Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Faux Stained Glass Lanterns for the Holidays; a joint post with Pam of Gingerbread Snowflakes

I am very excited today to present to your a series of projects I have been working on with the help of Pam from Gingerbread Snowflakes. I have enjoyed her blog for some time now as she posts regularly on a wide variety of holiday crafts, recipes and the such. I have learned about the customs of many holidays that I was not familiar with from this blog. And today we are sharing ideas on making stained glass for the holidays. She gives a step-by-step tutorial for adults to make beautiful candles for Advent or for gifts. You must go over to Gingerbread Snowflakes to see her part of our joint adventure in making Advent Candles. Aren't these candles gorgeous? She will tell you all about the symbols of comfort she has put into these candles.

  My part of this joint post, is stained glass candles for Advent that you can make with children. Pam, however, has helped me with many steps along the way, which I will share with you.
Quite some time ago she posted these beautiful lanterns at and I was amazed at how such few and simple materials could make such beautiful lanterns. I have always had an appreciation for both lanterns with candles and stained glass. I told her that I had done Mod Podge lanterns with colored tissue paper before, but not with colored Mod Podge.

"Funny thing you have mentioned the mod podge/ tissue on jars because I
have been playing with the idea during the holidays of maybe a
similar thing only trying to make it look like real stained glass by
adding lines between the pieces of tissue with a black sharpie!"-Pam of Gingerbread Snowflakes

With that thought in mind, I just had to give it a try with my boys.
I had some clear glass votives so we gave it a try.

I gave them some Mod Podge, a brush and some tissue paper. They painted on the Mod Podge...

place pieces of tissue paper over the Mod Podge and then paint on another layer of Mod Podge to seal it. Even the youngest child can make these because it doesn't matter if there are spaces between the torn tissue paper. Let dry.

When they dry, they look like this.

Then we added the leading lines with a black permanent marker...

The results were these lovely faux stained glass votives, which would be great homemade gifts for children to give.
This is a beautiful example at First Palette of making this type of stained glass using puffy paint instead of a plain permanent marker.

"I was thinking of buying one of those tall devotional candles.
Sometimes we are able to get them without images...
on them - just clear. I think they would be just beautiful used in this way."
- Pam of Gingerbread Snowflakes
This got us started with experimenting with different ways of making the faux stained glass effect.
Gallery Glass sells a faux Liquid Leading so we thought we would give it a try with our tissue paper and Mod Podge votives.

Just like before, we used Mod Podge and tissue paper but instead of the leading lines being made with marker...

apply the Gallery Glass Liquid Leading around the edges of the tissue paper. For the youngest children, you might want to do this step for them.

Once it is dry, the lines are more raised than that of the marker, giving it more of a look of real stained glass.

Wonderful for gifts or just to light for decorations during the holidays.

I then thought about making my own leading out of white glue and black paint. The white (Elmer's-type) glue dries clear, so mixes with the color of the paint quite well. When we began applying it, though, we could immediately see that this faux leading was much thinner and more prone to spread or drip. We used on the votives, but I didn't like the effect as much as with the Gallery Glass leading.

I thought that it might be more successful on a flat surface, so I turned to Plexiglas
 with this result!...
 and this result!
(Tutorial for these here.)
 I wanted them to be able to use them for holiday decorations, so I took these stained glass projects made from the laminating sheets and made them into luminaries.

 I took some white lunch-sized bags... (I always get a kick out of these "Colors" brand white bags!)
 traced my finished stained glass project on the bag and then cut out a hole just slightly smaller than the project.
I then taped the project to the opening in the bag...

put a little sand in the bottom and lit a tea-light candle.

Can't you see them now greeting your guests along a walkway on holiday evenings?

"I am intrigued with your idea of using black paint and Elmers. And it
made me think to pass this on. Las year (09) Diane was experimenting
with a craft that wasn't working well because every product she tried
ran. In trying to help her find something that would work- stay put
on a slanted or vertical surface, I found a product called Aleene's
Super Thick Tacky Glue. It might be better if the color used is a
powdered material so as not to dilute it, but it might work."
-Pam of Gingerbread Snowflakes

And, to make full circle, I had to experiment with making faux stained glass with colored Mod Podge.
We made the outlines with permanent marker.

Then I mixed up a palette of stained glass color by mixing little cups of Mod Podge and food coloring.

We painted it between the lines, treating the lines like a coloring book.

And here is what they look like when the Mod Podge dries...it is translucent!

Here is hoping your holidays will be bright.


  1. Wow! That's a lot to take in. We did some window "clings" with food coloring tinted glue, last year. Now you have me thinking!

  2. Oh Phyllis, where are my manners! I was so busy linking to you yesterday, I completely forgot to leave a comment to tell you how much I appreciate you sharing this adventure with me! I just knew you and the children would come up with some wonderful ideas for making faux stained glass.

    I wrote these words to a friend and I think this would be the perfect place to share them with you!

    That is what I love about Phyllis - she lets the children play and explore and create and express - giving them a direction but letting them take their own path to the outcome and never demanding perfection."

    Thank you for all your hard work on this joint post. I especially appreciate it knowing you are in the middle of the school year teaching three grade levels.

  3. I love your lanterns! So beautiful. I want to do this with my students around Christmas. :)

  4. Phyllis, these are awesome! I love watching the children create with Gallery Glass and Mod Podge. What a treat!!

  5. Beautiful! I'm definitely adding this to our "Christmas crafts to do" list. Thanks for posting about it!

  6. What a great post! I love simple projects that the kids can get involved in and not have to worry about being "perfect".

  7. I love liquid leading! It's what we made our staned glass window out of.

    So pretty are your projects!


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