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Stained Glass Window Craft for Christmas and Advent

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.

This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission each time someone makes a purchase through one of my links, which helps to support the blog.

four purple tissue paper candles hang in classroom window "advent window decorations"

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.

kindergarten student presses purple tissue paper squares onto clear contact paper to make stained glass decoration

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.

students sitting at desks select tissue paper squares to make their advent craft
student places pink tissue paper pieces onto clear contact paper to make kindergarten christmas window craft

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.

first grade student using scissors to cut out black rectangle filled with purple tissue paper squares

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.

student using scissors to cut out yellow flame from construction paper for advent project

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.


kindergarten student glueing green construction paper hands to bottom of advent candle to make greenery

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.

kindergartener holds up completed stained glass classroom christmas decoration

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.

pruple and pink stained glass advent candle window crafts hang in classroom window behind advent wreath

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.

vintage circus theme kindergarten classroom with decorated christmas tree sitting in window

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.

red candle craft hanging in first grade classroom window "christmas window decorations"

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 blog posts! They are filled with exciting ideas that are sure to spruce up your windows.

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Maria Gavin

Maria is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher, with 13 years of teaching experience. Her love and passion for all things early childhood is now fulfilled as a mom to two amazing kids. She loves sharing practical and creative tips and ideas that are perfect for young learners – in the classroom or at home!

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16 Responses

  1. Hi ! I love all your tip etc and since I don’t have a blog etc. thought I’d share this one with you. You can use regular computer paper, have stained glass picture printed on the paper. Have children color pic with crayon….hard, so colors are solid…when done turn the paper over and using a cotton ball rub the back with veg oil. The paper appears to disappear !! It’s science and art in one. Let it wipe off with tissue at end of day and let dry overnight..and put up to the window….stained glass !!!….enjoy

  2. LOVE your advent wreaths! We are doing them today before we leave for Thanksgiving break. I am very excited to leave these up in the windows all season. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi. I absolutely love your stained glass window decorations!! Do you make these in butterfly shapes? I was thinking that would be fun for an end of the year craft when we release our butterflies. I would love to see an example if you have done it before! Thanks in advance!

  4. I would love to get the download for the Advent stained glass candles but there is an error message when I put my name and email in. Any chance you could help me? Thanks!

  5. Please help. There is an error message when I put my name and email in, same as the comment shown above. I love this project and hope you can send it my way:)

  6. Is there a way to pin the directions? I am afraid that I won’t remember all the steps without the illustrations and directions.

  7. From one art teacher to another…
    Outstanding. My church has tasked our congregants with designing an Advent window or door. I just may incorporate your idea as well as pass it on to a friend who does art projects with her 3 young grandsons. A sure fire winning project.

  8. Love this! Question when you did these? Do you only have 4 kids in your class? I have 8 but want to do one set so suggestions on how to do the handprints?

    1. I think I had 12 in my class that year. Did 8 kids, I would have 3 children make purple candles and 2 children make pink candles. I hope that helps!

  9. Love this candle for my classroom windows.
    I was always looking for something like this !
    Thank you for the great idea 🙂

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Hi, I'm Maria.

I’m a former kindergarten teacher turned work-from-home mom. I still love sharing ideas and resources to make teaching easier, so you can focus on what really matters in the classroom. When I’m not working on the blog, you’ll find me chasing kids around the house with a cold cup of coffee in my hand (some things never change even once you’re out of the classroom!)


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