I recently had two of my favorite sweetie-pies return to my classroom for a little visit and some butterfly fun! We worked on SEVERAL fun butterfly-themed projects… one of which was this set of brightly “stained glass” decorations.
I usually create window decorations with clear contact paper and tissue paper, but I know contact paper can be costly (and difficult to work with because it loves to curl itself into a roll.) This project is a fun, inexpensive alternative made with items you already have around the house!
Want to know how I did it?
Here’s everything you need to know!
handheld pencil sharpener
construction paper butterfly template
old bath towel
large sheets of paper to protect the iron (newspaper or bulletin board paper work great)
an old or inexpensive iron (it can get waxy residue on it so you won’t want to use your expensive household iron)
The most important thing is not to use any of your favorite supplies for this project. The towel, pencil sharpener, and iron may get waxy mess on them from the crayons. Don’t use anything expensive or high-end. If you need a cheap iron, I recommend purchasing one from your local thrift store 🙂
Making the “Stained Glass”
- Begin by peeling some old crayons. Once they are peeled, sharpen them with the handheld pencil sharpener. Save all of those wonderful shavings. I recommend using colors that are next to each other on a color wheel. If you have blue and orange pieces in the same project, they will mix together to make brown. Not pretty!
- Lay a sheet of wax paper on your work surface and pour the crayon shavings onto it. Use your fingers to spread the shavings out. A little bit goes a long way so be sure to really spread them out. Place another piece of wax paper on top of the shavings (sort of like a crayon shaving sandwich).
- Plug the iron in and set it to medium heat. While you wait for the iron to warm up, prepare your work surface for ironing. Fold the bath towel in half and lay it on the table. The wax paper and crayons melt when they are heated and you will want to protect your towel and iron from too much waxy residue. Lay a large sheet of regular paper (such as newspaper or bulletin board paper) on top of the towel, then place the crayon shaving sandwich on top of the paper. Lay one more large sheet of regular paper on top of the wax paper sandwich. (I used white butcher paper in the above image).
- Direct children to stand back while you iron. Do not let children handle the iron. Gently iron the stack of papers over the towel. It will only take a few passes of the iron for the crayon to melt. Lift the top sheet of paper to reveal your creation. The wax paper sandwich will be melted into one colorful sheet of waxy paper.
Framing the “Stained Glass”
- Print and cut out a butterfly frame template.
- Fold a 9×12 sheet of construction paper in half so it is tall and skinny. Lay the butterfly template along the seam of the construction paper, trace around the edges, then keep paper folded while you cut along the traced lines. Open the construction paper when you are finished to reveal the butterfly frame.
- Apply a thin line of white glue all the way around on one side of the frame. Stick the frame onto the most colorful section of melted wax paper.
- Trim excess wax paper from edges of frame. Hang completed butterfly “stained glass” decoration in a window with clear tape.
Integrate Science and Language Arts
This project is a perfect compliment to my Interactive Sight Word Reader, They are Caterpillars. This non-fiction emergent reader reviews the life cycle of a butterfly. Students can gain fluency as the read the predictable text and work on the sight word “they.”
Buy “They are Caterpillars” for only $1 onTeachers Pay Teachers
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Stop by later this week to see more photos and project ideas from our day of butterfly fun!
Find More Stained Glass Window Projects
These posts feature other stained glass window decoration projects. Be sure to check them out for more fun ideas that will bring a festive touch to your windows!
I love your idea. Where can I get the butterfly template?
I love the stained glass butterfly idea . . . and all your other ideas. Thanks for sharing this.
First Grade Schoolhouse
The butterflies turned out adorable! I think I may do this and send it home for Mother’s Day.
The Littlest Scholars
May I suggest using a heat tool instead of an iron? I have less worries about someone getting burned, it getting knocked over, and the students get to see the crayons melt. Connie
Hello… I did something similar for Earth Day (melted blue and green on wax paper with circle already drawn) but used a griddle to melt the crayon onto the wax paper. The kids got to watch the colors melt and blend. Great idea with the pencil sharpeners — I hand-grated the crayons, which took way longer to do!
If you use a heat tool to melt the wax, then the students can watch the wax melt. Also, no worries about a hot iron. 🙂
Dominic, 12 year old, is youngest of 4 kids. He still enojys hanging kitchen with me. He’ll make cakes, brownies, chop onions, brown hamburger meat, doesn’t matter, he just likes to cook. Decorating Easter eggs is of favorite things to , as he grows older to find different ways to color eggs of typical plain pastels. That’s when to a little messy kitchen with tie dyed Easter eggs!If looking more Easter egg decorating ideas, check craft blog. I have posted 7 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs! Also, friend Randa awesome decorating Easter eggs.
That’s a brilliant answer to an interesting question