• Lara Draxler

Tween craft-sun catcher mobile

Even though we are coming out of the deepest recesses of quarantine and summer break is FINALLY "officially" upon us, I think it is important for the kiddos in our home to have opportunities for a little bit of structured activities every week. Whether it's an outdoor, cooking, or crafting activity, I enjoy taking a time to pause and enjoy the company of the young people in my home by bonding over an activity. Also, things still aren't really open or functioning/open as "normal" so it is hard to do a lot of outings yet. So, we are still finding ways to create fun in our home.


This week, we pulled out that old handy activity book I have referenced before on this blog. The early 80s free library castoff did not disappoint again! This time, we decided to try out a sun catcher mobile. When I look through the book, I try to find things that we already have supplies for and don't look to messy or time consuming.



If I could link it I would, but this crappy photo is the best way to see instructions in this old school book!

I looked through our craft bin and realized I would need to order a few things from Amazon, but none of them were pricey. I will link all supplies below:


We used:

Our first step was deciding what shapes we wanted to cut out of the black paper. The key was, THEY HAD TO BE DOUBLED! This was slightly harder than it might seem. We could fold the paper in half to make symmetrical shapes, as we all learned in elementary school, but you needed two identical shapes to later put the colored cellophane and make the stained glass effect. The shapes were put on top of each other with cellophane sandwiched in between.


I decided to try a butterfly. I free handed the drawing on my paper and cut it out.



Bonus daughter tried a peace sign

Once the black paper shapes were cut, I needed to figure out how to get the cellophane in between my two black shapes...which meant I needed to cut some holes in my shape so the cellophane would show through.



To make the holes, I made a small hole in my the area I wanted to cut, and then cut from the inside out with sharp scissors.

I chose the colored cellophane I wanted and cut it to fit aournd the holes. I put rubber cement down to secure it. Then I placed my second black paper butterfly shape over the cellophane. See below for fun effect!

After the cellophane pieces were secured, we all kept creating shapes we wanted on our mobiles. Then, we hole punched the top of the shape and tied it onto a hanger with yarn. They turned out really cute, and each one expressed the kids' personalities. They decided to hang them on their curtain rods in their rooms so they could catch the sun well.



Love all the bright colors!



My stepdaughter decided to get VERY intricate and fancy with her designs and it turned out amazingly! She used a cutting board and box cutter to create this look for a planet:




Here are some finished products:


Love it!

so cool!

As we worked on this, I was reminded how important it is for ALL of us to PUT DOWN THE SCREENS. Kids (and adults) sometimes just need to sit down, be present, and rifle through a craft bin. Our brains need a break from the constant stimulation. I have also discovered that I bond much better with my step kids when we are doing an activity together. We can talk as we work, and I love seeing their creativity shine. It's also nice to make my task-oriented self purposely STOP and do something that isn't just a notch off the to-do list.