Creating plastic stained glass windows can be a fun activity for younger crafters. There are lots of ways to make your own stained glass windows using various kinds of plastic. You can find kits in shops to make stained glass projects, with plastic sheets that you colour in with markers or plastic crystals you melt in the oven. It can be much more satisfying, though, to develop your own designs from basic materials.
Cooking crystals are plastic granules you place on a foil covered sheet and melt in the oven. They become a transparent sheet that looks just like stained glass. You can use the crystals with a metal design outline. Put different coloured granules into each section of the metal outline to make a mini stained glass window. You can find these frames in shops; you can also make your own frames from strips of folded cooking foil.
PVA glue window clings
PVA glue is a water-based adhesive made with plastics. It dries clear so it's great for stained glass projects. Mix a little food colouring into PVA glue, then paint it onto a smooth surface such as a tile or mirror. The glue should be very thick with no gaps or bubbles. You can add layers of uncoloured glue to make it thicker if necessary. When your design is dry, peel it off the tile and stick it to a clean window.
Plastics and paper
You can use coloured tissue paper with plastics to make stained glass windows. One simple technique is to stick pieces of tissue onto clear plastic contact paper to make a design. You can also paste tissue paper onto a sheet of clear plastic with PVA glue. The glue dries transparent, allowing light through the coloured paper.
You can use plastic wrappers to make stained glass. Cut an outline from a card and stretch clear plastic food wrap over it. Colour the cling film with permanent markers or transparent paints. You can save coloured transparent plastic sweet wrappers and use these for your stained glass projects. Glue sweet wrappers onto a card outline to make a design, or smooth them onto sticky backed plastic. Alternatively, cut pieces from coloured Mylar sheets and use these instead of sweet wrappers.
You can make plastic using powdered gelatin mixed up with very little water and a few drops of food colouring. Once the gelatin is cooked, pour it into a shallow dish or tray and let it set. Cut shapes from the gelatin to use in stained glass projects. Gelatin plastic curls up as it dries; if you want it to dry flat, press it between two sheets of cheesecloth or kitchen towel held taut using an embroidery hoop.
- Cooking crystal craft; Beatrice Heller; 1975
- Engage Today: 5 ways to make stained glass windows
- Kaboose: Stained glass decorations
- Scouting Web: Gelatin plastic recipe
- Danielle's Place: Miscellaneous crafts for kids
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