How to make a suncatcher craft

Cyrus prepared to make a suncatcher with supplies

I'd give this activity a solid 9/10. My boys had a lot of fun making these (as you can see from the pictures), it was cheap, and the mess wasn't too bad. The worst part of making a suncatcher is waiting a couple days for the glue to dry. Kids definitely don't like to wait for things.

Here's what you need:

  • Elmer's Glue

  • Food Coloring

  • Paint Brush (We used a paint brush. You can use a toothpick, stick, pencil, or anything else you have laying around to draw with)

  • Plastic Lid (Its best to use a lid that will flex to make removing your suncatcher easier. I took the lid off the sour cream before I realized it would take days to dry. Oops. My bad.)

  • String

Step 1

Fill the lid with Elmer's glue. Simple enough. Pro tip, you definitely want to take the lid off if you're using the small bottles. As you can see we did not at first and this little fella struggled. Be careful though. Once you remove the cap the glue flows fast.

Step 1. Cyrus filling the lid with Elmer's glue
Step 2. Cyrus adds drops of food coloring to the lid filled with glue

Step 2

Add the food coloring. I let my kids take over and just added commentary with ridiculous voices, which is why he's laughing. The food coloring doesn't come out fast, but you may want to let them know a couple drops goes a long way. Also remind them to hold on to the tubes tight. We had a casualty. RIP green food coloring.

Step 2. Roman adds drops of food coloring to the lid filled with glue
Step 3. Roman swirling the food coloring and glue with a paint brush

Step 3

Here comes the fun part. Pick up your paintbrush and start swirling. The patterns and colors that are created from some simple white glue and food coloring drops are super rad. My kids had a blast with this part. Challenge and engage with your kids here. Ask them what they think will happen when the green and yellow mix or you can try to guess what the shapes they make look like.

Step 3. Cyrus swirling the food coloring and glue with a paint brush

Step 4

Add more glue and food coloring. There is no rule to how much glue and food coloring your kids can add or what order it has to go in. Give your kids the freedom to be creative and watch them go wild.

Another cool idea would be to use this technique to make ornaments for the Christmas tree.

Step 5

This is the hardest step. Getting your kids to stop swirling colors before they all blend into a weird pinkish color and letting your suncatcher dry. It will take a few days for all the glue to harden and make your suncatcher complete. Just remind your kids not to touch it the 5,000 times they check if its dry before it's actually dry. The look in his eyes tells you how bad he wants to touch it.

Step 4. Roman waiting on his suncatcher to dry

Step 6

Now that your kids have waited an eternity (approximately 3 days) it is time to remove your suncatcher. Flex the lid and carefully remove the suncatcher. You may want to trim the edges for a cleaner look. Put a hole in the top about 1/4" to 1/2" from the edge. Run your string through the hole and tie it. Hang it near a window to show your kids how cool their suncatchers look in the sun. I helped Cy trim the edge and tried to make it a cool spiral to hang from. I wanted to spiral the whole thing, but he wasn't about that life. Another cool idea would be to cut out the suncatcher into shapes other than circles.