By Dave Pierik, Shelton-Mason County Journal
Happy Tree Worship Center
Happy Tree’s citizens need a gathering place for prayer and life events. Here is a classic old country church with backlit stained glass effects. This is fun to make. Enjoy!
Tools: ruler & compass, scissors, paintbrushes, colorful permanent markers.
Materials: Old junk mail window envelopes, cardboard, school glue, masking tape, sand, baking soda, acrylic paints, four small round beads, battery-powered tea lights. Total cost: about $2
Time: about 8 to 12 hours total.
1. Stained glass prep
Using the clear plastic from some old junk mail window envelopes, fill all the space with colors and designs of your choice, saving the black for later. Once the ink is dry, carefully glue another clear piece over the top. Set aside.
2. Cut pieces
Mark and cut from cardboard: Steeple peak – mark four 2” x 3” rectangles, with 1” marks on the 2” side, cut 4 triangles. Steeple base sides: four 2” x 2 ½” pieces and one 2 1/8” x 2 1/8” base roof. Three roof pieces 8” x 4”. Two front / back panels 7 ½”W x 6”H, mark 4” side heights and 2” in from L. to R., cut angles. Two side panels 7” x 4”. One base, 8” x 8”. Test fit & cut approx. 1” x 1½” windows & doors.
3. Pre-assemble & prime
Glue the steeple peak triangles to the steeple peak base roof. Use masking tape to hold it together until dry and set it aside. Glue the steeple base sides to the front of the building’s center roof. The building front back and sides go on the base. Reinforce glue lines with sand, and shake off the excess. Prime with white paint mixed with glue, adding a small amount of baking soda to help fill small gaps. Set aside to dry.
4. Glue & detail
Glue the inner frames of the windows, and carefully align and place each piece. Add masking tape until dry. Paint black outlines along color changes on the outside. Cut a hole in the bottom to allow access to tea lights. Glue the roof pieces and steeple together, then paint additional details. A wash of water with brown and black will bring out shadows. A drybrush with white brings out highlights.
5. Worship Center
Happy Tree Worship Center has cheery, inviting warmth to it. Depending on layout space and preferences, this building can be made smaller or larger by scaling the measurements in step 2. You could also create a sign that reads: “Bingo night Thursday, win a casserole.”