Stained-Glass Effect Tree

For a contemporary Christmas window decoration, try making this stained-glass effect bamboo tree.

Skill Level

Intermediate

Time to Make

1.5 hours + drying time for glue + paint

How to Make

  1. Select some bamboo circles in varied sizes to make the tree. Arrange them into a triangle shape to check they fit together. If there are any big gaps between the circles try another size.
  2. Rub over the bamboo circles with sandpaper to remove any rough edges. Curl the sandpaper and rub it around the middle of each piece to smooth the inner surface. As you sand the bamboo pieces, keep them arranged in the right order to make the triangle shape, so it’s easier to fit them together at the end.
  3. To glue the bamboo pieces together, start with the circle at the top of the tree. Squeeze glue, using a glue gun, along the edge and press the next 2 pieces together to form a triangle with 3 pieces. Continue with the bamboo pieces underneath, until there are 6 layers and all the pieces have been used up. Leave to dry.
  4. Lightly brush the edges of the bamboo with white paint. Or, if you prefer leave them unpainted.
  5. To make the tree base, select 2 more bamboo pieces. Fix the 2 pieces together with a glue gun and leave to dry.
  6. Cut cellophane circles to cover each of the bamboo pieces. Cut each piece a few mm bigger than the hole. They need to cover the holes but not extend over the outside edge of the bamboo. The cellophane circles will vary in size from 3 - 3.5cm depending on the size of the bamboo section. Use a variety of cellophane colours for the circles.
  7. To attach the cellophane circles, place the bamboo tree shape flat onto your work surface. Use a small brush to lightly apply glue around the edge of one bamboo section then gently press a cellophane circle on top. Repeat to glue all the cellophane pieces over the bamboo. Try not to get any glue on the middles of the cellophane circles as you handle them.
  8. To attach the base, squeeze glue around the edge of the top section of the trunk, then stand the tree on top. Tip the tree back very slightly, so the central piece sits inside the hole on the base with the tree overhanging at the front. Leave to dry.
  9. Carefully cut some craft sticks to fit around the base. Cut them at varying lengths to fit around the curve of the central bamboo piece. Smooth down each stick with sandpaper to remove any rough ends. Apply glue around the base then glue the sticks in place. Leave to dry.
  10. Lightly brush white paint over the base. Check the tree stands up. If it base wobbles, try rubbing the base over a piece of sandpaper or glue the tree onto a wooden coaster for added stability.

Top Tip

You need around 21-22 circles to make a tree as shown. For a larger tree add another layer of bamboo circles at the base, or for a smaller size use less pieces. It’s easier to fit the triangular tree structure onto the base section if there’s a bamboo circle centrally positioned on the bottom layer.