Suncatchers are sparkling window ornaments. They are made from transparent and glittering elements such as stained glass and coloured plastic. You can make your own suncatchers from craft materials. Incorporating crystals into your homemade suncatchers can enhance their design, as the crystals will create brilliant patterns of sunlight on your walls. You can find crystals in craft stores and some furniture outlets. You can also use crystal drops intended for chandeliers, or glass pebbles and marbles. Large crystal beads can also be used very effectively.
Form the basic outline of your design using the thicker-gauge wire. It's best if you start with a simple shape, such as a circle or a heart.
Secure any joins in the outline shape by wrapping a few turns of the fine beading wire around them. Bend the ends of the thick wire into decorative spirals and curls.
Wrap any crystals that are not predrilled with wire. Make a spiral with thick wire and place the crystal inside, or make baskets of fine beading wire to hold the crystals. You can add a small amount of glue to make the wire wrapping more stable. Make loops in the wire so you can hang your wrapped crystals.
Add wire loops to some of the larger crystal beads. Cut short sections of wire, and make a stop at one end of each by bending a little of the wire back with the pliers. (With softer wire you may be able to tie an overhand knot.) Slip a bead onto the wire, making sure it cannot slide over the stop. Make a loop in the other end of the wire.
Wind the fine beading wire around the outline of your suncatcher. String the small crystal beads on the fine wire as you go, letting the turns of wire hold them in place.
Secure one or two crystals to the suncatcher. You can hang them from the top of your wire outline so they are framed by it, or you can hang them from the bottom of the wire outline like a pendant.
Cut a long section of thread. Fasten one end to the top of the suncatcher.
Set the screw hook into the frame at the top of your window. If your suncatcher is small and light, you can use a suction cup hook that sticks to the window pane instead.
Things you need
- Thick beading wire (12-gauge or larger)
- Fine beading wire (20- to 26-gauge)
- Small crystal beads
- Large crystal beads
- Strong transparent glue such as cyanoacrylate adhesive or clear epoxy glue
- Screw hook or suction cup hook