Mini Maker Window Workshop

The leaves are falling and it’s ‘Back to School’ time yet again. Over the summer however, the Nice-Cuts team had a bit of fun dreaming up some fun activities for these tiny minds to get creative with during a series of community workshops!

One of the workshops we worked on was ‘Mini Windows for Mini Makers’. This was inspired by Zoë who, when she’s not working here at the Nice-Cuts workshop cutting out your orders, spends her time making huge stained glass windows in her glass studio The Glass Garden over in Farsley Leeds. We’ve written about her working process before, you can read about it here.  She often likes to cut her designs out of MDF first to help envisage the finished panels to scale. As she prefers to draw her designs in Adobe Illustrator, it’s an easy next step to create a perfect laser cutting file.

MDF to scale Laser cut version of a Stained Glass window commission. Stained Glass Leeds by Zoe Eady of The Glass Garden - laser cut British garden birds design.
MDF to scale Laser cut version of a Stained Glass window commission.

So this summer we thought it would be nice to make some mini versions of these that our Mini Makers could have a go at themselves. We asked Zoë to come up with four different ideas that we could cut out as a standard postcard.

Here’s what she came up with using super simplified versions of some of her existing commissioned windows.

MDF Lasercut Mini Windows for Mini Makers - Stained Glass window kids workshop. Post card sized. Designed by Zoe Eady from the Glass Garden - Stained glass commissions in Leeds.
Lasercut Mini Windows for Mini Makers – Stained Glass window kids workshop.

The idea from here was to give them out to workshop participants who could decorate them however they wanted! Some used them as stencils, but most were encouraged to use coloured cellophane to decorate the ‘glass’ sections.

We quickly found that filling the space with cellphone was tricky as the dividing lines were thin and hard to glue. The solution to this came in a bumper pack of ancient Over-Head-Projector acetate sheets found hiding at the back of the workshop!

Acetate backing for Mini Makers Laser Cut Window Workshop! lasercut stained glass window in MDF designed for Nice-Cuts a laser cutting service in Leeds by Zoe Eady glass Artist of the Glass Garden - Stained glass in Leeds.
Acetate backing for Mini Makers Laser Cut Window Workshop!

We glued a cut down sheet to the back of the MDF laser cut frames using ordinary PVA glue or double sided sticky tape. The beauty of PVA glue is that it dries clear, so this was an ideal choice of glue to use (it’s also washable and non-toxic which is a bonus when your working with kids!) The workshop participants could choose to either smother their window in glue and free-style the the cellophane over the back creating lovely irregular abstract patterns, or they could carefully stay within the lines making sure to cut the cellophane down to size. Both techniques gave some beautiful results!

Acetate backing for Mini Makers Laser Cut Window Workshop! lasercut stained glass window in MDF designed for Nice-Cuts a laser cutting service in Leeds by Zoe Eady glass Artist of the Glass Garden - Stained glass in Leeds.
Laser cut Mini Makers Stained Glass Window workshop – Front and back view.
Acetate backing for Mini Makers Laser Cut Window Workshop! lasercut stained glass window in MDF designed for Nice-Cuts a laser cutting service in Leeds by Zoe Eady glass Artist of the Glass Garden - Stained glass in Leeds.
Lasercut mini maker stained glass window workshop – Sunburst
Abstract decoration for Mini Makers Laser Cut Window Workshop! lasercut stained glass window in MDF designed for Nice-Cuts a laser cutting service in Leeds by Zoe Eady glass Artist of the Glass Garden - Stained glass in Leeds.
Abstract laser cut stained glass window