Glass Gem Sun Catcher

Today was exhausting. For reasons completely unknown to me, Zander woke up at 5:30 am and was fully alert, which meant no “sleeping in” for this mama. The good news is that even though I was tired (understatement), I opted for a 1-hour workout instead of a cup of coffee. I am still feeling really proud about that!

This afternoon, we decided to take another stab at the sun catcher project, but using completely different materials (pictured below).

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First, we painted the wooden frames using black acrylic paint and a 1-inch sponge. While the frames were drying, I used a marker to trace the openings of the frames and cut the plastic stencil sheets to match, then glued them into the backs of each frame.

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Next, Zander had some serious fun playing with the glass gems (purchased in the flower arrangement section) and trying them out in various positions inside the frames before applying the glue.

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I had no idea how much he would like doing this–the glass gems were a definite hit.

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It wasn’t long before he had dumped the entire jar of glass gems onto his cookie tray.

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He was pretty pleased with his pile of gems and spent a lot of time moving them around on the tray.

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Next, Zander spent some time dropping the gems into the glass jar one by one and then re-dumping them onto the tray.

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The introduction of a small coffee scoop resulted in at least another 15 minutes of scooping and dumping into and out of the jar.

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Since Zander was having so much fun, I decided to add a little aluminum foil with a “coin slot” and a rubber band to the mouth of the jar. He dropped a few gems into the jar before systematically ripping the aluminum foil to shreds, marking the end of that particular game.

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After getting all of this sorting, scooping, dumping, and playing out of his system, Zander was finally ready for the serious work of glue application.

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Next, it was time to start placing the little glass gems.

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Zander periodically added a bit more glue to the mix to cover empty spots.

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And this was followed by more gems.

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The end result was this beautiful sun catcher (bottom right)! Zander only wanted to make one of these today, so tomorrow I’m thinking we’ll try a different project to fill the remaining frames. We set the sun catcher aside to dry and are hoping for better results than yesterday’s botched project, but either way, this was super fun!!

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When the glue has fully dried, I plan to use a hot glue gun to secure some suction cups to the back of the frame, so that it can be hung in a window.

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Hooray for arts and crafts! And an even bigger hooray, because now it’s bed time for mama. Nighty-night! 🙂

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About Kim McCoy

Kim McCoy is a passionate animal and environmental advocate with a B.S. in Business Administration from UT Knoxville and a J.D. specializing in Animal and Environmental Law. She graduated with honors from Lewis & Clark Law School, where she served as Editor in Chief of the internationally acclaimed Animal Law Review and interned with the National Center for Animal Law and the International Environmental Law Project. Kim is a member of MENSA (the “high IQ society”) and previously worked for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in a variety of roles, including Executive Director, Director of Campaigns, and Director of Legal Affairs. Kim is also the former Executive Director of the One World One Ocean Foundation and the proud mother of a healthy, thriving son who has been vegan since conception. Currently serving as Executive Director of Big Life Foundation, which protects wildlife and wild lands in Eastern Africa, Kim remains deeply committed to the defense of animals worldwide.
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