Do you ever try to do a craft with your kids and it ends up a complete fail? Either it doesn’t turn out anything like you pictured, or it was too complicated for your kids, or it was more work than it was worth?
Boy, have I been there. Having been an inner city teacher and now a mom of an active toddler, I have quickly learned to keep activities simple.
Today I’m sharing how to make tissue paper suncatchers with your kids. It’s an easy craft that turns out really cute! And, you can use cookie cutters – another favorite among kids.
I love having my son make things for others. Even more, I love having him create something with a specific person in mind – say Nana – he’ll pick out all of the colors Nana likes, the stickers she likes, and create something special with her in mind. I think it teaches such an important lesson.
And the suncatcher activity was so great because he got to pick out a special shape for everyone – Nana got a cowgirl boot 🙂
As an added bonus, the tissue paper suncatchers are a cute little gift – not that I don’t love his usual scribbles on paper – I really, really do. I just don’t think others appreciate them like I do 😉
How to Make Tissue Paper Suncatchers
My quick cheat for this kids craft was using cookie cutters for the shapes. This saved a ton of time, which would have otherwise been spent drawing lopsided stars, and it added another element of fun to the project. It makes for an organized workspace.
Materials for Tissue Paper Suncatchers
- Tissue Paper – I went to Dollar Tree – one of my favorite stores for crafts, holidays, and other $1 treasures and stocked up on some cool tissue paper. I got some basic colors as well as a few patterns and speckled ones.
- Clear Contact Paper – You can probably get this a few dollars cheaper at the craft store with a coupon, but in a pinch, Amazon is amazing.
- Cookie Cutters – optional – but they certainly made the project simple. Plus, you can use them for lots of other crafty projects. I got these cookie cutters as a Christmas gift from Ash when we were first dating, and I use them ALL the time for my crafts. There are so many shapes and choices, including holiday and every day items.
I usually keep a stack of small dollar store bins or buckets in my office/craft room. I use these to organize our kids crafts as they are happening. For example, I’ll have scissors/pens in one bin, tissue paper in another bin, etc.
Instructions for Tissue Paper Suncatchers
The tissue paper suncatcher kids craft was very simple. Depending upon the age of your kids, you may be more of less involved. A toddler would need an adult to be hands on, whereas a grade schooler could work mainly independently.
First, I cut tissue paper into strips. You don’t have to cut too much. I did one or two strips of each color. To include my toddler, I gave him his scissors and some strips of tissue paper.
I love these scissors because they have a little lever, which makes it easier for him to open and close the scissors. I cut his tissue strips extra narrow, so he could practice cutting.
He loves to use scissors because he doesn’t get to use them all the time. So, cutting just a few pieces made him super excited. 🙂
Next, you will need two pieces of contact paper of roughly the same size for each suncatcher. You can prepare these ahead of time or cut as you go.
Making the Suncatchers
I peeled the back off of just one sheet of contact paper, and taped all four sides down to the table. The reason I did this was because my son is young, and I didn’t want the contact paper constantly sticking to him and moving. I try to keep our crafts fun and frustration-free, so it was easier to tape it down.
After, we picked our shape. Using cookie cutters made this step so simple and fun 🙂 My son loved picking a special shape for each suncatcher. In addition to the cowgirl for Nana, he picked a butterfly for his Aunty, a heart for Grandma, and a doggie for Zeus our pup.
Then, it was time to apply the tissue paper.
You can turn this into a fun sorting activity – and have your child sort the colors into piles.
For kids a little older, you can work on patterns, lining up a pattern, asking what comes next, and then sticking them on.
My son and I picked a few colors to use on each suncatcher. For the car, we used two shades of blue. For the heart, we picked three colors. And, for quite a few of the shapes, we used all of the colors.
Oddly enough, my son’s favorite colors are brown and black. Every time he goes to make a card for someone, he colors in brown or black marker. His Easter cards featured a cute pastel bunny with black and brown scribbles across it. 😉
Lucky for him, I had one sheet of black tissue paper. So we mixed white in and made a black and white star. Of course, it was his favorite.
After we covered enough of the surface of the contact paper with tissue, it was time to put the second sheet of contact paper down.
I recommend the grown-up doing this part. Contact paper can be tricky to work with and if it ends up all blotchy, it doesn’t look nice. I made a bubbly blotchy one myself, tried to fix it, and ended up ripping the tissue paper.
So rather than cause frustration for the kids, I would just do this myself. Lay one side down first and then keep pressing until you get to the other side. So I had my son watch me lay it down and then help me pat it.
After you’ve covered it with contact paper, take the intended cookie cutter and trace it onto the contact paper.
I used a regular pen and drew lightly, in case any lines were still there after I cut.
As an alternative to this, you can draw your shape or picture right onto the contact paper. I freehanded a train for his train-loving Pop.
And, it just happened to be Ash’s birthday – so I also freehanded a hammer for him.
Once we were finished drawing the shape, I cut it out. While I cut, my son picked the next cookie cutter shape. Then, we taped each one to the window.
He had a great time taping them to the window, adding each one as we finished it, and then admiring our work. When we were all done, he loved going outside and seeing the suncatchers we had made.
Even though I did a bunch of the cutting and drawing, my son couldn’t be prouder of the tissue paper suncatchers. He had so much involvement in the project and loved all of his important jobs.
Depending upon how old your children are, they might be able to do most of this themselves, and you can just supervise. My son is still little, but I very much made him a part of every step.
You can also make these as a holiday activity, using Christmas or Halloween shapes. The tissue paper suncatchers can be Valentine gifts from kids or St. Patrick’s Day decorations.
They really do look pretty, and they make for a nice gift for kids to make and give.
We are giving them to family members to go with the thank you notes for my son’s Easter goodies; yet, the tissue paper suncatchers would also serve as a perfect mother’s day gift for mom or grandma or a father’s day gift, too.
If you are looking to keep a craft simple, follow these steps on how to make tissue paper suncatchers. Your kids will love making such an easy yet awesome creation, and you’ll be frustration-free 🙂