Ideas, craft tips and videos

There are lots of different ways that you could create your Advent Lights window display, from shop-bought items and fairy lights to ‘starting from scratch’ with card, tissue paper, scissors and glue. Follow instructions to create a thought-through design, or explore your creativity with your own design ideas and concepts.

Below are some different ideas which will hopefully help get you started. We have graded them according to difficulty, although you may have your own opinions on them! The ‘fairly easy’ craft option is available in the form of a craft pack to anyone local to Gateshead who would find it a help to have the resources provided. Request a craft pack via the ‘Connect’ tab above.

Whatever design approach you opt for, we hope you have a lot of fun creating it!

Easy (no craft option)

If you’re not in the mood for craft you can still join in! If you have a light box, you could put a message of HOPE on it and pop that in a visible window space. Alternatively, you could buy some light up letters to display. Various shops are selling free-standing and ornamental light up letters this year.

Fairly easy (craft option)

If you’re up for a bit of old-school crafting then you can opt to follow our simple set of instructions. The video below takes you through the steps needed to achieve a simple but effective window display. The example is A4 in size, but you could always scale it up if you wanted to go bigger.

All you need is: black card, tracing paper (optional), coloured tissue paper, scissors, glue, sticky tape (optional).

  1. Cut a rectangular hole in your card to create a black ‘frame’. Save the middle part for step 1.
  2. Tear or cut the tissue paper colours of your choice and either glue them onto tracing paper if you have it, or carefully glue it to the frame and fill it all in. If you use tracing paper, once all stuck, affix it to the frame, using sticky tape or glue.
  3. Using the left-over card from step 1, bubble-write the word ‘Hope’ in your style of choice. You could draw around templates (there are printable options in the Downloads section) if you’re not confident with drawing them free-hand.
  4. Cut around your black lettering and then glue them to the front of the tissue paper in the middle of the frame.
  5. Add any extra symbols/pictures you’d like to include in your design.
  6. Attach your frame to your chosen window (taking care that it would read the correct way from the outside!) and then ensure there is a suitable light source available behind it to illuminate it for all to see and enjoy as they pass by.

You may have a whole window you’re happy to fill with your display, in which case you could upscale the above steps – removing the 1st step if you’re happy to attach tissue paper directly to your windows.

More complex (craft option)

Using black card and a cutting knife you could cut out a design of your choice and fill them in with coloured tissue paper. This could be attached directly to your window. Alternatively, this option lends itself well to creating a stand-alone light-box of your own design, which can be done using a deep frame.
To use a frame, follow these steps. To attach a design directly to your window, miss out steps 1 and 5.

You will need: a deep frame (optional), black card, coloured tissue paper, cutting knife scissors, glue, sticky tape.

  1. Measure the card to fit the frame (when placed over the front of it). Trim to fit but do not attach yet.
  2. Create your design on the card (may be best to do in mirror-image form on the back of the card, if possible, so that it won’t show).
  3. Using a cutting knife and/or scissors, cut out your designs.
  4. Fill in the cut out areas with coloured tissue paper of your choice – secure with glue from the back.
  5. Once the design is complete, attach the card to the frame.
  6. Place a light source behind your frame in your chosen window space. Alternatively, you could use a set of fairy lights and tape them to the back of your card, within the frame space, to create a light source directly behind.

Tracing paper drawings (easy to difficult)

You could always use tracing paper, or baking paper, to create a hand-drawn design of your choice. This works well if you sketch your picture and words in pencil and then go over with bold marker pens (e.g. Sharpies). You could make it as simple or as complex as you choose.