Wednesday, March 9, 2011

St. Patty's Day Sun Catcher Craft

This craft was inspired one that my friend Kim did with her kids. They made hearts for Valentine's Day and called them V-Day Sun Catchers. This craft requires a bit a parent prep, but it is simple enough for toddlers to do once you have prepared. Kids about 8 and up can most likely do this craft on their own.
{Shamrock Sun Catcher by Mia, Age 4}

  • green construction paper
  • scissors
  • clear contact paper
  • green tissue paper
  • pencil 
  • clear tape
  • paper trimmer (optional)
  • hole punch (optional)
  • yarn, string, ribbon, etc. for hanging (optional)
  1. Cut green tissue paper into small squares. Older kids can do this themselves. We used approximately 1/2 inch squares, but you could make yours bigger. Tip: We used two different shades of green tissue paper to give the sun catcher a more complex design. It looks especially nice where the two colors have overlapped in places.
  2. Fold a piece of green construction paper in half like a hamburger (or use two pieces of construction paper if you would like to make a larger sun catcher).
  3. Draw a shamrock shape (or trace around a cookie cutter or a picture from the internet) onto one half (or one piece) of the paper, and cut out the shamrock. Do not draw your design too close to the edges of the paper. Cut paper in half along the fold. You should now have two pieces of paper with identical shamrock cut-outs.  Tip: If you are using two pieces of paper, you will need to make sure they stay together so that you get identical shamrocks.
  4. Cut two pieces of clear contact paper (I used both a paper trimmer and scissors for this.) so that they are 1/4 inch larger than the construction paper all the way around. Tip: Do not remove backing from contact paper until you are ready to use it.
  5. Adhere one piece of paper to the clear contact paper so that there is a border of 1/4 inch all around the paper. Tip: Slowly peel the contact paper away from the backing as you smooth the construction paper down onto the contact paper. This way you don't end up with "bubbles."
  6. Have your child stick tissue paper squares onto the contact paper shamrock shape until it is filled (or nearly filled like Mia's).
  7. Layer the second piece of construction paper on top of the first, making sure that the shamrock shapes line up.
  8. Add the second piece of contact paper over the top, smoothing it down as you go. Trim away excess if desired, but don't trim too much or the sun catcher will not stay together. 
  9. You can display your sun catcher in a window using clear tape. Another option is to use a hole punch to make two holes near the top, thread some ribbon or yarn through the holes, tie it off, and then hang your sun catcher.

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