Sun-Catcher Ornaments

When my older two were little, I was always looking for craft projects they could manage pretty much on their own. Funds were tight and kids were little– I wanted them to be able to make cute gifts for family members, but it took some creativity.


One year, we adapted this sun-catcher process to make personalized ornaments. I used a toothpick to trace a letter in the glue, and my four-year-old (at the time) carefully lined up beads along the line. He used a different color bead for the surrounding space and, voila, glisten-y, monogrammed ornaments.


Want to give it a try? Here are the super-easy instructions:


To make a sun-catcher/ornament-


materials needed:

  • clean plastic lid (any size will do!)
  • a variety of transparent/translucent beads
  • Elmer’s glue (will dry clear)
  • petroleum jelly


1. Start out by spreading a thin, even layer of petroleum jelly inside the lid. This will help the finished piece pop out more easily. We did this as a “group effort”- he started it, I smoothed it out and made sure there was even coverage.

2. Fill the lid with a layer of glue.

3. Allow your child to start randomly covering the glue-y surface with beads. (OR, for monogrammed effect, use a toothpick to trace a letter in the glue and help your child place same-color beads along that line.)

4. You may need to help adjust the beads at the very end to make sure the surface is as covered as possible.

5. Set the filled lid in a safe, warm location. I like a sunny windowsill, myself.

6. Wait. A couple days at least. You need the glue to dry almost all the way. At that point, you should be able to easily pop out the beads all in one piece. The remaining tacky glue will dry quickly once removed.

7. Add a skinny ribbon loop. There will be natural holes to thread this through created by the dried glue and beads.

8. Hang in the window or on the Christmas tree!

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