Halloween Crafts – "Stained Glass" Sun Catchers

| September 15, 2009 | 9 Comments

As much as I insist on denying the loss of sunshine, it’s definitely Fall around these parts.

A few weeks ago, the tiny person and I took a look around a house filled with Summer craft projects.

We figured it was time to get going on something a bit more rustic, harvest-like and spooky – if you are a 4-year-old obsessed with all things Halloween.


Gasp, she’s like the big box store that starts selling holiday gear two months ahead of time!

We spent some serious time in heated debate over what would actually constitute Fall craft versus Halloween craft.

Yes, I dig the spooky, but I’m still in pumpkin, leaf and color mode. A compromise emerged when I mentioned glue was involved and I got a few Fallish items while we snuck in some mild spookiness.

There’s an aside though. This craft project – seriously – was tragic in the kid interest department.

Sometimes I can get her to spend hours toiling away on something super cool. But – even with the spooky factor - I got 20 grumpy minutes before grumpy turned to stomping off.

Hrmmmm, was it a big lesson for mom in the “Sometimes it is less important that a project is finished than just going as far as you can in the process” universe?


Of course, I finished it, sans child. She loved them. I lamented a grumpy afternoon.

A day later she had a great explanation when she asked if we could do that project again and I said “Not in a million years, never, no way.”

“Mom, I wanted to make stained glass my way. Then, I wanted a pumpkin. Then, I wanted a bat or a witch or something,” she started out. “But, you wanted to make stained glass in some crazy mommy way. Can I have the glue and I’ll show you how to make it the right way?”

Ha… ha.

Anyway, we did make our “stained glass” Fall sun catchers. Apparently I needed to be schooled (at least in the ways of 4-year-old process crafting). And, they came out super cute.

I learned one thing – don’t mess with the obvious master of glue in any household. You will lose.

Here’s what you need:

- Two sheets of waxed paper

- Fall colored tissue paper

- Scissors

- Paint brush

- An iron

- Modge Podge (found it at Pjs in Courtenay) or watered-down glue

- Construction paper

- A pencil

- Raffia or string

- A hole punch

- Window hanging suction cups (that’s the fancy name for them!)


This is a two-process project.

1. Cut up the tissue paper into small pieces. Then begin setting them out on one piece of waxed paper. Take the Modge Podge (or glue) and spread it out thinly over the paper like you are decoupaging something.


2. Once you’ve got the page full, let it dry for a few minutes. Then put the second piece of waxed paper over the top and go over it with a warm iron to seal everything together. The glue will eventually dry. But, this allows you to keep working.


3. Meanwhile, cut out your fall shapes from construction paper and cut a hollow space out of the middle of each of them. Make sure your shapes are doubles so that you have a back and front (the “stained glass” will go in the middle).


4. Put the cutout over top of the “stained glass” and trace an outline of the shape with a pencil.


5. Then, trim the “stained glass” with an extra 1/8” or 1/4 inch all around. Glue the stained glass on the back shape and then press the front shape on top to make the sun catcher. Let them dry for a bit.

6. Punch a hole in the top and run raffia through.


7. Stick a window hanging suction cup (also from Pjs) to a window and hang your creations.


As much of a crazy process as this was for the two of us to finish, I really liked these for a couple of reasons:

1. It gave the tiny person a chance to work on her fine motor skills with cutting and gluing.

2. I realized that sometimes I fuss waaaayyyyy too much. She wanted to do it, just not my way… and it was all good.

Lesson learned, craft created, mommy tucking tail between legs and thinking up new ways to annoy the 4-year-old!

Have a great Tuesday.

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Category: ARTS & LITERACY, Crafts

About the Author ()

Robin Rivers is the Project Development Director for Vancouver-based Mherge Media Group. Often can be found leaping tall buildings with the help of great friends. Predisposed to odd hats and the color orange. In love with imagination, her kids and that crazy guy who married her.

Comments (9)

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  1. Andi says:

    I know what we’re going to be making today, thanks Robin.
    Besides I need to put that iron that’s getting dusty in the closet to use in some way!

  2. Pam says:

    I remember doing these when I was in grade school, ….. many moons ago

  3. Kelly says:

    Thanks for the reminder of this wonderful craft. I received one years ago in February as a Valentine (done in a heart shape) from my nephew and it still is on display. The Fall theme adds a great new twist that we will look forward to trying out this year!

  4. Rosina says:

    Oh those are so cute! We did valentines ones earlier this year but used crayon shavings inside the waxed paper and melted them with the iron :) Fall sure did seem to hit us real quick didn’t it!

  5. Shawna says:

    If you have a little one who’s not a fan of sticky fingers you can use clear mack-tack instead of glue and wax paper for sticking the tissue paper squares onto.

  6. jaime says:

    is there a way not to iron
    so i can do this at school with 3rd graders

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