Although I am suggesting that we make a stained glass butterfly, it is entirely possible to use this technique to make any decorative shape that you want to. You will just need an image that has a clear outline and areas or sections that can be 'cut out' where you plan to add the stained glass.
All you need to go is exercise a bit of imagination (and maybe a bit of time on google to find images that you can co-op) and you are good to go!
What you need to make your Stained Glass Butterfly
- Card - black is traditional but you can use card of any colour
- Small quantities of Cellophane in several different colours (you can use tissue paper if you don't have cellophane)
- Safety scissors
- Clear contact
- Textas or sharpies
- Paste or Glue
- 1 pipe cleaner (for the antenna)
- Poster paints, crayons or coloured pencils
- Glitter (optional)
- Small length of string (if you want to hang your decoration)
- Butterfly template
Using your card cut out the butterfly shape in the stained glass butterfly template and cut out two pieces of contact roughly the same size.
There are two sizes so pick whichever one you would prefer to make and cut out 2 of them.
If you haven't already, cut your cellophane (or tissue paper) into small pieces.
You can either just cut out odd shapes or cut them all into squares or rectangles.
Grab one piece of your contact and peel back the backing to expose the sticky side, and place it sticky side up on a flat surface.
Get the kids to start adding the small pieces of cellophane to the contact.
Hint: I printed out an extra copy of the template and sat it under the contact for the kids to use as a guide..
When they have covered the contact completely (leaving a clear edge is okay and so is overlapping the pieces of cellophane) get out your other piece of cellophane and remove the backing.
Lay the second piece of contact on a flat surface sticky side up. Sit your covered contact (cellophane side down) and press the two pieces together to form your window.
Now you get to decorate the other butterfly cut-outs. If you used black card, you can just leave it as is for a more traditional look, or you can use your paints, crayons or textas to decorate the outline of your butterfly.
You can even use the paste and glitter to add a little sparkle!
Use some strong glue or paste to attach your pipe cleaner for the butterfly's antenna on one and loop of string to the head area of the other cut-out so that you can hang it up when it is finished.
Give your butterfly cut-outs time to dry if necessary (i.e. if you used paint to decorate it) then apply some paste to the underside of cut-out and stick them down on either side of your 'window pane'.
(It might pay to trim the contact around the head and antenna before you stick your butterfly together as it will be harder to do when it is stuck together...)
Let the paste dry thoroughly and then trim the 'window pane' so that it is flush with the edges of your butterfly.
Now your stained glass butterfly is ready to hang. If you find a good spot in a window, the sunlight will shine through your butterfly into the room!
Hint: To use the template you can either print it directly onto your card (if you have a printer than can handle it) or you can print on A4 paper and cut out the shapes to use as a template. Just draw around the shapes on the card and then cut them out. If you are using black card, you can use a tailors chalk or a quilters chalk pencil to do the outline.
Would you like to print out an Instruction Sheet for this activity?
Click on the download button to get your copy of the Stained Glass Butterfly. The pdf will open in a new tab and you can either save it or print it from there.
Please do feel free to share this sheet with anyone who might like to engage their kids in this activity!