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Painting Christmas Advent Windows

Advent Windows with Peelable Glass Paint

If you’re looking to create an Advent window then Thorndown’s Peelable Glass Paint could be the perfect advent window glass paint for you!

It’s made with a 100% recycled plastics resin which is great for the environment but also gives the coating its unique peelable quality. Paint it on to any shiny surface from glass to plastic and then when Advent is over, pick at a corner and peel it off.

Peelable Glass Paint is water-based and can be painted on internal or external windows. There’s an extensive colour range and the VOC free exterior-grade colour pigments are strong and long-lasting. You can buy Peelable Glass Paint in 40ml craft tins, 150ml tins for larger jobs, or 750ml tins for a big project.

Advent Window Trails

Over the years Advent window trails have become increasingly more popular in communities from neighbourhoods to the high street, as a way of spreading cheer, bringing people closer together, and often raising money for charities. 

Below we share some inspiration and advice from artists who have created some amazing Advent Windows.

Helen Thompson Art – Shop Window

Helen was commissioned by a local organisation to paint Christmas designs on two shop windows for the Advent period.

She used Peelable Glass Paint is Swan White, Bat Black, Bath Cream, Dragon Red, Goblin Green, Griffin Gold and Elf Blue to paint these beautiful images of a Christmas tree, dog and snowmen.

These jolly Christmas scenes definitely make me smile whenever I look at them and spread a lot of cheer to customers, passersby and the owners and workers in the shop. To find out more about Helen’s work please visit her on Instagram @helenthompsonart or her website www.helenthompson.art

Advent Calendar Windows – Susan McClure

An Advent Calendar Window trail really do bring huge amounts of joy to streets. The variety of designs and excitement at seeing each of them revealed adds to the festive period and helps whole communities celebrate the advent period.

Artist Susan McClure shares pictures and details of the stunning Advent Window that she created and some invaluable tips on how the Advent Window Trail was planned.

Planning an Advent Calendar Window Trail

One of Susan’s neighbours (Jan) suggested the idea of an Advent Calendar Window Trail in the October to the Residents Association. 

This gave enough time for it to be organised, with various people volunteering to do one, then a discussion about what it should involve exactly, then a discussion about who does which dates, that Jan led. She then organised a list of names/ addresses for each day on December, and also set up an extra WhatsApp group for participants to talk amongst themselves about what and how they were making the windows, sharing materials and expertise, etc.

Susan happens to be an incredibly talented artist and made her Advent window using two pre-cut acetate panels, 2mm thick, which she temporarily fitted into the lower parts of her sitting room bay window.

This is how Susan became involved in the Advent trail and created these panels;

“I very much enjoyed taking part in this community project with and for my neighbours. Our Residents Association, covering two roads in the centre of Moseley,  Birmingham, is an active one and the sense of community in this area is strong. Our RA WhatsApp group has become a great part of our neighbourhood cooperation and social contact since the start of the pandemic. This autumn (2021), one neighbour proposed on WhatsApp, an Advent Calendar window project, to be made for each day from 1st to 24th December,  by any residents of our 2 roads who wanted to join in, and 24 people/households rapidly did so. I offered to do the first day, because I wanted to have finished before the month of December started, and then relax and enjoy the rest! So my imitation stained glass panels both incorporate the figure “1” . They are lit, on the indoors side, by self adhesive strips of LEDs, stuck onto a border of black insulation tape, and wired to a transformer plug.

The fox is a character that I often see walking down our garden early in the morning from my bedroom window, and the robin is always around. It also commemorates my mother,  Robin (short for Robina) Maguire, who died peacefully at home on 22nd December 2020, at the age of 84. The Moon holds the “1” for the first day of Advent.

“For the other side of our bay front window,  I needed another linear animal scene,  with something else to contain the “1”.  I like cats – so I thought of a jumping cat,  little older than a kitten, trying to catch a Christmas tree bauble – and the tinsel in disarray was an idea that got added as I developed the panel. In fact, both panels gradually developed as I painted them – I started with the bare idea of the animal and a way to show up the “1”, then went from there. I sketched each animal onto tracing paper and taped it to the back of the clear acetate so I could draw directly with the glass paint.

Each area of colour needed at least two applications of the glass paint to give the intensity I wanted. The black lines, which are made of lead in real stained glass windows, were painted on, apart from the borders, which were made with black insulating tape. The panels have been fitted into the sides of our bay window using Blutak and more insulating tape, while sitting the acetate panels on top of the Victorian sash window opening handles. We only turn on the LEDs at the socket after we have pulled the curtains,  or we are blinded by the bright light!”

“These panels will be taken down on the Twelfth Day of Christmas, 5th January, and maybe I’ll put them up again on the next first day of December.

All 24 Advent windows have been a revelation and an entertainment! As each went up, a photo or two was posted on our WhatsApp group, and many of us enjoyed walking around our two roads to view the growing series of window artworks, adding to the lovely Christmas tree and light decorations that many people put in their front windows or outside their houses at Christmas. The 24th resident to display her Advent window received a thank you card through her letterbox, to all of us – shared on the WhatsApp group immediately – from a man living a few streets away. He takes a morning walk around the neighbourhood before he starts working from home in his tiny spare room,  and he wrote that he was wonderfully entertained by looking to see what window artwork would appear, and where, each dark morning in December.  We are all so pleased to know that!”

You can see more of Susan’s work on Instagram @thesusankatemcclure

It can take a lot of time, communication and collaborative effort to put together an Advent Calendar Window Trail, but hugely rewarding.

The top tip is to allow plenty of time so if it’s the first time for your neighbourhood or high street, then September would be a great time to start planning, so the experience is a happy and relaxed one.

So whether you commission an artist, happen to be a talented artist, or like me your artistic skills are limited but you love painting, get involved and spread some Advent joy!

More Ideas for Advent & Christmas

You can find more ideas and inspiration in other project pages with some great ideas for using stencils or creating a more simple Christmas tree design.

Projects – Painting Christmas Windows with Peelable Glass Paint

On this page you’ll find a Christmas window painted using the Peelable Glass Paint Christmas Stencil Craft Pack, another simple baubles design using stencils designed then cut out on a cricut cutting machine, and a Christmas Tree painted using Frogtape for the shape and stencils for presents.

Projects – Handmade Christmas Crafts and Window

Shows lots of different ideas including making festive decorations and presents with Peelable Glass Paint, and an Advent Calendar that you can re-use every year made using plastic baubles and glass paint.

Forever Advent Calendar

Make your forever Advent calendar with Thorndown Peelable Glass Paint. Say goodbye to unnecessary waste, buying and throwing away Advent calendars every year.

We bought some fillable plastic baubles from the internet then split them between the family so we each had 6 baubles to decorate.

On one side of the bauble we painted the number from 1 to 24, then decorated the other half of the bauble using a stencil or freehand design. Some of the baubles we decorated entirely but made sure that you could still see the number.

Once they had dried we filled each bauble with a chocolate treat then strung them together and hung them up across the kitchen window, waiting patiently for our turn to open a bauble and enjoy an Advent treat!

Peelable Glass Paint is very durable if left on but if you decide to change a design then you can easily remove it and paint on a fresh pattern.