Sunday, December 11, 2016

Easy Handmade DIY Suncatchers

I'm always on the lookout for EASY craft projects to do, especially ones that can double as gifts. I came across these suncatchers in the art room of The Jersey Momma's Boy's school. We were meeting there for cub scouts and I happened to see this awesome project on the sidelines that the teacher was working on (I'm sorry, Mrs. E, I didn't mean to snoop in  your stuff! I just couldn't help but notice how pretty they were!)  If you want to make them, too, all you need to do is follow these THREE easy steps (yup, that's it!).


So you want to make a suncatcher? If you want to make them for a gift, just be sure to plan ahead, because they need a few days to dry (at least 4).

Here's what you'll need:

-colored glass stones of any size or shape (you can find them at most craft stores or in the floral section of your local Walmart)
-clean plastic lids from butter or sour cream (any container lid will do, but that's the general size you want)
-clear Elmer's Glue
-ribbon or fishing line for hanging


Optional Step  We decided to lay our stones out first to make sure our design fit before we glued everything down. This step is optional, but I recommend it so you know what your suncatcher will look like.


Step 1.  Now clear the stones off your lid off and squeeze some clear glue all over it (the flat side of the lid should be facing down- you need the edges of the lid up to hold your stones and glue in). Make sure it's enough to coat the lid. Then start placing your stones down. *Note: if you made your design in advance and want to try to keep it as is without removing the stones, you can try placing a piece of cardboard over it and quickly flipping it over, then carefully lifting the lid to keep your stones in place, so you can re-set them on your gluey surface. But that takes a quick hand! Another option is to take a photo of the design you created with your phone, so you can just copy your design from the image when you go to place it in the gluey lid. 


I recommend making your stones touch, as that makes it much easier to pop out of the lid in one piece when it's dry.  The image below still needed a few stones added in between to close up the gaps, see?


Step 2.  After you finish your design, squirt some more glue around it/over it to solidify your design.


Step 3.  Let it dry, at least 3-4 days (mine took longer, more like 5 days). Do you know this was the hardest part for me? I am so impatient, I must've tried to pop it out of the lid at least four times before it was actually ready.


You'll know when it's ready because it will start to peel away from the lid really easily. If you try to peel it away and you still see gluey strings or it still seems like it's wet or stuck to the lid, let it dry more.

If you have any gaps in your finished design, you can thread some ribbon or fishing wire through to hang it. If not, you can use a dab of hot glue (or even the clear glue) on the back of the suncatcher to place a ribbon on it. The suncatcher will be fairly heavy when complete, so you want to make sure the ribbon or string is secure before hanging. 

Oh, and save your lids! You might be tempted to toss them because they're all gluey, but after the glue dries, it just peels right off (which is kind of cool, actually) and you can use the lid for another suncatcher.



Jersey Momma Tips:

-For some reason, The Jersey Momma's Boy's suncatcher dried much faster than mine. His took about three or four days. I don't know if it was his design choice or the amount of glue, or what.



- I was so impatient to get mine out of the lid and see my finished product that I did actually pop it out before it was ready. When I peeled it off the lid, the back was still a little tacky, so I left it to dry out of the lid with the back facing up. That seemed to do the trick.

-You can get super creative with these if you have a knack for patterns. This was the original design that I saw in Mrs. E's classroom. Isn't her finished product beautiful?


You can get crafty from the comfort of your own home if you use my Amazon affiliate links below to buy all of your supplies! Then they'll just show up right at your door.






8 comments:

  1. That looks like a really fun project.

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    1. Thanks, Mary! You should try making one!

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  2. This is really beautiful and it looks like something easy to make.

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  3. These look really nice, but I wonder how they would hold up. Can they be used outside or just for indoors?

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    1. I have five of them in my window now and they've been there since December. They haven't faded or broken. The ribbon broke off of one but that was my fault because I didn't tie it in the right place. I would not recommend these for outside use. The window I have mine in gets direct sunlight for about three hours a day, so they've held up really well! Thanks for visiting and commenting!

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  4. How do you attach the ribbon?

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    1. Hi Karen- Thanks for your question! I should really add this to my post because I learned a few things after making so many of these. You can add the ribbon after the suncatcher is dry just by lacing it through any holes that might have naturally formed in the drying process (you can see that in the green/blue/yellow suncatcher above). You can also opt to use a small drill or sharp tool to poke a hole through the clear glue to lace a ribbon through. OR you can hot glue gun a ribbon onto the back of the suncatcher when it's dry. We did have an issue with the hot glue gun ribbon on one of our suncatchers, though. It was a rather heavy suncatcher and over time the hot glue just broke off, resulting in the suncatcher falling off the window. So lacing the ribbon through a hole is probably a better option! Hope that helps.

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  5. Love this idea!!! We are doing this as soon as I can collect enough lids!

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