Simple materials can have the most MAGICAL impact on a child's play!
We have made over 20 sun catchers over the years & they are truly magical each & every time. They can be as simple or as complex as you'd like. They can be made out of cardboard or a paper plate. They can be handheld, or you can wear them like wings. Regardless of how you make them or how you play with them, they are sure to bring JOY into your day!
Let's start with materials! You will need:
Cardboard or a paper plate
Clear packing tape
An Xacto knife
It is important to note that tissue paper will create a really pretty design/piece of art but it will NOT reflect in the sun. You need cellophane paper. I buy a variety pack on Amazon.
Next, decide what kind of design you want. Do you want them to be wings? Do you want to attach them to a craft stick to hold? Do you want them to stand up on their own? Do you just want to hold them & run around the yard with them? Each way is amazing & fun & totally dependent on what your plan is.
These dinos are the one that started it all for us. The moment we brought these into the sun we were hooked. The colors, the reflections, the smiles on my kids' faces...it truly was a magical moment.
Draw the shape that you want (in this case it was the two dinosaurs) onto your piece of cardboard.
Using your xacto knife, cut the shape out. Pro tip: be very careful what surface you are cutting on. I always put a second piece of cardboard underneath to protect from scratches.
Once you have your main shape cut out, decide what you want the inside to look like. It can be shapes like we did above, it can be lines or just random cuts. Go ahead & cut those out.
Now, take your cellophane paper & fill in the cuts you made. You do not have to be exact with this. I usually cut the cellophane paper in long strips or squares & then I used the packing tape to attach it to the back of the suncatcher. You want to make sure that all of the holes are filled. Sometimes colors overlap and that's totally fine!
We wanted these to stand on their own, so we made a bracket out of cardboard. Take a rectangular piece of cardboard and fold it into an 'L' shape & hot glue it to the bottom back side of the sun catcher. Take a smaller piece of cardboard & wedge it into the bracket to secure it. Hot glue this as well! Do the same thing on the other side of the suncatcher so that it will stand.
You don't need them to stand to have fun with them! By holding them, you can determine what angles & positions make for longer or shorter shadows.
Use string to tie them to a stick for a fun nature twist!
Do you want to wear them? All you need is string & your packing tape. Here's how!
Cut two pieces of string about the length of the child's torso. Take one end of the string & tape it to the top of the wings. Take the other end & tape it to the bottom, directly underneath. Do the same thing on the other side of the suncatcher. You are basically created straps so that the child can slip the wings on like a backpack!
Once the string is secure (I always tape it very well), slip it on the child & tie them so that it fits their size.