This is a wonderful project for your Christian classroom or Sunday School room. It is a super class project, plus it adds a beautiful decoration to your classroom. The best thing about this project is it is a long lasting teaching tool to remind the children about the 6 core attributes of God.
The stained glass windows I’ve pictured here hung in our children’s church windows for at least 3 years. They did really well in their durability, even though they were hit by direct sunlight for about half of each day. These have become faded from the sun, and their age is showing, but I still think they give you an idea of how beautiful and thought provoking this class project was for all who encountered it. It was also a great re-enforcement project for our unit on “Who Is God?” (That unit is in the process of being written up for the blog, and will be available soon.)
When we did this project, I cut all the stained glass shaped panels (12 needed for 6 windows… 2 for each – a back and a front panel) from clear plastic oil cloth ahead of time. On 6 of the panels, I had already written in block style letters the attribute for that window. These were the attributes we were covering in our unit:
God is Holy
God is Love
God is Good
God is Omnipotent (All-Powerful)
God is Omniscient (All-Knowing)
God is Omnipresent (All-Present)
We used liquid starch and many colors of tissue paper, which I had already prepared by cutting into small blocks & rectangles, not being too rigid about the size or shape. For this project, light shades of tissue paper work best so you can still read the words of the attribute through the colors. (Using a metallic permanent marker would also make the words stand out.) I laid out 6 shaped back panels on 6 tables (cover the table in newspaper, or cheap table coverings to protect the table and for easy clean-up) and divided the children into 6 small groups, so they could work on their window together. We had about 2-3 children in each group. The starch was in disposable bowls, and they would dip their pieces of tissue paper, laid out on a tray, into the bowl of starch and then place it wherever they wanted on the panel they were working on.
If you do this as a class project, and choose to use the starch method, let the parents know ahead of time that you are working on a project that is potentially messy, so don’t dress your children in their best Sunday outfits the week you are working on it.
You could also use clear contact paper for this project, which is probably far less messy. I think the starch method makes the windows look a little more “glassy” and it is less unforgiving when you are placing the tissue paper. With contact paper, it sticks immediately where you place it, and you can’t move it around, but with starch, you have a bit of time for re-positioning the tissue paper, as it takes a while to dry.
The groups of children need to continue laying tissue paper until all the window is covered. If some are having a hard time with this, bring some children over as they finish their window to help with slower or younger groups. Remind them that these windows are for the classroom, so they are all working together on all the windows.
While you are working on the project, be sure to review the attributes of God and what they mean from your unit lessons. I found that once these Stained Glass Window panels were hanging in our classroom, I referred back to them so many times in so many other lessons. This is one of my favorite things about this project! They were a great visual for re-teaching the concepts over and over again in many lesson units, because God’s attributes are always teachable throughout the Bible!
After each group was done with their window… and some groups wanted them lighter, while others wanted them intensely done, as you can see…. I let them be the decision makers of that, haha, because it was their hands-on work on display, which is important! Then I placed the top panel with the attribute facing up, on top of the bottom / back panel. On some, I may have needed to brush a bit of starch on the back side of the front panel so it would stick well, but on most, that was not a problem, haha! The children were generally very liberal in their starch use. I placed the finished ‘windows’ on a clean table to dry, which took from hours to days. They need to lay flat as they dry, so if you can’t leave them after church, perhaps placing them between poster board or cardboard for travel will help.
When they were dry, I used black duct tape to go around the edges to make them stand out, but also because they were prone to separate and curl a bit in the intense sunlight coming through the windows, and the tape prevented this. I also punched a hole in the top of each window to tie a cord through for hanging.
We used suction cup hooks to hang ours on our classroom windows.
This is a fun project and can be tweaked for many different lesson units, but the subject of God’s Attributes just seemed to be a perfect one for Stained Glass Windows!
© 2019 LauraJSE SOME RIGHTS RESERVED
(This actual written post in its entirety cannot be claimed as your own, but you use these instructions, copy them, and you can make the project to your heart’s content!)