Sun Catchers

To make these sun catchers you need paper plates, waxed paper, crayons, glue, a permanent marker, some ribbon or yarn, and an iron.

  1. First cut out the center of two paper plates, so you’re left with a pair of circles.  These will be your frame.
  2. Next cut out two pieces of wax paper, just a little bigger than the holes you left in your paper plates.
  3. Now decide on a design and draw it with pencil onto one of the circles cut from the plates.  Keep the design simple.  This craft does not do detail well.
  4. Once you have it how you like it, trace your design onto one of the wax paper circles using a permanent marker.
  5. Now sprinkle some small pieces of crayon onto your design in the colors you like.  The easiest way to get the small bits of crayon is to use a little hand-held pencil sharpener.  You can also use a kitchen grater though.  A little bit of crayon goes a long way.
  6. Next place your wax design onto a piece of towel (I prefer rags since I don’t want melted wax on my good towels or dishtowels).  Place the second circle of wax paper onto the first.  Place a second towel on top of it all and run your hot iron over it until the wax melts.
  7. Glue the wax paper circle onto the paper plate frame, setting the second plate on top of the wax design to make a “sandwich”.
  8. Hole punch the center of the top and thread your yarn or ribbon through to hang your sun catcher from.

Turn this craft into an educational lesson

Making sun catchers is a completely useless and pointless exercise in Mom doing the craft for the kids.  You have to cut out the frame for them, help with the design, grate the colored wax and help them arrange it, use the iron for them, and then help them glue it all together.  Stupid . . . unless you make it have a point beyond frustration and mess for Mom.

Whatever subject you are learning about can be enhanced with a craft in the same theme.  The purpose of the craft is to bring a bit of fun and to make the science, geography, or history lesson more memorable.  So if you are learning about fish, get a how-to-draw fish instruction, have the kids draw their own fish on paper, then trace their drawing onto the wax paper with a permanent marker . . . then make the rest of the sun catcher craft. You can do the same thing with Columbus’ ship, or the flag of Mexico, or a frog, or trees, or the sun and so on.

Additional Layers

  • If you have the kids do at least some of the craft this also teaches them dexterity and drawing skills, which translates into better eye-hand coordination for everything from catching a baseball to writing neatly.
  • Who thought of using colored wax for drawing?  Find out the history of crayons.
  • Learn about how light makes color visible.
  • This craft leaves lots of scraps.  Find out if you can recycle the left-over bits.  Learn about recycling.
  • Make a trip to the library before you begin learning about the target subject.  Read two or three or four books on the subject.

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