How to Make Leaf Suncatchers

How to Make Leaf Suncatchers

Fall is such a beautiful season. The color change and fall leaves never get old, and it’s even more special to enjoy that magic of nature with children in tow. Our neighborhood strolls have become nature walks for gathering pinecones and leaves and pockets and wagons return home filled with tiny treasures.

Admittedly, we usually wait just long enough until those treasures are forgotten before throwing them back into the wild. But with fall leaves coming to an end and Thanksgiving just a week away, it’s the perfect time to bring the outdoors in with these simple leaf suncatchers.

This craft is super easy for kids and busy moms with big results. All you need are some basic supplies, a little helper or two, and a collection of leaves in different colors, shapes, and sizes. 


Wax paper
Paper plates
Clear shipping tape
Glossy Mod Podge
Small sponge brush
Optional: hole punch and twine

First step is to cut out the center of several paper plates, creating a “frame” for the suncatchers. Your cutting doesn’t have to be exact here—we’re not trying to win any Pinterest contests.

Next cut a piece of wax paper (about 20” long) and lay the cut-out plate on top as a guide for creating the suncatcher design. Let the kids select and place leaves to fit inside the frame.

Once they’re happy with the design, paint the other half of the wax paper with mod podge. Older kids can help paint it around. 

Remove the paper plate from the first side and fold the wet side of paper over onto the leaf design. Carefully press down to seal, then firmly smooth out any air bubbles. Repeat with additional leaves and wax paper.

Now you can wait for everything to dry or if you and your kids are as impatient as us and need immediate gratification, keep going. Place the paper plate frame back on top of the leaf design and eyeball the size circle you need to cut around your leaves. Remove the plate and cut a circle around the leaves (again, brownie points are for actually doing a DIY with your kids not making it perfect). 

Turn the plate frame over and place the cut-out leaf design on top. Use the clear packing tape to tape the design to the plate.

Turn over and place the suncatchers on a sunny windowsill to see the magic come to life. The sun shining through the leaves creates a beautiful stained glass effect. So fun and simple, and sure to make kids ooh and ahh!

If you’re feeling extra ambitious, punch holes in the top of each suncatcher frame and hang individually with twine or string them into a garland to hang across a window. Sure to delight!

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