How to make a stained glass sun catcher
This colourful sun catcher craft project is ideal for kids of all ages as well as anyone looking for a super simple activity to fill 30 minutes.
It really doesn't take long at all to transform a plastic wallet and some black paper into a fun stained glass sun catcher.
As an activity coordinator in a care home, working with dementia residents, this craft activity is ideal for both low level and high level participants.
This project is for:
You will need:
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Step 1: Cut the plastic wallet to size
Cut off the bottom and hole punched edges of your plastic wallet so that you have three open edges.
Step 2: Cut the strips for your window mount
Cut two long and two short stripes of black paper/card. I cut these by eye but if you're a perfectionist, like I usually am, why not cut your strips 29cm x 2cm and 21cm x 2cm. The size of your frame is entirely up to you.
Step 3: Paint your picture
It's now time to paint your picture. With your plastic wallet open, paint on one half of the sheet with your acrylic paint. We chose to use acrylic paints as they cover the plastic well but you could also use sharpies and draw your image instead of paint it. (We've not tried this yet, you'll have to let me know how it turns out if you give it a go.)
For our stained glass sun catcher designs, we painted rainbows, flowers and abstract patterns but the possibilities are endless, so be creative and have fun!
My daughter (age 8) painted a lovely rainbow using acrylic paint onto the right hand section of the plastic sheet.
Step 4: Add double sided tape
Once your paint is dry, add double sided tape to the edges.
Step 5: Peel tape
Making sure you have pressed it down well, carefully peel off the paper strip.
Be careful not to pull off the paint when you peel back your sticky tape.
Step 6: Fold the plastic to project artwork
This is the tricky part! Fold your plastic in half so that the painted side is covered by the plain side (the bit you didn't paint on). Be careful not to do this too fast as you don't want it to stick in the wrong place and create bumps. Maybe ask someone to help you with this part if you struggle.
I like to peel the tape off slowly in sections and press down the plastic as I'm peeling so that it doesn't accidentally get stuck before I'm ready for it to stick - if that makes sense!
Step 7: Add double sided tape
Add double sided tape to the back of the black strips.
Step 8: Stick down window mount
Now peel back the tape and stick onto your picture.
Whilst I was creating the original samples for this tutorial, I created the frame first and then tried to stick it on to the plastic but I got in a mess and ruined my first attempt. I have since played around with different techniques and this way has proven to be the most successful.
I started at the top, then added the bottom strip. Notice how I haven't attached the bottom strip to the bottom of the plastic sheet. In this case I didn't want all the extra unpainted plastic so added it a little higher, I then cut this section off at the end.
The beauty of this project is you can create A4 sized sun catchers or cut the plastic into smaller sheets to make cute little versions.
Once you have the top and bottom sorted, move onto the sides.
Now that you've added all the sides, make sure they're stuck down well before trimming off any excess.
Voila! Your sun catcher is complete
Your sun catcher is ready to hang in a window and cast colourful patterns into your room. I simply added some double sided sticky squares to the back of our finished designs and stuck it to the glass. (On the inside!)
Our sun catchers haven't been up long so I can't confirm how long they will stay up for as the weather changes but for now they add the pop of colour we desperately need in the lead up to spring.
If you want something a little more robust, you could always use card for your frame so that the structure is stronger and then add string to the top and attach to the window with a suction hook.
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