Monday, April 4, 2011

April Showers Bring May Flowers Sun Catchers

I've been on a sun catcher kick lately so these umbrella and flower sun catchers were the perfect craft for this dreary day. Mia enjoyed them too, and she asked if we could make some more. Their bright colors look cheerful in the window even if there isn't any sun, so she may have the right idea! It seems like spring is never going to arrive...

{Sun Catchers by Mia, Age 4}

  • construction paper (any color)
  • scissors
  • clear contact paper
  • tissue paper (any color)
  • pencil 
  • clear tape
  • paper trimmer (optional)
  • hole punch (optional)
  • yarn, string, ribbon, etc. for hanging (optional)
  1. Cut tissue paper into small squares. Older kids can do this themselves. We used approximately 1/2 inch squares, but you could make yours bigger. 
  2. Fold a piece of 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 flower or umbrella 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 flower or umbrella shape. 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 fish 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 flowers or umbrellas.
  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 flower or umbrella shape until it is filled. (Mia chose pink and purple for the flower petals and green for the leaves and stem, and she decided that the umbrella should have rainbow colors. She came up with her own technique for filling in smaller spaces like the umbrella handle: crumple the tissue paper into balls. This makes it a bit bulkier, but it still works, and it gives it some visual interest.)
  7. Layer the second piece of construction paper on top of the first, making sure that the flower or umbrella 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.


  1. We just made kite suncatchers the other day!

  2. Great idea, Kim. I would love to see a picture of how they turned out. :)