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Colourful Tie-Dyed Heart Suncatchers

Jan 25, 2017

Boy or boy! If I could choose 4 words to sum up the past few weeks of weather in our neck of the woods, they would be "dark", "dull", "dreary" and "grey".

Thank goodness Valentine's Day is just around the corner! The approaching holiday provides us with an excuse to create some happy, feel-good crafts and to get some colour up on the windows to offset the bleak landscape we've been looking out at for so long.

Today's crafy is as colourful as can be, and it's a lot of fun to make. We've used one of our favourite art techniques to craft up these vibrant Valentines sun catchers.

This fun and easy project gets the kids exploring bright colours and water absorption, and the process is great for strengthening fine-motor skills and coordination.

To make our tie-dyed Valentines suncatchers, you'll need:

All of the needed supplies. The brand of liquid watercolours used is Sargent Watercolor Magic.

  • liquid watercolours (you can subsitute food colouring diluted with a bit of water)
  • small sectioned tray or small bowls
  • paper towels
  • eye droppers or medicine droppers (also known as pipettes)
  • scissors
  • glue
  • black card stock or construction paper
  • baking sheet to protect your work surface
  • cooling rack (the kind you cool cookies on)

Before you start, you'll watnt to protect your table or work surface. Liquid watercolours are washable, but you should still take measures to prevent any possible staining. I always spread a plastic tablecloth over the table and each of the kids gets a baking sheet to work on as well. The baking sheets contain any spills and prevent the watercolours from soaking through to the tablecloth.

OK! Let's start by tie-dying our paper towels!

Pour several colours of liquid watercolour into some small bowls or a sectioned tray like an ice cube tray or paint pallet. For this project, I would advise using the watercolours at full strength. If you dilute them with water, the colours won't be as intense.

Place a piece of paper towel on the baking sheet and have your child use the droppers to drip colour all over the paper towel.

 Dripping colours onto a piece of paper towel.

When the paper towel has been completely covered in colour, transfer it to a cooling rack. The cooling rack will allow air to circulate underneath the paper towel, which will speed up the drying process. Keep the cooling rack on your protected surface in case of any dripping.

Ta-daa…  Look at our colourful collection of dried paper towels! Aren’t they gorgeous?

Dyed paper towels, ready to go.

When your paper towel is completely dry, you can make your sun catchers in a variety of styles and sizes.

We made our biggest sun catcher first, by folding a piece of black card stock in half vertically, and cutting three hearts out of it. We glued one of our coloured paper towels to the back of the card stock, and taped the finish piece to the dining room window.

Sun catchers displayed in a window.

The skies were overcast when we hung this piece, but even the grey daylight really intensifies the colour of the hearts.

Next, we used the leftover cut-outs from that piece to make smaller, individual sun catchers.

Setting the heart cut outs on top of the coloured paper towel.

We cut each of the cut-outs into hollow hearts, and glued these hearts all over a piece of coloured paper towel.

A number of small heart cutouts ready to be displayed.

Then, we trimmed away the excess paper towel, and we taped the smaller hearts to the window to frame the larger sun catcher.

Window decorated with the finished heart suncatchers.

How refreshing it is to see this vibrant pop of colour in our window on a dreary winter day!

Article Author Jackie Currie
Jackie Currie

Jackie Currie is a mother, daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind the blog Happy Hooligans. A self-proclaimed glitterphobe, she specializes in easy, affordable arts & crafts and good, old-fashioned play.

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