When life feels overscheduled, I try to remind myself to stop and take a breath. When I do, it’s the trips I’ve taken and recollections of places I’ve been to that often come to mind. The pause gives me another perspective.
One such memory was a trip to Gothic Chartres cathedral. Situated on the outskirts of Paris, the stony cathedral, perhaps one of the most beautiful in France, is celebrated for its stained-glass windows. When the sun streams through, colors seem suspended, glistening in the air.
You can create a striking “stained glass window” for your home, but you don’t need fancy bits of glass. Instead, devise a stunning look with a little creativity and simple supplies, like crayon bits.
Here’s the stuff you’ll need:
— crayons in assorted colors, peeled and sorted
— cheese grater
— waxed paper
— old cloth napkin or hanky
— large dinner-size round plate for pattern
— black construction paper
— ribbon or fishing line
Here’s the fun:
Use the grater to make crayon shavings from the peeled crayons. Sort them into piles by color and shade.
Lay a large sheet of waxed paper, waxed side up, on a small stack of newspaper on an ironing board. Sprinkle the shavings evenly over the waxed paper, mixing or separating colors. The colors will seem to fall into their own delicate pattern.
Set a second sheet of waxed paper, waxed side down, on top. Cover with the lightweight cloth. With an iron set at warm, an adult should press very slowly along the cloth, stopping and starting. The crayon bits will melt almost instantly. Remove the cloth to see the beautiful “stained glass.” Let the crayons harden.
Use the plate as a pattern and cut out a round shape from your “stained glass” sheet. To create an outer frame (the “lead” of the “stained-glass window”), use the plate as a pattern again, and cut a 3/4-inch wide ring out of black construction paper. Set on the round shape crayon design and glue in place.
Cut two narrower (about 1/4 inch) rings of black paper (one larger in diameter than the other) and evenly place on the inside of the “window.” Arrange strips of black paper coming from the circles like spokes on a wheel. Glue and let dry
Punch a hole at the top of the stained-glass window, and string ribbon or fishing line though the “lead” frame. Then hang in front of a window and watch the sun stream through to brighten your home.
Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit www.donnasday.com and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.”
© 2020 Donna Erickson
Distributed by King Features Synd.