I love window transparencies! They look so bright and joyful! I have experimented quite a bit with ways of enabling Sola to be able to make a window transparency on her own. Unfortunately, the process is much more complex than it seems at first. You can’t give young children the extremely sharp knives and scissors needed to cut out the silhouettes that are required for so many of the popular window transparencies we’ve all seen on Pinterest. Yet, even if we, the adults, cut out the silhouette for our children, the planning involved in layering the kite paper for a window transparency really is too advanced for young children. Given that this age group is still learning about mixing primary colors, it is not conceivable that they should be expected to plan out multiple layers of colored paper, realizing what color will be made if they mix the colors. In addition, the concept of trying to plan out what will show in the foreground, vs the background, of a window transparency seems to involve too much “head work” and planning for the young child, who is still resides in a dream-like state. So far, I have not been able to find any source that addresses whether window transparencies are to be made by adults or older children, but for the time being, I have decided to think of them as my own personal handwork and as a means to express the beauty of the seasons.
In the past, I have used Mit farbigen Transparenten durch das Jahr for window transparency templates. I’m able to read just enough German to get by with the book, which is not published in English. Unfortunately, the book does not have a good general winter design in it. So I decided to make my own winter window transparency template. I purchased the clipart to make this design, but it is royalty free and it is my understanding that I can share it with you, as long as it is for your personal use only and I am not charging for it. Once again, I am very new to sharing files, so please let me know if there are any problems with accessing this file. As far as I know, you should be able to right click on the design and then select “Save As” to save it to your computer.
I also have worked on my paper cutting skills quite a bit in the last couple of years, as these are not easy to cut out. Here are some tips that I have picked up:
Attach your template to a piece of 8 1/2″ by 11″ black cardstock (you can tape or staple the corners, as these will be cut off)Use a self healing cutting mat to protect your work surfaceFor cutting the transparency silhouette, use a soft grip craft knife with a #11 bladeUse your right hand (or left hand if you are left-handed) to pull the knife towards you and your left hand to guide the paper (if you try to steer the knife or cut away from you or side-to-side, you can end up breaking the blade or making a tear in the paper, instead of a cut)If you want some practice, this site has a paper cutting practice printableOnce you have removed all of the white parts from the inner portion of the design, you may remove the whole design from the cutting mat and just use regular scissors to cut around the outside (be careful handling the design as the insides are delicate)Using a glue stick, paste, or glue tape, attach one large neutral-colored piece of kite paper to the back of the silhouette Add other pieces of kite paper, as desired. Attach your transparency to a window with double sided tape
So, what do you think? Want to try making a transparency? It is fairly easy, once you have the right type of cutting knife. So go ahead and give it a try! Here is my Pinterest board for window transparencies, if you would like some more ideas: