A classic art project for kids is the macaroni necklace and for good reason, pasta is a fun material to use in art because it’s inexpensive, the shapes are diverse and beautiful, and it’s so tactile. Recently the Rockin’ Art Moms challenged each other to come up with pasta crafts; we called it The Macaroni Challenge. Today we are unveiling the results and I have to day that these are some of the coolest pasta projects I’ve ever seen. And better yet, we want YOU to join us in this challenge by making your own pasta creation and sharing it with us! See below for details on The Macaroni Challenge.
To get this challenge started here is how we tackled it: Stained Glass Pasta
My first thought for the challenge was lasagna. It’s wide, flat, and I really haven’t seen many projects that take advantage of it. I tried quite a few projects before coming up with Stained Glass Pasta. One of my issues was the fact that my wide noodles were prone to breaking until I stopped fighting that fact and used it to my advantage in the project. We used colored flat lasagna pieces to create faux stained glass. Hang these in a sunny window and they look really lovely!
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Pasta Crafts: Stained Glass Pasta
- Flat Pasta Lasagne – I found ours at Trader Joes.
For coloring the noodles:
- Liquid Watercolors or Food Coloring
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Ziploc Baggies
For the project:
- Clear Contact Paper OR two sheets of stickyback paper per “window”
- Painter’s Tape
- Black Sharpies- This type of tip works best
Before You Start
You will need to have dyed pasta for this project. Watch our tutorial to learn to to easily dye pasta using food coloring or liquid watercolors. I recommend breaking the lasagna into pieces before dying it.
- Step One Break your lasagna noodles into pieces. There should be a variety of sizes.
- Step Two Color your pasta according to the tutorial above.
- Step Three Cut out two matching sizes of clear contact paper, ours were roughly 10” x 10”.
- Step Four Remove the backing from one piece of contact paper and tape it your work surface using painter’s tae. The sticky side should be facing UP.
- Step Five Have your child place pieces of the colored lasagna on the contact paper. They can custom break pieces as necessary. Leave at least 1/4″ gaps between the pieces. You may want to show them some examples of stained glass to illustrate why.
- Step Six Remove the backing from the second piece of contact paper and gently place it on top of the finished layout. Gently burnish the gaps with your fingertips to seal.
- Step Seven Using a wide tip Sharpie, have your child fill in the gap between the colored pieces with black for a stained glass effect.
You’re done! Hang it in a sunny window and display!
- The pasta will not cling to the contact paper but rather be gently held in place by it. This is good because you can move the shares around as you design. the flip side is your child may say” It’s not sticking!” That’s okay. sealing it with the top sheet of contact paper will trap the pics in place.
- Adults/older children should handle placing the contact paper on top of the finished piece. It’s a little tricky to do and keep the pieces in place.
- If you are worried about the pieces staying in place you can spray a layer of spray adhesive on the bottom piece of contact paper and again before you add the top piece. ADULTS ONLY should spray it as it’s an art material that need proper ventilation otherwise it’s pretty toxic.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh Charles Rennie Mackintosh was a Scottish architect, artist, and graphic designer who became synonymous with the Art Nouveau movement in the United Kingdom in the late 1800s. His masterpiece is considered the Glasgow School of Art, for which he not only designed the building but also the stained glass windows, furniture, and even the graphics. He was one of the first designers to create abstract and modern designs in stained glass, a departure from their traditional use in churches and cathedrals, and this is why I thought of him with this project. Another reason I love Charles Rennie Macintosh is because of the collaborative nature of his work. He was part of the Glasgow Four made up of himself, his wife Margaret MacDonald, her sister Frances MacDonald, and friend Herbert MacNair. The four colleagues collaborated on a number of exhibitions in Europe and helped define the “Glasgow Style.” One of my favorite quotes from Charles about his wife is, “Margaret has genius, I have only talent.” See more of his work here.
More colorful art projects with PASTA:
If you liked this project then the Rockin art Moms have 14 more for you to check out! Here they are:
Buggy & Buddy | Mosaic Art Project for Kids Using Dyed Pasta
Handmakery | Modern Macaroni Masterpiece
Pink Stripey Socks | Pasta Noodle Macaroni Frames
Molly Moo | Painted Macaroni Necklaces
Tiny Rotten Peanuts | Macaroni Mosaics
Learn Play Imagine | Painted Pasta Art
Meri Cherry | Pasta Sculptures for Preschoolers
Willowday |Macaroni Pompom Flower Necklaces
Pysselbolaget | Pretty Pasta Pendants
Artful Parent | Pasta Art Activities For Kids
Picklebums | Pasta Drawing Prompts
Mer Mag | Re-think The Macaroni Necklace
Tinkerlab | Spaghetti Tower Marshmallow Cha
Babble Dabble Do | Stained Glass Pasta