20 DIY Suncatchers from Upcycled Materials

Glass Bottle Suncatcher

Bring in the sun!

A suncatcher is my favorite way to spread a little light inside. It’s quite possible that my collection of suncatchers huddled in front each of our sun-facing windows is… a little extreme. But I find rainbow sparkles dancing along my walls to be enchanting, and I think we should encourage our harmless enchantments, whatever they may be!

So whether you’re making your very first suncatcher or your, ahem, sixteenth suncatcher, check out my list, below, of my favorite DIY suncatchers from upcycled materials. Because the only thing better than an enchanting suncatcher that sends rainbow sparkles around the room is an enchanting suncatcher that you’ve handmade from upcycled materials sending rainbow sparkles around the room!

Glass Bottle Suncatcher

glass bottle and beadsYou’ll need a high-speed rotary tool for this project, but once you know how to cut and drill glass, the rest of the project is simply stringing beads!

Mason jarThis tutorial is very similar to my glass bottle suncatcher tutorial, above, but it’s a very different look. If you can find a vintage metal lid to go with your Mason jar, you’ll have such a cool suncatcher!

glass gems and a plastic lidThis isn’t the perfect upcycling project–unless you can find those glass gems at a yard sale or thrift store, which has happened to me!–but it’s a great kid craft and it DOES utilize a plastic lid for part of the process.

glass beads and key ringI have WAY too many random key rings kicking around, so I’m always looking for an awesome new way to upcycle them. Fortunately, key rings and fishing line are the perfect support structure for a glass bead suncatcher.

scrap glass. If you do glass art, it’s likely that you have glass scraps hanging around. These scraps make great little suncatcher ornaments!

beaded curtain via Art Bead Scene
beaded curtain image via Art Bead Scene

beaded curtainThis is SUCH a clever idea for a suncatcher/window decoration! Add glass beads directly to the bottom of a lace curtain. Or, punch grommets into a regular fabric curtain or roller shade.

CD spinnersOld CDs are sparkly enough on their own, and even more so when you use epoxy glue to add additional sparkly things!

CD or DVD mosaic ornamentsMake your own disco ball by covering an old Christmas ornament in broken CD or DVD pieces.

sea glass beadsOkay, tumbling the shine off of glass beads will defeat the traditional suncatcher mission of tossing sparkles around, but it’s still SO pretty. If you prefer not to drill holes through your sea glass, you can wire wrap them for a similar effect.

broken jewelry. Your sparklies can live again as suncatchers! I love the way that this tutorial upcycled all kinds of bits and pieces to mount the jewelry on.

Glass Bottle Suncatcher from The FABULOUS Blog of Miss Ginger Grant!
glass bottle suncatcher image via The FABULOUS Blog of Miss Ginger Grant!

cut glass bottle suncatcher. This is a great way to use up lots of glass bottle tops. Use this round-up to help you repurpose all those glass bottle bottoms!

recycled junkGot a colander, old metal bowl, baking dish, or cookie cutter? If so, you’ve got just the junk you need to make this combination suncatcher/windchime/pretty hanging yard decoration.

terrariumMulti-task by turning a terrarium of sun-loving plants into a suncatcher!

tiny glass bottlesAll those little vials and spice jars that you’ve been hoarding finally have a purpose! Pop a few more sparkly bits in each one, and they’ll happily upcycle into the sparkly suncatcher of your dreams.

windowYou guys, the other day someone left some old windows out by the side of the road! I was late picking up my kid from ballet class, but those windows are now MINE. Add some glass mosaic pieces and epoxy glue, and that window can easily be a large-format suncatcher.

marble and popsicle stick suncatchers via My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies
marble and popsicle stick suncatcher image via My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies

marbles and popsicle sticksI am obsessed with my kids’ old marbles. They’re so tiny and colorful! Here’s a low-tech way to upcycle them into an easy suncatcher. To scale up the look, drill holes that match the marbles’ diameter in wood slices, then push the marbles into the holes and secure with epoxy glue or clear outdoor silicone sealant.

fallen branch. A fallen branch is a terrific natural base for a suncatcher. Use your macrame skills to string beads, or jewelry wire to wrap sea glass or glass bottle bottoms.

horseshoeOkay, I know a horseshoe isn’t sparkly, but it’s an awesome base from which you can hang so many sparkly things!

bicycle wheelIn this tutorial, a bicycle wheel is the base for stained glass pieces. The result is a suncatcher that spins!

chandelier. An entire stained glass chandelier is such a fun idea! DIY it from scratch, or find a chandelier base in an antique shop that you can add suncatcher embellishments to.

So when these tutorials make you, too, obsessed with suncatchers, and you, too, have a handful of DIY suncatchers crowding every sunny window and sparkling in every corner of your back deck and garden, all I have to say is…

You’re welcome!

 

Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life, and my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties.

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