Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Patriotic Window Decorations: A Visual Tutorial

With Memorial Day coming up next week, my students created patriotic "stained glass" window decorations in the colors of the American flag. We had SO much fun with this project and the results are really quite stunning.

make patriotic window decorations with tissue paper that look like stained glass



I love this activity because it looks complicated, but just requires a few materials to create. I prepped a few things ahead of time but constructing the design and filling in the colors were tasks that my kindergarten students completed independently. 

Gather materials:
8x11 sheets of black construction paper (1 per student)
red, white, and blue tissue paper cut into 1" squares 
clear contact paper cut into sheets (approximately 11x14"... 2 per student)

To begin, fold each 8x11 sheet of black construction paper in half (so it is tall and skinny.) Keep the paper folded in half, start at the crease, and trim 3/4" from around the edges to create a frame for the window. Set the frame aside for later and use the solid rectangular piece that remains to cut a star shape and strips for creating the window design.
make patriotic window decorations with tissue paper that look like stained glass

Using the rectangular piece that remains from the previous step, place the star template along the crease of the folded paper and trace the inner and outer star edges. 
make patriotic window decorations with tissue paper that look like stained glass

Keep the paper folded while you cut both lines you traced in the previous step. Discard the small solid star (or use it on a future project) set the larger star outline aside for the stained glass window, and use the remaining paper scraps to cut strips of paper that are approximately 1/2" thick.
make patriotic window decorations with tissue paper that look like stained glass

Peel a sheet of clear contact paper and place it STICKY SIDE UP on a table. Open the rectangular frame you trimmed in the first step and place this in the center of the contact paper. Open the star outline and place it on the contact paper as well. 
NOTE: I did this step for my students.
make patriotic window decorations with tissue paper that look like stained glass

Have students fill in the star with white tissue paper squares. The tissue paper can overlap the black paper a bit since the side they are working with will become the back of the completed project. 
make patriotic window decorations with tissue paper that look like stained glass

Use the 1/2" black construction paper strips that were trimmed from the star's paper scraps to create a window design that resembles rays shining out from the star. As you can see, the strips connect each "point" and "inner corner" of the star with the rectangular frame. This requires 10 paper strips of varying length. 
make patriotic window decorations with tissue paper that look like stained glass

Now the REAL fun can begin! Have students use alternating red and blue tissue paper squares to fill in the sections they created around the star. 

A completely tissue-papered window decoration. 
(Yes, I did just make up my own verb.)
make patriotic window decorations with tissue paper that look like stained glass

Place a second piece of clear contact paper STICKY SIDE DOWN on top of all those tissue paper pieces. This essentially makes a "tissue paper sandwich". Students can trim excess contact paper from the edges of their creation. 
make patriotic window decorations with tissue paper that look like stained glass

A completed red, white, and blue "stained glass" window decoration! 
make patriotic window decorations with tissue paper that look like stained glass

Just in case you were wondering how I manage this project in my classroom...
We did this activity whole-group. My students worked in groups of four. Each group shared a box of tissue paper squares. It was a success!
make patriotic window decorations with tissue paper that look like stained glass


More Patriotic Fun

Keep the patriotic spirit going... download my FREE Patriotic Headband Craftivity. This free product includes templates and instructions for creating fun hats to celebrate any American holiday.
Free Patriotic Headband



Coordinating calendar numbers are also available to purchase for $1.50 each. Each set of calendar numbers measures 2.5x2.5" and includes 36 number cards.

ADORABLE patriotic monster numbers for a classroom calendar
Purchase Patriotic Monster Calendar Numbers on Teachers Pay Teachers


printable calendar numbers in red, white, and blue!
Purchase Sweet & Simple Calendar Numbers {Fireworks} on Teachers Pay Teachers


Enjoy the holiday weekend!


1 comment:

  1. I love this! Your blog is fantastic. :) Thanks for sharing all your wonderful ideas. Preschool Wonders

    ReplyDelete

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