How To Make Your Own Groovy Window Clings!
I have a confession to make I LOVE window clings! However, window clings can be very expensive, short lived and a pain in the butt to store away. Not to mention that nine times out of ten there is only one or two window clings that you really like. Naturally, this is frustrating and expensive.
This being said I went on a quest to see if I could make my own window clings. In any decent craft store you can find kits to make your own "Stain Glass" with liquid lead. These in essence are window cling kits. They contain patterns for you to trace onto plastic sheets with "liquid lead" and bottles of "liquid color". According to the kit, you trace all this happiness on to the plastic sheets, let your creation dry and when your masterpiece is done you simply peel and stick to glass. There were all sort of patterns you could buy, nine zillion colors of paint for purchase, yet by the time you bought all the goodies, the price was still pretty high. Me being me I still wanted to see if there was an even cheaper way in which I could indulge my Window Cling Obsession, without going broke.
I decided to check on the internet to see if there were any other alternatives to Walmart window clings or a kit. I happened to stumble upon a host of different postings answering this question. Some of the ideas seemed a bit labor intensive others pretty simple. But what I liked was that the options were endless in the world of Window Clings. So with the help of my best friend/partner crime, and our children we experimented with some of the different ideas out there on the net.
What we found, particularly when you have children involved, simple is best. Instead of "liquid lead" and "liquid color" one website suggested you use liquid fabric paint. This is the route we took for many reasons. One of the deciding factors for this choice was cost. At WalMart you can buy a large bottle of black fabric paint for under $4.00 and a three pack of colored fabric paint for under $3.00. So when it spills, or is used to make giant bug eyes it not as painful financially. Not to mention you can get puffy or glitter paint as well. When buying the fabric paint for this project make sure you buy the bottles with the tips on them. The tips on the bottles are important to have for mess control and gives you the ability to trace fine lines. Another option, which we will use next time, is to get a super fine tip for the paint bottle to create even finer lines and more detailed pictures.
The next thing you need in order to make your window clings are sheet protectors. This acts as the backing for your window clings. If you don't have sheet protectors handy you can use plastic wrap, or clear cellophane wrapping paper. We used the wrapping paper. Basically, you can use any form of clear plastic to trace your design on. You just slip your design inside the sheet protector, or cover it with plastic wrap of your choice. If you use plastic wrap or wrapping paper I recommend that you tape the corners down. This will keep things from moving around when you are tracing your design. Another, trick to this process is to make sure your outline lines are somewhat thick. This will help you when you go to peel off the design. Also, we noticed that where we spread the paint with the tip it was a little harder to remove from the plastic.
The great thing about this project is the options for designs. You can buy the designs or stencils from the craft store however, we used a page from a coloring book to trace our design. This is a great option for kids since you can get free coloring pages online. Thus making the options endless. You can also use a piece of fabric if you really like the design, sport emblems, personal pictures, or free hand your own art work. When you get to this point in your project we discovered that in addition to the tip on the paint bottle toothpicks,or the end tips of paint brushes come in handy for detail work in the corners. If you like glitter but don't want to buy the pre-made glitter paint you can always add some to your paint or simply shake glitter over you design while it is still wet.
After you have completed your designing you need to let your creation dry on a flat surface overnight. This will ensure that all the paint is completely dry all the way through. When your window cling is dry simply peel off the plastic backing and apply to a clean window. These window clings can also be applied to lamps, mirrors or anything a store bought window cling can be used for. When storing your creation you can simply wrap it in plastic wrap and store flat until you are ready to use it again.
I will be honest, I thought initially that this project would be a giant mess in the making. However, the mess was very limited and the children found this process to be tons of fun. This makes a great rainy day project and can also be a great way for kids to make homemade gifts for family and friends.