Make heart-shaped suncatchers (or star suncatchers) for those special people in your life, or brighten a room by hanging suncatchers in the windows. Suncatchers are easy to make, and are a great vehicle for creativity—make them in a variety of colors and add embellishments to dress them up. You'll get as much enjoyment from making suncatchers as from looking at them.
Choose a heart suncatcher pattern: color or black & white. Download the pattern for the suncatchers and print it on computer paper. The first two patterns include the frames and the centers for two suncatchers. To make six suncatchers, print the two Frames patterns and one Centers pattern. To make the colored version of the Centers translucent, print it on vellum or plain paper that you wax (see Waxing Paper craft).
Bonus star suncatcher patterns: color or black & white. Download the pattern for the star suncatchers and print it on computer paper. The patterns include the frames and the centers for two star suncatchers.
There are two sizes of suncatchers on each pattern sheet—small and large. The large suncatchers are about 3¼" (8 cm) wide and small ones are about 2¾" (7 cm) wide.
Patterns are Adobe PDF files. The Adobe Reader is available for free.
All of Aunt Annie's project patterns are designed to be printed on standard letter size paper (8.5"x11" or A4). When printing from Adobe Reader, you may need to select Auto-Rotate and Center or Choose paper source by PDF page size to ensure the best fit.
Color the suncatcher frames, or leave them white. Draw tiny hearts, or maybe wavy lines in a rainbow of colors—use your imagination!
Tip: You do not need to color the frame centers, since they will be cut out.
Cut on the box outline around the suncatcher and tissue patterns. Make the cuts straight and the corners square.
Tip: There are two frame patterns for each suncatcher.
Fold each box in half on the dashed line. Cut around each heart pattern on the solid black line. Do not cut along the fold. Cut out the centers of the frames. Now, open each piece flat. Keep the center heart and the surrounding box. We can use them, too. See how in Easy Valentine Cards.
Tip: Trim around the edges, if needed.
Easier option: The thin frames can be difficult to handle. An easier way to make the suncatcher frame is to just cut the center heart—this simpler frame is a rectangle with a heart cut out. See the sample to the right.
Put the tissue pattern face-up on a piece of tissue paper. Trace around the pattern with a pencil. Remove the pattern. Cut the tissue paper on the line you traced.
Tip: White tissue paper works well, but colored tissue paper is a nice option. You can also use foil, vellum or colored cellophane instead of tissue paper. Most craft stores and florists carry a variety of colored cellophane and vellum is available in a variety of colors and patterns at craft and scrapbooking stores.
Glue the tissue paper to the back of a suncatcher frame. Glue another frame on top, with the back sides together. In other words, glue the tissue paper between the two frames. To keep things neat, you may want to cover the table with a piece of waxed paper before gluing the tissue paper—sometimes, the glue can go through the tissue paper and make a sticky mess.
Tip: A glue stick works well.
Decide how you want to use your suncatcher. You may or may not want to add a hanger. To make a simple hanger, tape a loop of string or yarn to the top of the suncatcher.
Tip: Another way of making a hanger is with needle and thread. Thread the needle with a doubled strand of thread about 12" (30 cm) long. Punch a hole with the needle in the center at the top of the suncatcher. Pull the thread through the hole. Remove the needle. Put the tail through the loop and pull tight. Knot the two ends of the tail together.
That's it! Your suncatchers are ready to hang!