One of my favorite crafting mediums is contact paper – it’s the great age equalizer for craft activities, that allows Lil’ M, my 22 month old, to participate as easily as Big M, my 3.5 year old. This is a huge sanity saver since Lil’ M wants to do everything big sister does these days. We’ve made a few suncatchers with contact paper before, but this week, we made some patriotic themed ones for July 4th!
July 4th Stained Glass
To make your own stained glass windows, you only need 3 basic materials: contact paper, cardstock for the frame, and tissue paper to fill the window opening. For our July 4th windows we played with two additional media for added decoration: foil stars and black paint.
Card stock (red, blue)
Red, white and blue tissue squares
Star-shaped cookie cutters
Cost: Less than $5
Prep Time: Less than 10 minutes
Clean-up Time: Less than 5 minutes
Basic Stained Glass
To create the basic stained glass, cut frames to hold your contact paper from cardstock. Folding the sheet of card stock in half, I leave about a 1″ border, cutting out the center.Next, I cut the contact paper to fit the frame, remove the paper backing and secure it to the frame. Leaving the sticky side exposed, I turn it over to the girls with their tissue paper squares.
Once the entire sticky surface is covered, the basic stained glass window is complete.
To add a little added patriotic flair to our July 4th stained glass, I cut foil stars using cookie cutters as templates for the girls to glue on top of their stained glass windows.
Black Stars & Fireworks
Big M wanted to make another one, so once she had again completed the basic window, I asked if she would like to paint stars on this one. Paint is always a crowd-pleaser in our house, so of course she said yes! In my middle school art class, I had painted a desert silouhette in black on a sunset tissue paper, mosaic background. I’m pretty sure it is still hanging in my childhood bedroom at my parent’s house.
Inspired by my old school project, we used black paint against our tissue paper stained glass background. Big M used the star cookie cutters to stamp her outlines then fill them in with a brush.
Lil’ M, never wanting to be left out, used a toilet paper roll, cut to make firework-style stamps.
She was having so much fun, she kept at it on the solid pieces I cut out of the card stock frames too!
The girls are very proud of their finished July 4th Stained Glass. They show it to every visitor, and even had to FaceTime and show it to our Texas cousins!
What are your plans for this year’s July 4th holiday? Do you have a favorite patriotic-themed craft or activity you share with your kids? We’d love to see it!
If you enjoyed this activity, be sure to check out all our Summer activities, and our favorites from around the web on our Summer Pinterest board.