Make a stained glass heart suncatcher with kids! It’s surprisingly easy, with nothing but black glue, sharpie markers and some recyclables.
My kids and I really enjoy the process of making suncatchers with black glue. First of all, they really are easy and cheap to make. Then, they let us quickly decorate windows and feel like, “Hooray! Now, we’re actually one step closer to celebrating Christmas/Easter/Valentine’s Day!” Finally, they do look festive and nice.
If the sun is shining through the window, I like to see the shadows our heart suncatcher leaves on the walls and curtains.
Would you like to learn about Valentine’s Day? Travel the globe and discover how it’s celebrated in different countries with this pack of colouring pages that turn into a giant Valentine poster!
How to Make Black Glue
The post contains Amazon affiliate links to the products we used.
What exactly is black glue and how to make it at home? It’s actually very simple and cheap.
The idea is to mix black acrylic paint with white Elmer’s glue, and then use the bottle with a nozzle that the glue comes in. The combination of acrylic paint and glue results in a mix that flows smoothly (more so than if you used straight acrylic paint!) and dries into slightly raised lines (easy to colour inside).
When everything is said and done, it’s also a lot cheaper than dedicated stained glass leads that you can buy at a store. The surprising thing? Black glue actually works better. When I compared them side by side once, I found out that the paint dries faster, but it doesn’t flow as well as the glue. Still, the stained glass lead is a valid option if you aren’t into mixing art potions.
- Pour the excess glue into an empty yogourt container. Glue can be used for a different art project or simply applied with a brush when you need to glue something.
- My proportions are approximately 1:1 – one part glue to one part paint. I pour half a bottle of glue out and substitute it with black acrylic paint by squeezing it right into the bottle.
- After that, I shake the bottle of glue for about one minute, then squeeze a little bit on a scrap piece of paper to get rid of the white glue that could have accumulated in the nozzle.
If you make black glue, you can also try these crafts:
Materials for Making a Heart Suncatcher
- black glue (white Elmer’s glue + black acrylic paint)
- clear plastic (from an empty plastic container, a plastic folder or an empty laminated pouch)
- sharpies (the more colours the better!)
- free printable template
Watch the Video
How to Make a Heart Suncatcher with Black Glue
Besides the black glue, you will need some piece of clear plastic – use an empty plastic container from the store (the kind of clam shell package they sell fruits and pastries in ), a plastic folder with clear sheets or an empty laminating pouch that has been run through a laminator. You will also need a design – you can download our free printable heart template below.
1 — Print the design and slip it under the piece of plastic. You can even tape it to the plastic piece to keep them in place, which is particularly useful if a kid is doing this part.
2 — Drawing the outlines is relaxing. You can influence the boldness of lines by how hard you squeeze the bottle. And sometimes you don’t need to squeeze at all, but just guide where the line goes. Watch the video to see it done!
3 — Let the finished piece dry overnight or for about eight hours. See how raised the outlines are? They present very compelling borders, convenient for young artists who like to colour. They are also thick enough not to let the light through, therefore giving a convincing stained glass effect.
4 — Now, how to colour the clear plastic? I have tried a couple of stained glass paints, but when everything was said and done, the easiest and the cheapest way was to use sharpies. My son could use them without difficulty, and the result was vibrant and consistent!
5 — After you’re done colouring, cut the heart shape out. Since the surface we painted on is translucent, you don’t need to cut very close to the lines.As a result, even children who aren’t expert at using scissors can do a good job!
6 — Use a double-sided tape and stick the suncatchers to a window.
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for reading! Thanks for reading! If you are on Instagram, tag me @adventureinabox to show your crafting results.
Would a transparency sheet work?
I think so. As long as it is stiff enough.
Hi…I made the heart suncatchers with my 6 and 8 year old grandsons on Thursday. It went smoothly and they took them home to hang in their big dining room window. My glue lines were not very smooth…more bumpy edges and we had to use a tooth pick to remove four or five bubbles in the glue lines. We made the form on Wednesday and let dry until Thursday. The sharpies did a good job but you might see a bit of lighter areas here and there. They looked Wonderful! Could colored ink be used in place of sharpies?
Fantastic idea!! Thanks a lot! :)
I’ve found that Ticonderoga makes a permanent marker that writes and colors much more easily on lamination film/clear plastic than Sharpies. Just thought I’d share! The colors are limited to black, blue, red, green, orange, yellow, purple, and brown, but the difference in vibrancy and flow of ink is amazing. They also work well on metal, if you’re ever doing a metal tooling project.
That would be interesting to try! Thank you!
Thank you so much, will use with clients at work and my grandchildren
I tried this on laminator sheets and when it dried the glue did not stick to the sheets anymore. Any ideas? Thanks. So excited to retry. I love the look of these.
Also have you tried acrylic paints and white glue to color instead of sharpies?
Hello Elizabeth! I’m not sure why it stopped sticking to the sheets. If I pry, I can take the black glue outline off, once it’s dry, but it always requires a certain effort on my part. We left our Christmas suncatchers on the windows for month, and they were fine, just not as vibrant after a while. Maybe the acrylic paint was too watery? Or the glue was different? Sorry that I don’t have better ideas!
I imagine that acrylic paints and white glue would give an interesting effect! I haven’t tried it though.