Holiday Art – Transparent, Translucent, Opaque

In Nancy Larson® Science 2, children learn to describe objects by their physical characteristics.

One characteristic is whether the object is transparent, translucent, or opaque.

This project incorporates these descriptions of a jar. The children watch their jars change characteristics

several times. The final versions make colorful votives that children can give as gifts.

I like to have the children work on their jars while I’m reading to them after lunch.



Start with a transparent jar.                 You’ll need white glue

Here I’m re-using a jelly jar.                like Elmer’s School Glue.



Spread a coating of glue over                  The white glue covers the 

the sides of the jar.                                 jar and becomes opaque.



As the glue dries, you can see                The glue is completely dry

the jar change from opaque                   and the jar is translucent.

to translucent.



Use regular markers to color                   Since my jar was embossed with

the jar. I’ve found inexpensive                fruit, I followed these shapes.

markers work best.                             



For more intense colors, use the              Handle the jar so that fingers

markers to add several layers                 don’t touch the outside colored

of color.  Let the jar dry                          glass. The marker colors will 

between layers.                                     come off easily on fingers.



You can create blended colors                   When you’re done adding color,

by layering shades. Be sure to                   let the jar dry, then spray with

start with the lightest shade and                 clear acrylic. I apply two coats.

work toward the darker ones.                    This keeps the colors in place

For the peach, I started with                      and makes the jar hand-

yellow, then pink, and lastly orange.           washable.



Your jar is now almost transparent               Use a battery-powered tea light,

and very colorful.                                       and it’s a glowing votive. 


I’ve used candles for older children.

The flameless tea lights aren’t as

bright, but they are so safe to handle.



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