Fall Leaf Stained Glass Art – That You Can Keep For Years

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  • Things you probably have at home:
    • Leaf template – download below
    • Scissors
    • Small cup/ bowl
    • (Optional) Gloves – some tissue paper can stain hands
  • Things to buy: Schedule a remind 2 weeks before you want to do this activity to buy supplies

Not pictured – gloves – use if you are worried about tissue paper staining your hands

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Ideal Age Range:

This project is a project better suited for 5+.

Mess Factor:

Some tissue paper can stain, but other than that, the mess in this project is manageable.

Prep Time:

10 – 20 minutes. Your prep time will depend on the age of your child. For younger children, you may want to draw leaves onto the glass before they begin working on the project. Print the leaf template at the end of this post before you begin.


I love this project because it has such beautiful results and the frame makes it a keepsake. I recommend getting some extra supplies so that you can make one of these alongside of your kids – this is something you can hang on the wall year-round.

If you don’t have a glass frame, this project can easily be done with watercolor or heavy-weight paper. You will lose some of the ability for light to pass through and create a stained glass-effect, but it will still be beautiful. You can adapt this project to any extra frame you might have lying around the house (or something from the dollar store!).

Active Instructions:

  1. Prepare glue solution – mix a very small amount of glue (as pictured) with water – solution should be thin like water – MIX WELL with the brush (any left over can be sealed in a plastic container to use over and over again!)
  2. Prepare the tissue paper – choose the colors and rip into small pieces –you can rip more as you go if needed.
    • You can ripe more later on if you need it!
Step 1 – mix glue with water to create a thin solution

Step 2 – ripe up the fall color paper for the leaves
  1. Carefully remove the glass from frame (adult assistance please) and place glass on a covered flat surface
    • TIP – tape all edges onto a large piece of paper or directly onto the work surface for safety.
    • If you are using watercolor paper tape all edges down with masking tape as well to avoid crinkling and curling up of paper (keep the paper taped down until dry)
  2. Cut out the leaf templates (cutting assistance or easy shapes for younger hands is recommended) or use leaves collected from the outside arranged onto the glass or paper
    • Don’t feel pressured to use the template – these don’t have to be perfect. You can just let your kids draw the leaves freehand.
    • Let your taste decide how many leaves to use in the picture – the larger the leaf or leaves – the better!
Step 3 – secure the glass (or paper)

Step 4 – cut out leaf shapes + arrange on glass

  1. Trace the leaf templates onto the glass with a black permanent marker.
  2. Fill in the leaves! Work on small sections at a time, place a small amount of glue solution onto the surface and then place one piece of tissue paper at a time onto the glue (kids have a tendency to grab a lot of pieces at one time so this is a good lesson in patience!) After placing several pieces go back over with the brush.
    • DAB the tissue paper (DON’T PAINT) the tissue paper onto the surface assuring each piece is flat.
Step 5 – trace shapes onto glass

Step 6 – place tissue + dab glue solution on top

  1. **Overlapping tissue paper pieces is encouraged – it creates color dimension  – try not to leave any open spaces. It is OK to go outside the sharpie lines! Smaller pieces look the best but younger kids may want to start with slightly larger pieces to get use to the technique!
  2. Remember your background – ( a nice blue or aqua to contrast with the leaves and to look like the sky is recommended) – Do not worry about paper going over the edge of the glass – when dry you can cut it away.
    • Once the background is complete, you can fill in the leaves if needed.
Step 7 – fill in the leaves, going outside the lines is fine!

Step 8 – fill in the background with the color of your choice

  1. When it’s dry –  TURN THE GLASS FRAME OVER (THE TISSUE PAPER IS NOW ON THE BACK) use your black permanent marker to outline the leaves and place some lines to mimic the leaf veins – allow marker lines to dry.
  2. When the marker is dry, place the glass back into the frame and hang by a sunny window!
Final project in the sunlight

This is a great craft that you can replicate with any shapes or patterns. It is a great way to use up the slightly crumpled tissue paper that you collect from all of the birthday presents!

Leaf Template



If you want to pin this project, please use the image below.

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