Create a Stained Glass Rose Window Activity

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Updated on Jul 15, 2011

One of the most beautiful parts of every cathedral is the stained glass window above the entrance, called a Rose window. Your child can create their own work of beauty based on these centuries-old works of art. Instead of cutting glass, they can use tissue paper and repeated shapes and patterns for a similar glowing effect.

What You Need:

  • 2 Sheets of Black construction paper (11” x 17”)
  • Colored tissue paper
  • X-acto cutter
  • Glue stick
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Compass (for drawing circles)


What You Do:

  1. Using a compass, draw a circle in the center of one of the sheets of black construction paper. Draw the circle as large as possible. Cut out the circle with a pair of scissors.
  2. Trace this circle onto the other black sheet of paper. Cut the second circle out with scissors (these two circles will later become your rose window).
  3. On the scrap black paper that the circles were cut from, create four basic shapes. For example; a half circle, diamond, circle, rectangle. Cut out one of each shape.
  4. On one black circle, create repeating patterns by tracing around each shape one-by-one until the entire circle is filled up. Try to space them equally apart as you trace them until the circle is filled up with patterns. (Don’t worry if you make a mistake and have to erase the pencil lines, this side of the black circle won’t be seen.)
  5. Place the circle with the drawn out design on top of the blank black circle. Very carefully, use the X-acto knife to cut out the shapes so the blade goes through both sheets of paper. Be careful to not move the bottom circle as you cut so all shapes are cut out identically.
  6. Now set the bottom circle aside, and the circle that had the pencil shapes drawn on it is now in front of you.
  7. Use scissors to cut up pieces of tissue paper to glue into the cut windows of your black circle. Glue them down as you cut them until all spaces are filled.
  8. Carefully take the other black circle and glue it down onto the tissue papered circle. This will hide any messy tissue paper or excess glue. Your finished product will look something like this.

Hang your beautiful Rose window at the entrance of your home for a beautiful welcome to all of your family and guests!  

Ellen Dean has worked as an art educator in Thailand since 2005, working with both children and adults. She has also been a professional artist working in painting, sculpture and photography since 1996.

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