Creating Stained Glass Vases For Mother's Day: A Great Art Lesson Plan

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Recycle glass containers for handmade colored vases. The only other supplies you will need are tissue paper, craft glue and paint brushes. Inexpensive sponge brushes work especially well for this project. Plastic bottles will work, but it may take more glue to adhere the paper.


  • Glass bottles with unusual shapes are especially appropriate for this project. However, any bottle will do, as will tall jars. Old vases that have become cloudy can even be rejuvenated with this faux stained glass treatment.

  • Craft tissue paper in a variety of colors will make the prettiest vases, although they can be monochromatic. Gift wrap tissue works, as well.

  • Ordinary white glue diluted with water works quite remarkably to hold and seal the paper, although you may opt for a commercial decoupage solution. If you want a high-gloss finish, spray the finished vase with acrylic varnish.

  • Sponge brushes are inexpensive and easy to clean, along with a wide surface, making them perfect for this project. However, any small paintbrush will suffice.

A Vase For Mother

  • Assist children in tearing the tissue paper into small pieces, about 1 inch. Pieces do not need to be the same size or shape.

  • Dilute the glue with an equal amount of water.

  • Show students how to “paint” a small area at the bottom of the bottle with the glue and then to add torn paper, collage-style, overlapping the edges. Continue up the surface until the whole bottle is covered.

  • Brush the entire surface with another thin coat of the glue mixture, smoothing the edges for the papers with the sponge.

  • Allow the glue to dry. Add a second thin coat.

Make the finish look even more like stained glass by outlining the papers with a metallic paint pen or metallic or black permanent marker to simulate the leading on stained glass art.

With a handmade card, this faux stained glass vase will make a cherished gift. For even more fun, use the same technique to turn baby food jars into coordinating votive candle holders.


  • References: Author’s personal experience