How to Do Window Art

Three Methods:Paper CutoutsPaint on the OutsidePaint on the Inside

Window art is a fun way to temporarily decorate a room for a party, a holiday, or as a fun project with kids. You can also use it to decorate your business's windows for an event. Here are several options for how to decorate.

Method 1
Paper Cutouts

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    Cut out your paper designs.
    • Thin paper, such as tissue paper, allows enough light through that the colors "glow" nicely.
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    Use slivers of double-sided tape to adhere the designs to your window.
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    Remember -- if your art is meant to be viewed from the outside, align your pattern appropriately.

Method 2
Paint on the Outside

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    Use this technique if you want your artwork to be viewed from indoors (ie, you're painting a scene as the background for an indoor party.
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    Plan your painting carefully. Most window painters use a Stabilo "All" pencil, which has a waxy "lead". It is water soluble and can be wiped clean with water. If you use a white one (they come in a variety of colors), you will easily be able to see it to paint as the glass is considered a black field, but once you have finished your picture, the viewer will barely notice any white lines that don't dissolve in your paint.
    • You'll have to plan out each layer that is to be painted on, as the foreground will have to be painted first - this requires thought, because you may want to leave certain areas open so that the background colors can come through.
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    Use acrylic paint or ProArt Tempera (add a little bit of dish soap to it, it will stick better and go on smoother!) to apply your first layer (the foreground details).
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    Wait for this layer to dry. When it is completely dry, apply the next one.
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    Repeat these steps until your scene is finished.

Method 3
Paint on the Inside

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    Use the steps for "Paint on the Outside", but apply the paint on the interior of the window. You'll have to reverse gears to paint this way, because these water based paints dry too quickly to blend them. Lay down your background colors first, and when they are dry, lay down your next color.


  • No matter what, if the back side of your painting can be seen at all, draw an outline around the entire design, then paint a white field over it. Use this as your first layer. Wait until completely dry, then start your image work. This will ensure that your viewer doesn't have to deal with a distracting, and perhaps unsightly version of your image on the side that wasn't meant to be seen, instead leaving a clean white field for the viewer to see.
  • Plan carefully-- mistakes are hard to fix!
  • Put down newspaper or a paint cloth to avoid getting paint on your furniture or walls.
  • Wear old clothes.


  • Acrylic paint can stain cloth or walls! And acrylic cannot be laundered out of clothing once it dries. Tempera can.

Article Info

Categories: Home Decorating