Notre Dame Rose Window Paper Craft – FRANCE Unit Study

As a mother of two young children, I go through a lot of paper. Construction paper, tissue paper, printer paper, coloring page paper… A year or so ago, a friend of mine did an activity with tissue paper and clear contact paper which were cut into hearts for Valentine’s Day. As I was thinking of ideas for my France Unit Study for the month of July, I thought this would be perfect to make a stained glass window from the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Notre-Dame is a medieval Catholic cathedral and considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. The stained glass windows of Notre-Dame, particularly the three rose windows, are among the most famous features of the cathedral. None of the original glass remains in this window; it was recreated in the 19th century. The pattern I used mimic’s the north rose window, which also has vertical windows below it.

To prepare for this activity, I cut up a bunch of old tissue paper I had lying around – it seems I collect it more quickly than I used it, so I had many colors to choose from. I cut a random assortment into approximately 1″ squares. I them gave each girl a large square of clear contact paper, sticky side up.

Their job was to arrange the tissue squares on the sticky part until it was all filled in.

Notice I have a little 3D puzzle version of Notre-Dame I got off eBay – we had it on the table as inspiration, haha.

Once the girls were done with their design, we put another sheet of clear contact paper on top to seal all the design in.

Now for the fun part – we did a folding technique to make our “Rose Window” – kinda like many of us made snowflakes as children.

Next we used a glue-stick to cover the back of our “window”

We then pasted it on top of our tissue paper mosaic.

Mama may have given the girl’s huge pieces of contact paper so we have more than we needed, but this allowed them to move their “window” around so find the perfect design.

The last step was to cut out the finished window! My oldest did pretty good with her little scissors. My youngest, well she wanted to do it herself, but couldn’t work the scissors.

We taped them on the window so we could let the sun shine in. The light made the windows so magical, and they really did turn out quite well! My girl’s were very impressed.

Excuse the dirty little fingerprints – my kiddos decorate my windows daily with those, impossible to keep them clean for long. 🙂

My oldest told me that “Mama, we need to travel more!” and that just made my heart sing. 🙂

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