Sat. Feb 22nd, 2020

Heart Suncatcher Tutorial – Crafts by Amanda

8 min read
heart suncatcher pin image

Making a heart suncatcher is an easy, low-cost way for kids to create a Valentine’s Day window decoration. Using common craft supplies you probably have on-hand combined with clear contact paper, kids will love making unique designs that reflect their own creativity!

heart suncatchers in a window

Heart Suncatcher Tutorial

There are many ways to make contact paper suncatchers, see our Easter Egg Suncatcher and Candy Corn Suncatcher for more holiday suncatcher ideas! But in this tutorial, I have simplified some of the supplies and steps. Instead of using a foam board and push pins to hold down the contact paper, I used a piece of corrugated cardboard and blue painters tape. These are supplies I had on hand, they are easier to use, and safer if you are working with younger kids.

Did you know you can make suncatchers from paper plates, melted crayons, and paint as well? Check out my Watermelon Suncatcher to see how.

red, pink, and white heart shaped suncatcher made with tissue paper

Craft supplies you will need:

supplies for making Valentine heart suncatchers

Helpful crafting tools:

  • Scissors
  • A large piece of cardboard (should be at least 12×12,” to tape your project to while making it)
  • Black marker
  • Ruler
  • Blue painters tape or low tack tape
  • Optional: Hole punch

Helpful Project Information

  • Age Level: 8-12 years old. Can be modified for kids ages 3-8 with steps 1-4 being prepped ahead of time. Kids can start on step 5 and may need help with step 6.
  • Mess Factor: Glitter (optional), small pieces of tissue paper
  • Level of Difficulty: While the tissue paper designs are easy to create, the contact paper can be a little tricky and there is a lot of scissor cutting.
  • Time to Complete: 30-45 minutes, plus 20 minutes for drying time if adding the construction paper frame.
  • Cost Estimate: Price-per-project ranges between $0.45-$0.99 depending on the price of contact paper, size of suncatchers and materials you have on hand.

cute little boy holding Valentine's Day heart suncatcher

Crafting Tips for this Heart Suncatcher:

  • Use tissue paper from your stash or grab some from the dollar store.
  • You can use whatever colors you’d like, we suggest Valentine colors like red, purple, light blue, or pink.
  • If prepping steps 1-4 ahead of time, give yourself 20-30 minutes depending on the size of your group.
  • In a group setting it might be easier to have everyone make the same sizes. Photocopy our heart pattern and hand out those sheets so everyone has their own.
  • To simplify this project, work in smaller sizes and have each person make 2-3 smaller (3-4″) suncatchers instead of 1 big one. Contact paper is easier to handle in smaller sizes. Cut your white sheet of paper in half and create the heart designs on that. Adjust your contact paper size to fit.
  • For some sparkle, add a light sprinkle of glitter when creating the tissue paper designs! Try cutting out some tissue paper hearts to use in your designs as well.
  • Younger kids may need your help. The contact paper can stick together quickly and unexpectedly. If you end up with bubbles or folds, use the smooth side of a pen, or handle of the scissors and gently burnish down the contact paper working from the center outward.

adding glitter to suncatcher

How to Make a Heart Suncatcher

  1. Cut the tissue paper into 1/2-inch pieces and shapes. Place piles of tissue paper within easy reach on the table.
  2. Draw your heart design (or use our heart pattern) on the white paper, using the black marker. 

peeling contact paper

  1. Measure/cut a piece of contact paper 9×20″. DO NOT peel off the paper yet! Tape the contact paper down on the cardboard piece, paper side up, using pieces of the tape on each corner.
  2. Carefully peel back the left side of the contact paper so the sticky side is exposed and fold the paper over the right half of the contact paper. Add a piece of blue painters tape to the top and bottom at the centerfold, on the left side of the fold (so you are putting the tape on the sticky side). Then slide the white paper with your heart design under the left side and use this as your guide to create your tissue paper hearts.

adding tissue paper to contact paper

  1. Design the suncatcher by placing the tissue paper pieces on the sticky contact paper within the heart shapes. You can overlap tissue paper pieces, and it is okay to have small areas where there is no tissue paper. It is also okay to go outside of the lines of the heart.
  2. Once your design is complete, slide the white paper out from under the contact paper and set aside. When children are done decorating, peel the backing off the right side of the contact paper and fold it over to the left, sticky side to sticky side. This will sandwich the tissue paper design between the contact paper.
  3. Cut out the heart shape designs from the white paper. Position those on top of the tissue paper designs to use as a guide for cutting the heart shaped suncatchers.

To add a construction paper frame and yarn/ribbon hanger:

  1. Place the ends of your yarn or ribbon on the left and right side of the heart and glue in place.

adding hanger to heart suncatcher

  1. Trace the white paper heart shapes onto 2 pieces of construction paper.
  2. Cut out the heart shape, but cut it a little larger than your traced shape about 1/2-inch larger.
  3. Cut out the center of each heart to create the heart-shape frame.

cutting hearts from paper

  1. Use the glue stick to coat one side of a frame in glue and place sticky side up on the table. 
  2. Position your tissue paper design on top of the frame.
  3. Coat the second frame with your glue stick then glue down over the top of the tissue paper design, sandwiching them together.

adding paper frame to heart suncatcher

Optional: You can also hole punch one hole on the left and right side of the heart and tie the yarn/ribbon through the holes to create a hanging loop.

Frameless Suncatcher:

  1. Cut heart shape frames from tissue paper and apply them to the sticky contact paper. Then add the tissue pieces inside that.
  2. Once the tissue paper is sandwiched between the contact paper, just cut out the suncatcher heart shapes.
  3. Use clear tape (rolled up) to tack the suncatchers in a window.

Children will love this adorable Valentine’s Day heart suncatcher hanging in your window. A fun project for a snowy day!

3 heart shaped suncatchers in a window

More Valentine’s Day Crafts

Heart Suncatcher

Children will love this adorable Valentine’s Day heart suncatcher hanging in your window. A fun project for a snowy day!

Prep Time10 mins

Crafting Time30 mins

Drying time20 mins

Total Time1 hr

Age Group: Kids Crafts

Project Type: Valentine’s Day

Makes: 1 suncatcher

Supplies

  • Clear contact paper
  • Variety of tissue paper colors
  • 1 sheet of 8 1/2×11″white paper
  • Yarn or ribbon for hanging loop
  • Optional: 2 sheets of red construction paper
  • Optional: glitter in color of your choice

Craft tools

  • A large piece of cardboard (should be at least 12×12,” to tape your project to while making it)

  • Black marker

  • Ruler

  • Blue painters tape or low tack tape

  • Optional: Hole punch

Instructions

  • Cut the tissue paper into small pieces and shapes. I cut mine in a range of 1/2″ pieces to tiny confetti sizes. Place piles of tissue paper within easy reach on the table.

  • Draw your heart design on the white paper, using the black marker. If you want “perfect shaped” hearts, you can use a stencil, or fold/cut a heart shape out of a piece of scrap paper and trace that. Make different sizes for a fun window display!

  • Measure/cut a piece of contact paper 9×20″. DO NOT peel off the paper yet! Tape the contact paper down on the cardboard piece, paper side up, using pieces of the blue painters tape on each corner.

  • Carefully peel back the left side of the contact paper so the sticky side is exposed and fold the paper over the right half of the contact paper. Add a piece of blue painters tape to the top and bottom at the centerfold, on the left side of the fold (so you are putting the tape on the sticky side). Then slide the white paper with your heart design under the left side and use this as your guide to create your tissue paper hearts.

  • Design the suncatcher by placing the tissue paper pieces on the sticky contact paper within the heart shapes. You can overlap tissue paper pieces, and it is OK to have small areas where there is no tissue paper. It is also OK to go outside of the lines of the heart.

  • Once your design is complete, slide the white paper out from under the contact paper. and put aside. When children are done decorating, peel the backing off the right side of the contact paper and fold it over to the left, sticky side to sticky side. This will sandwich the tissue paper design between the contact paper.

  • Cut out the heart shape designs from the white paper and position those on the tissue paper designs and cut the heart shapes out of the tissue/contact paper.

To add a construction paper frame and yarn/ribbon hanger:

  • Trace the white paper heart shapes onto 2 pieces of construction paper and then cut out the center of each heart to make a 1/2 -3/4″ heart-shape frame. Use the glue stick to coat 1 side of a frame in glue and then position on your tissue paper design. Glue down the ends of your yarn or ribbon and place on left and right side of the heart and glue down the top construction paper frame.

  • Optional: You can also hole punch one hole on the left and right side of the heart and tie the yarn/ribbon through the holes to create a hanging loop.

Frameless Suncatcher:

  • I cut some heart shape frames out of tissue paper and applied them to the sticky contact paper and then added the tissue pieces inside that. Once the tissue paper is sandwiched between the contact paper, just cut out the suncatcher heart shapes (step 7). Use clear tape (rolled up) to tack the suncatchers in a window.

Notes

  • Use tissue paper from your stash of gently used or new from the Holidays!
  • You can use whatever colors you’d like, we suggest Valentine colors like red, purple, or pink.
  • If prepping Steps 1-4 ahead of time, give yourself 20-30 minutes depending on the size of your group.
  • If you are working with a group and want everyone to make the same size/shapes, create the heart designs that you want on the paper first, and then photocopy that sheet so everyone has their own.
  • If you want to simplify this project, work in smaller sizes and have each person make 2-3 smaller (3-4″) suncatchers instead of 1 big one. The contact paper is easier to handle in smaller sizes. To work smaller, just cut your white sheet of paper in 1/2 and create the heart designs on that 1/2 sheet of paper. Adjust your contact paper size to fit that.
  • For some sparkle, add a light sprinkle of glitter when creating the tissue paper designs! Try cutting out some tissue paper hearts to use in your designs as well.
  • If you have younger kids, they may need your help. The contact paper can stick together quickly and unexpectedly. If you end up with bubbles or folds, use the smooth side of a pen, or handle of the scissors and gently burnish down the contact paper working from the center out to flatten bubbles or folds that may have happened.

Ann Kollegger

Ann Pianta Kollegger has designed craft products, greeting cards and other products which have been sold nationwide. Her most valuable creative moments have been with her own kids and with the patients she worked with at a local children’s hospital.

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