Catching Gold with DIY Olympic Suncatchers

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written by special guest, Rheney Williams

Catching Gold with DIY Olympic Suncatchers

If you put your ears up against your windows and listen closely, you might even be able to hear the distant notes of the Olympic anthem as the orchestra rehearses for the Opening Ceremony in Sochi.

Ok, so not really, but there’s no denying that the anticipation is rapidly building for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games!

And while we’re waiting for the big event, why not take advantage of some of this down time and gear up for the Gold by hosting your own ‘Craft Olympics’ with your kids?

With a few basic materials and a free afternoon when you’d be stuck inside anyway to avoid the bitter chill of the outdoors, you can make your own Olympic ‘medal’ sun catchers to hang in your windows and remind you of the impending competition.

And if you have sons and are worried about boys not wanting to take part in ‘arts and crafts time,’ just make it a competition (hence the ‘Craft Olympics’) to see who can make the most medals, or who can make the ‘best’ medals, or who can come up with most countries who have the particular colors in their flags. Whatever you decide to ‘test’ you can be sure that no boy will shrink away from the challenge!

So create your individual events and let’s go for the Gold!

Catching Gold with DIY Olympic Suncatchers

I had some mini glass ornaments leftover from Christmas that were the perfect vessel for this project and I ended up making six of them: red, white and blue plus gold, silver and bronze.

The goal is to make these ornaments sparkle and shine from the inside out – literally – so you’ll also need:

  • Liquid glue adhesive: I used different colors of glitter puffy paint as the base but I’ve also seen crafters use liquid floor wax, Mod Podge and acrylic craft paint.
  • Super fine glitter in assorted colors
  • Funnel: I made mine by wrapping a piece of paper into a cone shape and taping the top to keep it together.
  • Shimmery ribbon for hanging the medals
  • Long Wooden Skewer or Dowel

I also used a white metallic craft paint by itself (no glitter) to demonstrate the different sheens you get by using a metallic paint alone versus using the glitter puffy paint plus the glitter but the application process is the same.

Catching Gold with DIY Olympic Suncatchers

Pour (or squeeze) a small amount of the paint into the ornament and turn it over and around to fully coat the inside.

When you’ve coated almost the entire inside, place your thumb over the top of the ornament and carefully (yet vigorously) shake the ornament around to coat the top.

Here’s the same base coat from using the glitter puffy paint.

Catching Gold with DIY Olympic Suncatchers

Working with one ornament at a time, use the funnel and pour the corresponding colored glitter into the ornament and follow the process of turning it around and then covering the opening and shaking the ornament to finish the job.

The extra glitter will create a much deeper/opaque color than just the glitter puffy paint alone (you can see how the gold ornament above is very translucent before you add the glitter) and this step really pays off when it catches the sun’s rays in the window.

From here, place them upright in a container to dry overnight.

Catching Gold with DIY Olympic Suncatchers

When they’ve dried completely, reattach the silver metal tops and cut various lengths of shimmery ribbon.

Catching Gold with DIY Olympic Suncatchers

I cut 2 long, 2 medium and 2 short ribbons to create a tiered ‘Olympic podium’ effect when you hang them all together in a row. Tie off each ribbon at the end.

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Using two long wooden skewers, I hung 3 medals on each. Thus, I lined up gold, silver and bronze on one and red, white and blue on the other.

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Since the skewers are flat and I hooked them into the edge of my wood window blinds, I wasn’t worried about the medals sliding around but if you desire, you can tie off the ends with separate ribbons to keep the medals on and tie in between each medal to keep them from shifting on the stick.

If your casement windows do not have blinds, you can tape the stick to the top of the casing so the medals hang freely in your windows. Just be sure to clean the surface before taping them up.

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Can’t wait to cheer on Team USA in Sochi!

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What fun ‘events’ are you going to create as a part of your Craft Olympics with your shiny medal window sun catchers?

Rheney Williams enjoys sharing her DIY crafting experiences with others. Rheney writes about her doors and windows projects for The Home Depot. Her craft décor interests often center on projects that parents can create with their kids. Home Depot’s doors and windows can be found here.

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