Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lenten Crosses for Kinders

Today my students made "stained glass" crosses to display in the windows. The crosses are perfect for Lent and the bright colors are perfect for SPRING! I have lots of bright colors in my classroom and these crosses were the perfect addition.

Tutorial for Stain Glass Cross Window Decoration

This past fall I was poking around on Pinterest and saw the most adorable apple-themed window decorations with a stained glass effect made from tissue paper and contact paper. I loved the idea so much, we have been making new ones every season. Hence, spring arrived and we just HAD to decorate our windows!

The best thing about this project is that it's a quickie to create in class and it's relatively mess free. No glue needed!

Want to make it in your own classroom? Here's what you need to do: 

Gather Supplies

Old file folder (to create a cross template)
1 sheet of 9"x12" construction paper in a BRIGHT color per student
2 sheets of contact paper per student (at least 9"x12" in size)
 lots of tissue paper squares in BRIGHT colors (1 to 2" in size)
Permanent marker

Make a Template

I used a file folder to create a cross template. Easy to make: Fold the folder in half "hot dog" style, draw half of cross, cut out, and you're ready to go. My template has a border that is about 3/4" wide.

Tutorial for Stain Glass Cross Window Decoration


Folding the pieces of construction paper in half "hot dog" style. Trace 1/2 the cross onto the paper. Make sure you are tracing along the fold so the cross will stay connected when it is cut out. You will need to keep the paper folded in half to cut out the cross. If you teach kinders, DO THIS STEP FOR YOUR STUDENTS.


You can do this one yourself or leave this task to the students. After receiving very careful instructions, my kids did it in class and it was an experience! Great opportunity to teach the importance of following directions. Some children had an easy time. Others had lots of pieces when they were finished. We made it work. If your time is limited, you have a challenging class, or you just don't want a headache, let a volunteer cut out the crosses.
Tutorial for Stain Glass Cross Window Decoration


Peel the contact paper and place it sticky side up on the table. CENTER THE CROSS ON THE CONTACT PAPER FOR YOUR STUDENTS. If this kids attempt this one themselves, you will end up with  a lot of wrinkly, folded crosses stuck to a wad of contact paper. Kinders are great at turning a clean sheet of contact paper into a wad!

Tutorial for Stain Glass Cross Window Decoration


Now the fun part. Let students fill in the cross with the tissue paper squares. Have them avoid touching the actual contact paper. Some will, but the fewer kids with contact paper stuck to their hands, the better off you will be!

Tutorial for Stain Glass Cross Window Decoration


Use the 2nd sheet of contact paper to "seal" the cross together. This step is optional, but I don't like to have loose pieces of tissue paper blown off by the wind. The simplest way to do this (and avoid wrinkles in the paper) is to place the new sheet of contact paper sticky side up, then flip the cross page onto it.
Tutorial for Stain Glass Cross Window Decoration


Use a sharpie to label the "front" side of the cross with the student's name. (Note that the back side has tissue paper overlapping the frame)


Use scissors to cut excess contact paper from edges and crosses are ready to hang.

And just like that, the projects are finished and ready to display.


  1. Love these! I'll think I'll try to make them with my kids this week so they are ready for an Easter bulletin board. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I have big windows in my classroom and these will look beautiful! Thanks for all your wonderful ideas, especially the faith based ones!


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