How to Make Stained Glass Out of Tissue Paper

    by Laura Gee

    About the Author

    Laura Gee has a B.A. in history and anthropology, but now spends more time blogging and producing web content. She has worked and/or trained as an illustrator, crafter, caterer, yoga teacher, child-care provider and massage therapist, and she loves to travel when she gets a chance.


    With a few supplies and a bit of imagination, you can mimic the look of stained glass with tissue paper. This craft is suitable for a variety of ability levels, since the designs can be as simple or complex as you like. Hang the finished tissue paper craft in a sunny window for the most dramatic stained glass effect.

    Things You'll Need

    • Black construction paper
    • Pencil
    • Scissors
    • Craft knife and cutting mat (optional)
    • Colored tissue paper
    • Clear tape or glue

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    Draw your design on the black paper. The image should be like a stencil in that you can cut out each area that you want to color without destroying the paper.

    Carefully cut out all the areas that you want to color with your scissors or a craft knife and cutting mat. These are the areas that light will shine through when you make your stained glass out of tissue paper. The remaining black paper will be the equivalent of the lead cane (black lines) in an actual stained glass design.

    Turn the black paper over. Choose a color of tissue paper for each area you cut out. Cut the tissue paper just slightly larger than the hole.

    Tape or glue your tissue paper shape over the appropriate hole in the black paper. If your design is very intricate, you may have to cut small slivers of tape or apply glue very carefully around the edges. Try to pull the tissue fairly tight as you work on this step.

    Repeat until you've covered all the holes in your black paper design with tissue paper. Turn the paper over and hang your craft where light can shine through.

    • If you have trouble seeing your drawing on black paper, draw it on scrap paper first and cut out the appropriate areas. Using this paper as a guide, cut through the black paper with a craft knife.
    • Be careful not to get glue on the parts of the tissue paper that will be visible, since it will leave a mark.
    • If desired, you can place your stained glass craft between two sheets of clear contact paper to make it more durable. This also eliminates the need for tape or glue to adhere the bits of colored tissue paper.
    • Do not allow young children to use cutting tools without adult supervision.
    • When working with a craft knife and cutting mat, always keep the blade pointed away from your body.