Leaf Rubbing Stained Glass for Our Front Door

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Leaf Rubbing Stained Glass

I just can’t get enough of this leaf rubbing + watercolor resist + stained glass combo! I love it!

Maia and I made another crayon leaf rubbing banner (this time she totally got the hang of doing the rubbings with the side of the crayon) on a long sheet of paper cut from the easel roll. We used the watercolor paint we have in tubes, only because I wanted blues and yellows which we don’t currently have in liquid watercolors.

This time I cut the paper into rectangles to fill the panes of glass on our front door and we “painted” the reverse side with vegetable oil to make them more transparent.

Leaf Rubbing Stained Glass Leaf Rubbing Stained Glass

I am in love with how this looks with the light shining through! If someone doesn’t stop me, I may end up covering every window in the house!

Leaf Rubbing Stained Glass

We had a sweet and mellow father’s day yesterday. It started with a plan of french toast and sausage, abandoned when we simultaneously realized we were out of eggs and that our favorite neighborhood breakfast joint was about to open. The day ended with card games played in Harry’s new tent (set up temporarily in the backyard) and peach pie. Goodness all around.

How was your father’s day?

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  1. Jessica says

    Awesome. I tried this process with my 2 and 1/2 year old last week and can tell we are going to repeat many times. How exactly did you attach these to your individual window panes?

  2. says

    Oh! I was trying to figure out how to attach them and realized they just stuck to the glass because of the oil. They’ve stayed up for four days so far without any problem, so maybe that’s all it needs. If you did a version without the oil, then perhaps use tape.

  3. Amanda says

    Like most of your art projects–I LOVE these and am planning on doing these with my kids. Now that I see them in the window panes I am going to do them this week. We have these long narrow window panes on both sides of our front door and this would be perfect. I am a visual learner and I am so “art handicapped” and need step by step directions so I can visualize. sad to say but if I cant figure it out I get easily frustrated and the project never gets done. Would you be so kind as to email me step by step directions?? What exactly does the veg oil do?is it used just to get it to stick to the glass pane? do you brush on the oil on the same side as the water colors and crayon? do you put it on last?

  4. says

    Okay, here are the step-by-step instructions:
    1. lay leaves on table, with the bottom (veiny) side up
    2. set sheet of paper over leaves
    3. tape paper to table so it doesn’t shift
    4. remove paper sheath from crayons
    5. using side of crayon, rub over sheet of paper to create the leaf rubbings
    6. paint over crayon leaf rubbings with watercolor paints, either liquid watercolors or watercolors from a tube that you mix with water in a cup
    7. Let paint dry
    8. When paint is dry, cut painting into pieces the correct size for your window(s). With a multi-paned window such as the one on my door, I created a cardboard template the right size to cut out many pieces.
    9. Using a pastry brush or regular painting brush, “paint” the back side of the painting with vegetable oil (such as canola).
    10. Stick the stained glass pieces to your window panes. The oil will make it stick by itself. If you need something else to help keep it up, try tape.
    11. Stand back and admire.

  5. kendra says

    Lovely! I can’t wait to try these myself (and I guess my little one can help, too :) )!

  6. says

    Painting oil on a crayon picture is a magical process, I have always loved the reaction as the child paints and the paper turns transparent and the image appears! I think that in a window is the only way to display this type of artwork as it is so messy otherwise. I love the effect you have created with the toning colors and in the window panes. If you want to keep them afterwards store them in those plastic pockets that go in folders, keeps the oil in!

  7. says

    Ohhh. Another great project to file for doing next time when my boy is older! Thanks for sharing! :)

  8. Kristin says

    Gorgeous! Now I’ve got to give it a try, but one little question here: where does the watercolor resist come in at and how on the above instructions to Amanda? or was is optional? Thank you SO MUCH!!

  9. says

    That’s totally amazing, Jean! Everything about it is just WOW. You truly are talented. Oh, how I wish I could do something like that with our steel front doors, but I’m not as gifted and artful as you are. And I don’t have much free time to do art projects. Sigh. Well, our doors are already pretty as they are, so I guess I’m gonna do the decorating on something else.

  10. Ronald Miller says

    Haha! So, have you covered every window on your home with that leaf rubbing + watercolor resist + stained glass combo? It looks so artistic and it also serves like a curtain for privacy! That is just so cute. How’s the father’s day preparation for this year, BTW? :)