You know those products you buy that come inside thick plastic packaging that are really hard to open? Here’s a tip – it’s worth your time to carefully cut the plastic apart with a craft knife, because you can recycle that plastic into colorful embellishments for a cool craft project, like this sparkling suncatcher! You’ll find another fun spin on this project in my book, Craft Your Stash.
- Recycled clear plastic, cut into 1” squares
- Washed lid from a soup can, cut with a safety rim can opener
- Alcohol inks and applicator
- 0.8mm clear stretchy beading cord
- Small beads
- Short eye pins, jump rings
- Round nose beading pliers, wire cutters
- Heavy-duty hole punch
- Cover the top of the can lid with a circle of cardstock, then punch 8 small holes evenly around the perimeter of the can lid, about ½” in from the edge. Punch 4 more holes at north, south, east and west positions about ¼” inside the ring of 8 holes. The inside ring of 4 holes will be for the hanger. Punch one final hole through the center of the lid. If your hole punch won’t make it to the center, hammer a nail through the lid against a scrap piece of wood, then remove the nail.
- Cut 8 pieces of beading cord to your desired length – I used 11”. Thread one cord down through the top of the lid into each of the 8 exterior holes. Tie a knot (pull it tight to secure) around a small bead for the top of each cord to hold it in place.
- Add a few beads to the center of each cord and tie a knot under them so they “float” in place. Vary the colors and positions of your beads on each cord. Cut 2 or 4 cords opposite each other shorter by inch or two shorter to vary the lengths if desired. Be sure the beads on each cord are approximately the same number and size/weight.
- Tint one side of the plastic tiles with one or more colors of alcohol inks. A quick pouncing motion with the applicator will yield a pretty marbleized effect. When dry, punch a small hole in the top and bottom of each tile.
- Create 8 mini beaded dangles by inserting a short eye pin into a small bead, then curl the top of the pin into a small loop with the pliers. Attach a bead to the bottom of each tile with a jump ring, then attach a beaded tile to the end of each cord with a jump ring – pull the knot in the cord tightly.
- To create the proper tension across the lid for even hanging, thread two short lengths of stretch cord through the interior holes at north/south and east/west in the lid and secure each end with a knotted bead underneath the lid.
- Make a longer, heavier beaded dangle for the center of your suncatcher on a separate length of cord – this weight in the center will help it hang straight. Thread the top of the cord up through the center hole and tie it in a knot around the intersection of your tension cords. Add a couple jump rings through the intersection of cords, then you’re ready to hang your suncatcher on a hook in your window, under a cabinet or outside on a tree branch (bring inside during bad weather).