Fall Craft: "Stained Glass" Leaf Windows • Rhode Island Family Photographer

Right now there are lots and lots of leaves falling off the trees here in Rhode Island.  We're at that prime time when there are still leaves on the trees, but lots of leaves on the ground, too.  These leaves make for great photo backdrops.  AND they also make for an easy and fun fall craft project that you can do with your children!

Stained glass leaf windows were one of my favorite craft projects when I was small, and I still do this project with my small friends.  It's quick, easy, and makes for great fall decor in your windows. 

Want to know how to make stained glass leaf windows?  Read on below and I'll share the details with you!

Amy Kristin Photography Rhode Island Family Photographer

First, go outside and collect some leaves!  Red leaves, yellow leaves, orange leaves, green leaves, leaves with holes...whatever leaves you and your kids love.  You don't want leaves that are completely curled up and dry, but ones that are slightly wavy are ok.

Amy Kristin Photography Rhode Island Family Photographer

Now, get your supplies together.  You'll need:

  • Your leaves
  • An iron and ironing board
  • Wax paper
  • Scissors and yarn or string
  • Tape
  • Glue, paper (plain white paper or colored construction paper will work equally well) and crayons (optional)
Amy Kristin Photography Rhode Island Family Photographer

Set your iron to just above its lowest setting.  While you wait, have your child pull out a piece of wax paper twice the size of the window they'd like to make (or do it for them), and then fold the paper in half and crease it.  Make sure the waxier side is inside (this will be the side of the paper that is facing down when you initially pull it off the roll).  Then, you or your child can cut a piece of yarn or string that you'll later use for hanging.

Amy Kristin Photography Rhode Island Family Photographer

Your child can arrange leaves as they like on the bottom half of the wax paper.  Don't worry about leaves that are somewhat ripply.  Once they have arranged their leaves, fold the top part of the wax paper over.  Then, use the iron to seal the window shut.  Rather than moving it back and forth, hold it in a spot for several seconds until that spot is flattened and sealed, then move it to another spot.  Once the entire window is close to sealed, you can do a more traditional "iron" over the window to finish it off.

Amy Kristin Photography Rhode Island Family Photographer

Use the scissors to trim and clean up the bottom and two sides of the window.  Your child can do this with kid scissors if you have them.  If you want to get really wild and crazy, you can use pinking shears, or use regular scissors to cut some sort of cool pattern into the sides, but I just stuck with straight.  Next, cut a strip of paper that is about 1 1/2" to bottom, and is about as long as the top of the window.  If you're using white or light colored paper and your child wants to decorate that strip with some crayons, go for it!

Amy Kristin Photography Rhode Island Family Photographer

Take the strip of paper. Rub some glue or glue stick on the back.  Place the strip on the top of your window, leaving about 1/2" extra that you will fold over and stick to the back of your window.  Once the glue is dry, use tape to tape your yarn or string to either end of the paper on the back of the window.

Amy Kristin Photography Rhode Island Family Photographer

Now your craft is done!  Hang it in a window or sliding door and you and your child can admire how beautiful it looks when the light streams through the window, and the leaves!  

Do you and your children have any other favorite fall crafts?  I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

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