Sunday, 24 March 2013

Mosaic Glass Suncatchers



Mosaic Glass Suncatcher
We had two themes this week SUNCATCHERS and CATS which don't really go together so I am posting them separately.  I love a busy class!  Read all about our Laurel Burch cats artwork in the next post....

I love putting artwork on our windows.  It brightens up the room, especially with the sun shining in and it gives me even more space to put artwork since most of my walls are FULL!  My children and I have made various window art over the years.  Check out some of my favourites at the bottom of this post.

Mosaic Glass Suncatchers
I love mosaic and have produced quite a few over of the years.  We have some large panels attached to the back of our house and the children love looking at them when we have our afternoon tea prior to class.  There have been quite a few requests to make one.  Mosaic does take time though and my aim this term was to introduce the children to as many mediums as I could.  I therefore didn't want to take up a large chunk of my lessons with a single project.

My children and I made some simple glass suncatchers a few years ago on single panes of glass which we then hung in the garden from a tree.  Whilst they looked stunning at first the glass started falling off after a few months and eventually all that was hanging was the panes of glass.  I decided to change the project this time and make them for indoors only and keep the frame around the glass so I could attach a suction cap / hook for hanging in a window.  The children are also quite a bit older so I allowed them to create a more realistic mosaic look using glass fragments (we just used various glass beads last time, which turns this into a great toddler craft if you are looking for one..)

What you need:
  • Cheap frames (I got mine at Kmart. Note they need to have actual glass in them so most Ikea frames won't work.  You may even be able to find a nice old frame at an op shop)
  • Glass Fragments (some of these were a little sharp as I broke up some lovely old stained glass I had.  I did all the cutting.  The children were asked to be very careful with the fragments and thankfully there were no cut fingers), plastic beads, glass pebbles, seaglass, small glass mosaic tiles
  • Weldbond Glue (I didn't want to use mosaic glue as its toxic with strong fumes.  Since we were doing this in an enclosed space with children I used a no fume / non toxic glue).
  • Suction hook (purchased from Bunnings)
Glass Fragments and glass drops to stick onto mosaic

How toFirst remove the backing board from the frame and then glue in the glass with some glue.  Leave to dry overnight.  Drill a hole in the top of the frame and attach the suction hook (this could be removed and replaced with a normal hook if the preference is to hang it from the wood at the top of the window frame or a window latch).

Hole drilled at top of frame and suction hook added


The children then simply glued on the glass etc to the outside of the glass frame.  Leave to dry flat for 24 hours and then hang in a window.  They look very pretty with the sun shining through.


Note the glue is not dry which is why its still white (it will dry clear)

We also made some Melted Bead Suncatchers.  I got this idea from The Artful Parent about a year ago.  My children and I made some and they are hanging above our french doors.  Lots of people ask me how we made them and are stunned to find out how easy it is.

What you need:
  • Translucent Pony beads (we found some glittery ones too and these look great)
  • Muffin Pan
  • Fishing Wire
  • Drill
How to: The children placed pony beads into a muffin pan and this is then placed in the oven at around 200 degrees until they are melted (about half an hour).  Warning this does produce a terrible smell so is best done with all the windows and doors open and extractor fan on full. Once the suncatchers were hard and cool they just popped out of the muffin pan and I drilled a hole in the top.  I attached a piece of fishing wire to hang them from.

Melted Bead Suncatcher


Here are some of my other favourite suncatcher / window decoration ideas:

Cellophane shapes on the window by Creative Jewish Mum (another one of my favourite blogs).  We did this on one of our windows and the kids just loved putting up all the shapes.  They looked wonderful until the cellophane started to fade.  I didn't take any photos so the below photo is from Creative Jewish Mum.

 Celophane Stained Glass Craft Circles

Window crayons on the window
Let the kids go wild with drawing on the windows and not the walls!  We used Crayola Window Crayons.

Window crayons
Melted Crayon Shaving Suncatchers.  
Another idea from The Artful Parent is these melted crayon suncatchers. They are fun to make as you need to grate the crayons first (this kids loved doing this, well for a while anyway..), sort them into colour piles, then spread them onto your wax paper in pretty patterns.  Another piece of wax paper is placed on top and they are then ironed on a low setting to melt the crayon shavings.  The only problem was that I just couldn't find wax paper in Australia so I thought I'd give it a go with baking paper instead.  Let me tell you they are not the same thing as even though the crayon melted and kind of stuck the two pieces together after a while the crayon just started to fall out onto our floor.  My solution was to wedge the melted crayon between two pieces of contact paper by pulling off the baking paper and replacing with contact.  It ended up looking quite effective (much more translucent) and no more wax crayon on the floor!!  Martha Stewart does a lovely heart version which I would love to try if I could find the wax paper.

Melted Crayon suncatchers in contact paper


gt076_crayheart01_s.jpg
 Martha Stewart Melted Wax Crayon Hearts


Melted Crayon on normal paper.
Same technique as above yet with normal paper.  To ensure the crayon didn't fall onto my floor this time I painted over it with Mod Podge.

Melted Crayon on normal paper with Mod Podge on top

Contact Paper Nature Suncatcher
We have done various nature themed suncatchers with leaves, flowers and petals.  I got this idea from The Artful Parent as well (Jean really likes suncatchers too!!). They look stunning to begin with yet the flowers do start to die and sometimes even go mouldy after a few weeks.  I also did a small hanging version by wedging the leaves and flowers between two pieces of contact paper, cutting into a shape, punching a hole in top and hanging on some string.  I can't wait to do one of these in Autumn with the beautiful Autumn coloured leaves.

Flowers and leaves nature suncatcher with contact paper
Flowers and leaves contact suncatcher hanging
Other Contact Paper Suncatchers
The ideas are endless when it comes to contact paper suncatchers.  You can pretty much put anything between two pieces of contact paper and hang in the window or place the contact directly onto the window itself.  Here are some other simple ones with sequins and glitter.

Contact paper suncatcher with cellophane and sequins
Contact suncatchers with glitter and sequins
Glass Beads hanging Window Decoration
This one is very simple to make and looks really great hanging in a window with the sun shining on the glass beads.  Lay out a piece of string and then glue two glass beads together along its length making sure you glue the string in between them.

Glass Beads Window Ornament (sorry pic refused to rotate)
Salt dough Window Ornaments
Read my post here about salt dough and putting beads in them.  Notice how the sun really shines through the beads if they are hung in a window...
Children's salt dough fish with beads in it.
We have some index dividers lying around so we may try this one next.............Kids' Stained Glass Art Project with Index Dividers again from The Artful Parent.


Kids Stained Glass Art Project

And I love this one.  I would like to see this at our school on a large window.  Its by Candice Ashment Art and is done by Grade Two children.



And here is another one I want to try.  It sounds very easy.  All you do is glue the glass beads into a yoghurt lid and when the glue is dry you pop it out and hang up!  A great one to try during the school holidays.  Directions can be found at Kids Activity Blog.

Glass Beads Suncatcher from Kids Activity Blog

That's it for this week.

Cheers
Fiona



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