about 1/4 inch bigger in each direction than half a sheet of paper (I used the kind that's sold in large rolls to cover tables or make shower curtains. Acetate could also work.
  • 1 piece of corrugated cardboard, mat board, or foam core board about 1 inch bigger each way than a half sheet of paper
  • 1 piece of aluminum foil - you can use the card board to rip it to the right size, have extra
  • thin paint brush
  • pencil, eraser
  • newspaper or scrap paper
For the group:
  • a variety of colors of Sharpie or similar permanent markers
  • black paint
  • thin brush
  • scotch tape
  • Black Duct tape or electric tape
  • Rag to clean up eraser crumbs and dust
  • optional - acetone to "erase" Sharpie
  1. Fold paper in half (this gives the kids 4 places to start over.) Sketch idea on paper, then go over the outlines darker. Make sure all the shapes are closed. Use simple shapes. If there is a large background, use lines to break it up. Clean up eraser crumbs.
  2. Wipe dust off first sheet of plastic. Put the sketch face down onto the plastic and use two tiny pieces of tape to lightly secure it in place.
  3. With a piece of scrap paper underneath, use black paint to outline all the shapes like the lead of stained glass.
  4. Remove the sketch and set it aside to dry.
  5. Secure second piece of plastic to sketch in the same way and color with Sharpies. Just like real stained glass, colors can be mixed in one space, or adjacent spaces could have the same color. Spaces can be colored faster with the side of the Sharpie.
  6. Gently crumble foil, then open it shiny side up on the cardboard.
  7. Place the colored plastic (from step 5)  face down on the foil, then the plastic with the DRY black paint face down on top of cardboard, foil, and colored plastic. Carefully align the two pieces of plastic and secure with two tiny pieces of tape.
  8. Put the wide black tape around the four sides of the project. Add the artist's name and date on the back.


  1. Yippee, great to see you on Craft Schooling Sunday! could you please send me a large (1000 pixels wide) version of the top photo so I can hopefully feature you? Thanks so much for joining craft schooling sunday, and for publicizing it too! My email is

  2. Got any more step by step photos. I'm having trouble following the steps with the tracing and transparency. Working out which way the piece is supposed to face.

  3. I'm sorry I don't have better pictures. It's hard enough just to do a craft with 9 kids aged 5-12, let alone remember to charge my camera! (I took the above pictures with the iPad I brought to show the kids examples of Burning Bush inspired stain glass.

    There is one drawing which is the template for two sheets of plastic. The purpose of using two sheets, is that the black paint can dry while the kids color the second sheet, and the whole project can be done in an hour with no waiting. Both sheets are flipped paint or ink side facing in, and aligned without the original template. You then tape four layers together: 1. cardboard, 2. foil, 3. plastic with colored Sharpie, 4. plastic with black outlines.

    Hope that helps a little. Good luck!

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