Stained Glass Art Lesson Plan December 01 2010

This particular stained glass art project requires no dangerous heat or glass manipulation to complete. The effects, however, are stunning!

Using simple materials, these stained glass works of art can be used in a variety of ways across the curriculum.


Most of these materials are ones that you already have or are simple to find. The dye lends a special vibrant effect to this project and is cost-effective, especially since a little goes a long way.

  • 11"x17" white construction paper or tag board
  • pencils
  • paintbrushes
  • Prepared New Zealand dye (also known as FAS water soluble dye) in powder form in a variety of colors
  • liquid white glue
  • black tempera paint

Be aware that the dye is pretty powerful, so smocks are definitely recommended for this project.

Creating the Stained Glass Effect

The kind of stained glass your students create depends on how you'll use the completed art projects. This class of 6th graders were creating stained glass numbers to use in math lessons. Regardless of your needs, the basic procedure is the same.

Consider the specific color scheme before students begin adding color. For this art lesson, the backgrounds had to be cool colors and the number itself had to be warm colors (or vice versa).


  • Have your students sketch out their designs on 11"x17" white paper using pencil. Instruct them to start with the focus of their piece of art first - in the photo above, the focus is the number 8. Once that element is clear, students then to sketch the lines to create the stained glass look.
  • Mix the liquid glue and black paint in a ratio of 1 to 1. Once it's well blended, students can use craft sticks or a similar item to apply the glue along the pencil lines.
  • After the black lines have dried, it's time to apply the stained glass effect using New Zealand dyes. Once the dyes are mixed, they can be applied to the sketches using paint brushes. However, each color needs its own paint brush - it's very important not to mix the colors.
  • Once the painting with dyes is done, lay the stained glass works of art to dry completely.

Using Stained Glass Across the Curriculum

Stained glass pieces of art make great gifts for parents during the Christmas season, and they're really inexpensive for your kids to create. Have your kids create numbers and letters to practice, then set them loose to design an original piece of art to make for family members. Smaller versions can also be made into Christmas or Holiday cards.

There are many ways to use this particular art project with your kids with a variety of lessons. These students will use their stained glass numbers to help them form and order fractions and decimals, construct prime numbers, and compare with fraction bars.

These stained glass pieces don't have to be numbers, nor do they need to be as large as 11"x17". A smaller version in half or a quarter of that size can be easier to make and manipulate.  Your students can create stained glass letters to form sight words, practice spelling patterns, and compare word families.

These stained glass projects are unusual and beautiful projects for any classroom.