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Aluminum Foil Stained Glass Art

My 13-year-old son and I enjoy doing unit studies. As we read through whatever book we’re currently working on, we do crafts that go along with it. We recently read a book that mentioned a mermaid painting on the wall, and it reminded me of a stained glass window. That caused me to remember a craft using aluminum foil to make a “stained glass window,” so we decided to attempt the project.

HHM Stained Glass Art

We gathered our supplies: aluminum foil, tape, small craft paintbrushes, a small piece of cloth (such as a dinner napkin), and Sharpie markers. Then we looked for a picture. We found a printable image online. We started with coloring book images, but moved to stained glass images. We used the mermaid theme to match the book, but you could use anything—a butterfly, dragonfly, flower, landscape, favorite cartoon character, etc. As you choose an image, be sure it has a dark outline and is fairly simple. The block design of coloring book images is perfect.

We printed and sized the images. (When the project is complete, the image will be reverse of your original. This should only be an issue if you have text in your image.) Then we tore off a piece of aluminum foil about twice the size of the image, centered the picture on top of the dull side of the foil, and taped it in place. We used the rounded tip of a paintbrush handle to “trace” the outlines on the foil. You can use any dull, rounded tool, but be careful not to tear the foil. We placed a fabric dinner napkin under the foil to give it some give, but that isn’t necessary.

When we finished tracing over all the lines, we gently removed the paper and turned over the foil so the shiny side was up. We could see the raised lines that would guide our coloring. We used markers to color each area our desired colors, being careful to color along the raised lines and not cross into the next area. Some areas, especially lighter colors, needed a second layer of color. When we finished coloring, we folded the edges of the foil under to give the whole piece some stiffness and body. Finally, we displayed our “stained glass.” You could also place it in a frame.

Have fun! Find a picture you like and give it a try.


Kim is a married, homeschool mom to a 13-year-old twice exceptional son. She also has a 16-year-old son in public school. Her homeschool journey has helped her realize education can be both fun and relevant. She strives to teach both children that education is more than books and memorizing information.

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  1. I love doing art like this with my kids. My mom did the same with us and we enjoyed it too. I love this project and its so pretty a work of art.

  2. It’s funny the things that will bring back a old memory …………… LOVED doing crafts but my hands just don’t like it anymore.

  3. We did a similar project… glue the drawing on to a paint board or piece of cardboard (anything sturdy), use hot glue to trace the lines of the design. Then when the glue is dried, put your aluminum foil down. Start from the center of the artwork and work your way out to each side, smoothing it down over the glue lines. Fold the foil down securely over the sides and tape to the back and then you can color all of the sections inside the glue lines. We had so much fun with this project!

  4. My 3, adhd, middle schoolers are doing this project and LOVING it! Forced focus, shiny, textural, and lots of creativity needed meet so many of their needs. Thank you for sharing.

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