Suncatchers come in all shapes,sizes and styles but almost always use beads in their designs. The best beads to use to truly catch the sun, are clear crystal beads which form rainbows when the sun hits them at the right angle, but you can use whichever beads you like!
What is a suncatcher?
A suncatcher is a hanging decoration, usually displayed in windows, which is used to catch the sunlight and form rainbows or pretty reflections to appear in your room.
How to make a simple beaded suncatcher
One of the easiest suncatchers to make are a single drop of beads which might have some sort of charm at the bottom to help weight the thread and make it hang nicely. Usually you would choose a large crystal shape which will act as the main “catcher” which will make beautiful rainbows on the walls in your home.
Things you will need
- Crystal or glass beads – rondelle or bicone shapes are perfect for crafting a suncatcher
- Large crystal or charm
- Clear beading thread (fishing wire) – this is great when using clear beads
- A key ring or sturdy loop – this will be attached to the top so you can hang up your suncatcher
Once you have all of your beads, you can create a design which you are happy with before stringing it onto your thread. When you have a design, cut a length of thread for your suncatcher – double the length you want your suncatcher to be, plus a couple of extra inches of length for tying.
Making the suncatcher
Begin by threading your clear beading wire through your chosen charm or crystal. You could use a lark’s head knot or just slot it through the hole normally, either way, you will end up threading the beads over both end of thread.
Thread your bead design starting with the bottom beads of your design, working your way to the top bead.
After the last bead is threaded, you need to add your key ring or loop to the top. Tie a sturdy double or triple knot around the loop and push the loose ends back down through the beads below to keep it tidy.
Hang up your suncatcher in a window and enjoy the rainbows and light dancing around your room.
Make it your own
If you want to make more than one drop for your suncatcher, then you could create multiple rows of beads with charms and tie them to a stick or larger ring. It would be more secure if you drill holes into the stick or loop to thread through before knotting.
Popular suncatcher projects
As we said above, suncatchers can be found in so many different forms, they can be made in animal shapes, spirals, simple drops… the list goes on. Some of the most popular suncatcher projects you might find are:
- Wire shapes – Using craft wire which is strong enough to hold its shape, create swirls or shapes onto which you can thread your beads. Sometimes, simple wire shapes have thinner beading wire wrapped around, attaching beads in pretty patterns. This is a really personalizable project as you can let your imagination run wild!
- Memory wire spirals – Bracelet sized memory wire is perfect for this project. All you have to do is thread beads onto the spiral of wire (after securing one end with a loop) then attach a larger crystal or charm to the bottom of the spiral. Once hung up, the spiral will unwind with the weight of the charm and form a pretty twist.
- Melted pony bead shapes – This technique has become pretty popular recently, with loads of tutorials popping up online. It involves melting clear, colorful pony beads in an oven proof tray to create a flat disc or shape. The beads melt together creating a colorful mosaic or stained glass effect.