Contact paper window art is one of our favorite rainy day activities.  While you can use foam, paper, and a variety of other things on contact paper for window art, tissue paper is by far my favorite.  It really just glows if there is any ambient light outside (in all the days pictured it was gray/rainy out) and tissue paper comes in such vibrant colors as well that you just really can't go wrong!  Oh, and a good pack of pretty rainbow tissue paper can be found at Michaels as well, though I did spy some on my last trip to the Dollar Store.

In the first photo, S was a bit younger, so I opted for precut shapes.  If you have a younger toddler, it can be a good discussion of which shapes are which.  You could even structure it as a mini-scavenger hunt ("can you find the red circle?").  S already knew her shapes and was actually calling out requests to me for this project.  We like to cut our contact paper to size, peel it, and with the sticky side facing out, bend back a bit at the top and bottom (or on either side) so it self-adheres to the window.  You could alternately place it sticky side out and line each side with masking/Scotch/painter's tape.

Now that she's a bit older and working on scissor skills, I took the cue from Valentine's Day to teach her how to cut hearts from folded paper (it is a bit like magic to a 3 year old to unfold the paper and find a heart!).

One of her very own cut out hearts!  Beautiful work, if I do say so myself.  :)

 S is also a pre-reader and working on sounding out three and four letter words, so I cut out all the letters to the word "love" in honor of Valentine's Day and scrambled them.  I left it to her to sound out the word and figure out the right order.  She carefully made the sound of each letter in the word, then searched for it and put it in order on the contact paper.  It may be a little backwards, but hey, for a 3 year old, I'll take it!

One or two of the hearts up there were the ones I'd demonstrated for her, but all the rest are hers!  She was especially proud of the giant heart.

The finished product!

Another window art activity that we've done in the past is one where I start, and she finishes.  This is one we've done a few times - I cut out two kittens, and tell her that they are sad because they need toys to play with.  She then scouts the house for items that are small and would stick and "creates" toys for the kittens.  We've also done one where I cut out a tree trunk and she cuts and adds the leaves to the tree.  The cats are cut from a foam sheet.

And lastly, my favorite kind of window art is the tissue paper stained glass.  S doesn't yet have the patience to fill all of a space with paper yet, so we decided she would do all of the paper cutting and some of the sticking, and I would help her finish.

We use tissue paper for other art projects as well, but this is definitely my favorite way to use it!  So pretty!  And though we've left the contact paper up for several weeks at a time, we've never had any trouble with it leaving residue on the windows that doesn't easily wipe off with window cleaner.

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All activities here are activities I feel are safe for my own children.  As your child's parents/guardians, you will need to decide what you feel is safe for your family.  I always encourage contacting your child's pediatrician for guidance if you are not sure about the safety/age appropriateness of an activity. All activities on this blog are intended to be performed with adult supervision.  Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when activities call for the use of materials that could potentially be harmful, such as scissors, or items that could present a choking risk (small items), or a drowning risk (water activities), and with introducing a new food/ingredient to a child (allergies).  Observe caution and safety at all times.  The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any of these activities on this blog.


  1. This looks like fun for our 3yr old. But what is on the window under the tissue paper? It looks like wax paper?

    1. It's contact paper - the subject of the post. :)

  2. how does the tissue paper stick to contact paper?

    1. Contact paper has a sticky side. It grips the contact paper just like tape would. :)

  3. okay that dawned on me after i asked!
    thank you!

    1. Hahahaha - I realized I didn't explain it very well in the post after your comment and the previous one. (I wrote this post a loooong time ago) I added a sentence or two to hopefully make the post a little clearer! :)


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