Catching Rays: How to make an autumn suncatcher
With the change of seasons it’s the perfect time to make these easy autumn suncatchers - as well as making the most of any leaves you collect on your travels they’re a great way for kids to create art that they can put up in their bedrooms. What’s more, they’re suitable for all ages to make, older kids will enjoy designing patterns for their suncatchers whilst my daughter has been making suncatchers since she was very small, playing with the materials and sprinkling them all over to make her own design.
Here's how we created them, or you can click here to see a handy 2-minute guide to making autumn suncatchers!
Autumn is a great time for exploring, whether that’s with a long walk in the woods or just looking at the change in colours in your own garden. We went outside and challenged the kids to find leaves which showed as many different colours as possible, even in our own garden I was surprised by how many they found with some rather cool purple leaves picked alongside the slightly more sensible yellows, reds and browns. If you’re out in the woods then it’s a good idea to take a plastic bag that they can put their finds in or inevitably you’ll be the one who ends up carrying all the leaves back. If we’re gathering leaves I try to do it on a dry day earlier in the season when the leaves are still good to pick up from the ground, rather than later when they can get a bit mulchey.
Back inside I cut some frames out of coloured card and stuck these down onto pieces of sticky back plastic. You’ll be shocked, of course, to discover that sticky back plastic is really sticky to craft with so if it starts sticking to itself then we often tape the corners down onto the table using a bit of washi tape. I also tend to use washi tape rather than normal sellotape for displaying kids crafts as (so far at least) it’s less likely to damage anything than sellotape is, it’s also a lot prettier which is never a bad thing.
Get the kids to arrange their leaf collections into their sticky picture frames - this is a great opportunity to look at the different colours and shapes too. I’m not great with leaf identification but if I notice something I know like an oak leaf then I make sure I point it out to my kids as well and we’ll probably have a little chat about acorns and squirrels too.
Once they’ve done this add some cut up bits of coloured cellophane too to give a stained glass effect. Once the kids have finished their designs seal them by putting another piece of sticky back plastic on the other side (so the sticky sides are together) and you can easily cut any excess bits away. We ended up making loads of these as they’re so simple but look so pretty and they’re perfect for popping up at the window for autumn decorations too.
Sticky back plastic
Coloured card or paper
How to make autumn suncatchers
- Find dry leaves in as many different colours as possible - try looking at your local park, on the walk to school, or even in your own back garden
- Cut your frames out of coloured card and stick these down onto sticky back plastic, tape the corners down with washi tape to help make it easier
- Let the kids arrange their leaves within the frame, playing with patterns and colours
- Cut out some coloured cellophane shapes to create a stained glass effect
- Seal designs by placing another sheet of sticky back plastic on top
- Cut away any excess sticky back plastic around the frame
- Create as many as you like to decorate the house!