The season of Advent is probably my favorite time of year in the classroom. I love slowing down with my students to talk about the birth of Jesus Christ and share the true meaning of Christmas. In my kindergarten classroom, we talk about Baby Jesus so much more than we share stories of Santa and his shelf-dwelling elves. Those moments are so special to me. In celebration of the Advent season, my students created purple and pink “stained glass” candles to display in the classroom window. I'm thrilled to share a tutorial and free template with you on the blog today so you can easily create this window craft with the little ones in your home or classroom.
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This window decoration started the same as all others. While my students were away from their desks, I placed a sheet of clear contact paper sticky side up on each child's desk and gently set a black rectangular frame (which I had prepped and cut ahead of time) onto the contact paper. I also placed a baskets with 1″ tissue paper squares at each workstation. Most of the boxes contained a mix of purple tissue paper squares, and a few boxes contained a mix of pink tissue paper squarers.
When it was time to begin, students returned to their desks and began to fill the rectangle frames with the tissue paper squares. They were given instructions to only add one square at a time and to try and fill the entire space. My kindergarteners have completed similar projects several times already so they knew exactly what to do.
Once the rectangle was completely filled with tissue paper, I added a second piece of clear contact paper to act as a seal and keep any stray pieces of tissue paper from falling away. Each child then cut the excess plastic from their completed candles.
This project was particularly fun for me to experiment with in my kindergarten classroom because it involved mixed media. Our window decorations are usually complete once the contact paper is trimmed from the edges. Not this time! We used construction paper to add a flame and a evergreen leaves to the candle. Students cut a large yellow flame and small orange flame that they would then attach to the top of the candle with a glue stick.
For the evergreen leaves, we used handprints! Earlier in the week, I had traced each child's hand 5 times. I wanted to give the evergreens at the bottom of the candle a little depth and some pop, so each child's hand was traced three times on dark green paper, and two times on traditional green construction paper. The kindergarteners cut out their handprints and glued them to the bottom of the candle.
For the handprints, I gave very specific instructions to the class during our whole group time. The two light green hands were glued first on top of the candle, with the fingers pointed out.
One of the dark green hands was then glued on top of the two light green hands with the fingers pointing down. The two remaining dark green fingers were then glued ON THE BACK of the candle (one on each side) with the fingers pointing downward.
The completed Advent candles were simply stunning and my students were so proud of their creations.
I teach kindergarten in a Catholic school and these purple and pink Advent candles were the perfect decorations for my classroom windows to help us get in the spirit of the season, but also remember the true reason we celebrate Christmas each year.
Here is a photo of my classroom decorated for the Christmas session last year. You can see our Christmas tree and Advent candles hanging in the windows. Our class prayer table sits right in front of the Christmas tree. I placed a Fisher Price nativity play set on the table for my children to reenact the story of the first Christmas.
If you teach in a public school and Advent is strictly off-limits for you, don't fret! This window craft also looks beautiful and festive as a red candle.
You can download a FREE template to easily create this window craft with your own students. Click the image below to download your free copy. It will be delivered directly to your inbox.
More Stained Glass Window Decorations
If you are looking for more stained glass window decoration ideas, check out these blogs posts! They are filled with exciting ideas that are sure to spruce up your windows.