Stained Glass Name Designs

This is a simple project, and a great introduction to the concept of positive and negative space for younger kids. Any project using their names is typically a guaranteed hit!!


  • White paper, any size
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Black chisel tip markers
  • Water-based markers in a variety of colors

Positive Space – the object or objects you are drawing (in this case, the letters)
Negative Space – the area around and in between whatever you are drawing

1. Using large “stick letters”, write your name so that the letters touch each edge of the paper as well as each other, creating plenty of negative spaces. (If your name has more than four letters, you may want to use just your initials, or use a longer piece of paper.)
2. Trace over your letters (the positive space) with a broad tip black marker to make them nice and thick.
3. Color in the negative spaces inside and around your letters using colorful markers for a “stained glass” effect. (Remind students to color all one direction, so their designs look neat and not scribbly! When I’m taking to K’s, I tell them this is coloring “the Kindergarten way”, for 1st graders I say it’s the “first grade way”, etc. They really need this reminder!!)

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4 Responses to Stained Glass Name Designs

  1. Brenda Doodles August 17, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    Love the projects, will certainly be sharing them with my daughter. Thanks for putting this and others up.

  2. TeachKidsArt August 21, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    Yup, Adam…. I owe you a dollar! ;)

  3. Lee January 14, 2015 at 9:13 pm #

    For young children would you write the children’s names for them, do you use some form on stencilling.

    • Cheryl Trowbridge January 15, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

      When students aren’t able to write their own names yet, I like to write it for them with a very light dotted line, which they then trace and fill in. That way they get the practice of writing the letters, and it feels (and looks) more like their own work!