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Holiday Stained Glass Windows with RuthAnn

RuthAnn & Elvin Zimmerman, Live in North east Iowa on 21 acres with our 7 children. They have lived on their acreage for 20 years now.

They have a couple different breeds of cows for milk and beef, Mangalitsa hogs, chickens and 2 Donkeys.


RuthAnns husband works full time but finds time to to the ‘heavy lifting’ of the homestead while her and the children do the day to day chores of the animals and in the summer in their 8000 sq feet garden planting, weeding and harvesting.


Their oldest child, Kristina, is married and lives near by, and their other children still live at home, ages 18,13,11,8,5,4.

Stained glass windows date back to the 7th century. With the earliest known reference dating from 675 AD when workmen were imported from France to Britain to Glaze the windows of the monastery.


Stained glass windows were predominately used in churches, the windows were used to beautify churches, offer privacy to those inside while telling a story to the viewers. In early churches the mystical light that cast through the stained glass was though to represent the HolySpirit.In the early days glass was stained by adding various metallic oxides while it was yet in its molten state.


Todays modern techniques of stained glass windows are said to be much inferior those of the olden days. This little tidbit of opinion makes me want to go visit the great cathedrals of the world and see for myself the beauty of the historic stained glass windows!

Make your own Stained Glass Christmas Window Items you will need:


Tempera paints (Basic colors)


Painters tape (my tape of choice is automotive painters tape because it is more narrow but regular painters tape works well too. Automotive painters tape can be found at most paint stores)


Artist paint brushes


An imagination


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We first started doing seasonal stained glass windows during the lockdowns of 2020 when the kids were home from school and needed a creative outlet.


For Easter we do a cross on a hill with a stained glass sky. For Christmas we love to do the hills of Bethlehem, adding a tiny stable and a star shedding its light to the world.


No matter what design you decide to go with the instructions are more or less the same. Envision your design and draw it on the window with the tape, and then divide it into stained glass segments using long strips of tape placed at random degrees

For our Christmas window we start with the star. (Use a stencil if you struggle with a free hand star like I do.) Then we make the hills of Bethlehem, curve your tape slightly for these (don’t forget to tuck a tiny stable into the hills.)


Next we make the rays of the star. After these basic things are taped on the window you’re ready to take long strips of tape and place them at random angles over your basic creation. This creates a Stained glass effect. Now you are ready to paint!


We start with the star and it’s rays. (You can either paint them all the same shade of yellow or mix different paints with your yellow and paint various segments different shades)


Do the same for the night sky between the rays, (we use blue and different shades of blue that we have made by mixing other colors with the blue.) The hills of Bethlehem get the same treatment with green.


You may want to allow each color to dry before adding another color, depending on how messy of a painter you are with better quality paints one coat may be enough but we often add more than one coat to get amore vivid effect.


Once the paint is completely dry it is time to remove the tape!! This is a great time to bring the toddlers in to help! Stand back and watch the light shine through your creation.


At night with light from the inside your neighbors will be pleasantly reminded of the greatest night in the history of the world.


Clean up is easy, a bucket of hot soapy water and a rag and the paint dissolves. we have found dish soap to work the best.


Once your window is clean and polished again you can start imagining what next season’s stain glass window will be!!


Please join us by sharing, continuing the conversation below, and connecting with RuthAnn at the following:


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