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Stained "Glass" Window: an Art Project with Crayons and Wax paper

Updated on July 16, 2012
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I first made this project over twenty years ago in grade school and was thinking about it recently. It's easy, fun, and a great way to finish up old and broken crayons. This project also inspired me to make some stained glass sugar cookies.

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design drawn on back with yellow pencilblack card stock from Michael'smy husband cutting out his designwindow design all cutI cut this one free-hand
design drawn on back with yellow pencil
design drawn on back with yellow pencil
black card stock from Michael's
black card stock from Michael's
my husband cutting out his design
my husband cutting out his design
window design all cut
window design all cut
I cut this one free-hand
I cut this one free-hand

Supplies

You will need:

  • crayons
  • crayon sharpener
  • wax paper
  • cardboard or other protection
  • black construction paper or cardstock
  • iron
  • paper towels
  • glue
  • exacto knife

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Heather Says shaving a crayonglue waxpaper to windowplace your art waxpaper side upcrayonsrainbow crayon debris photo op
Heather Says shaving a crayon
Heather Says shaving a crayon
glue waxpaper to window
glue waxpaper to window
place your art waxpaper side up
place your art waxpaper side up
crayons
crayons
rainbow crayon debris photo op
rainbow crayon debris photo op

Instructions

1. Use a white or light-colored crayon/colored pencil to draw your design on the back of your black paper. I used cardstock with a shiny side, so the dull side was my "back." Otherwise, skip this step if you wish to freehand. I have done both ways.

2. Using an exacto knife, cut out your design. Be sure to leave a border around anything you cut to keep your "window" intact. Use your lines/drawing as a guide and cut inside and outside of the lines, but not on them. You're essentially cutting out a stencil.

3. Spray the "back side" of your black window stencil paper with spray glue (I use Aleene's tacky spray glue and I swear by the stuff. You can find it at Michael's).

4. Tear a piece of wax paper off the roll a little larger than your stained glass window stencil. Carefully place wax paper on your stencil or your stencil on your wax paper, whichever is easier for you. Place waxpaper side up and smooth down with hands.

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my husband used one color each sectionI used every color everywherecrayon shavings close upsecond piece of wxpapercrayons are sandwiched between two sheets of waxpaper
my husband used one color each section
my husband used one color each section
I used every color everywhere
I used every color everywhere
crayon shavings close up
crayon shavings close up
second piece of wxpaper
second piece of wxpaper
crayons are sandwiched between two sheets of waxpaper
crayons are sandwiched between two sheets of waxpaper
Click thumbnail to view full-size
on my frigirontrim edgescloseupcloseup
on my frig
on my frig
iron
iron
trim edges
trim edges
closeup
closeup
closeup
closeup

5. Keep your art waxpaper side up to use as a template. If you haven't yet, protect your work area. make sure cardboard or a few layers of newspaper are between your work surface and your art. The crayons will bleed through the waxpaper, believe me. Begin sharpening your crayons. I have since lost my prized crayon sharpener from my childhood and forgot to buy one for this project so I carefully used my chopping knife. Avoid crayon chunks, they need to be shavings/crumbs, or they won't melt evenly/properly.

6. When satisfied with crayon coverage, place a second piece of waxpaper on top. Your crayon shavings should be sandwiched between two pieces of waxpaper at this point, with your black stencil as the very bottom layer and is facing the surface you're working on.

7. Place a paper towel or two on top of your project and begin ironing. The paper towel is protecting your iron from getting melted wax on it, as the wax paper can bleed. Do a section at a time, peeking under your paper towel to ensure everything is melting the way you want it to. Too much heat for too long will cause the colors to mud together. Too much pressure and movement with the iron will also cause your colors to swirl, but too much will turn your design from colorful to muddy. Pay attention and take your time.

8. When crayons are melted to your liking, allow to cool for a minute. Using an exacto knife again, trim the excess wax paper away from the black edges. If your papers are separating from each other and the melted wax, simply use the tip of the iron and your paper towel to re-melt/seal the edges. Make sure you're applying heat to only the edges or you'll melt more of your image and might accidentally ruin it.

9. All done! Hang as frig art or window art. If you really love it, frame it in a double glass frame which will allow light to come through the back and hang it somewhere bright. Enjoy!

Heather Says: This is still a fun project 20 years later. Please be careful using your iron and knife. Use this project to create multiple panels (or a large panel) to use in a window. Finish edges with black tape if using in sunny/hot windows to keep wax from melting out.

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finished productfinished productfinished productfinished productfinished product
finished product
finished product | Source
finished product
finished product | Source
finished product
finished product | Source
finished product
finished product | Source
finished product
finished product | Source

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    • Cathi Sutton profile image

      Cathi Sutton 2 years ago

      Great idea! I can't wait to try this!

    • tiffany delite profile image

      tiffany delite 2 years ago from united states

      thank you for this great hub! i can remember doing an art project like this when i was a kid. it was not this elaborate, but it was still fun! blessings!

    • bestkidsneeds profile image

      Janet Vale 3 years ago from San Diego, California

      This is a great idea. i think that it's cheap and very unique. Those are two things that I want.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 4 years ago from Western NC

      Beautiful! I love this! You gave me some ideas to try, too. I also have to link to this hub. :)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      What a beautiful piece. And just from crayons. This is so lovely. I am going to bookmark this and vote up...You did a great job with instructions.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      My granddaughters have done this and it really turns out beautifully. I guess my daughter-in-law knew how to do this, but it is new to me. This is a great hub for mothers that want to teach their children to have a new way to express their artistic talent.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great tutorial! This effect is beautiful.

    • kelleyward 4 years ago

      Wow I love this idea Heather! My oldest loves art so we will try this together. Take care, Kelley

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