Sun Catchers (Made with Recycled Plastic Lids)

Recycled plastic lids are filled with glue, liquid watercolors are added and little artists swirl, blend, and pull the colors into beautiful patterns and shapes. After the glue dries, these sun catchers pop out of the lids and can be hung in windows to glow in the sunshine.


  • Recycled plastic lids from food containers, for example, sour cream, yogurt, and soft spread butter containers, coffee tins, etc.. Any size and shape will work.
  • Classroom glue, such as Elmer’s (you will need a lot)
  • Liquid watercolors
  • Popsicle sticks and toothpicks

glue 8


  1. Give each little artist a plastic lid filled to the brim with classroom glue. These can be difficult to move so consider placing the lid in front of your artist on a prepared work space before filling with glue.
  2. Give your little artist a Popsicle stick and a tooth pick. Ask which colors of paint they would like to use. I find that two to three colors work well in terms of blending.
  3. Drop the chosen colors into the glue and encourage your little artist to move the liquid watercolor drops using their Popsicle stick or toothpick. They can blend, stretch, swirl, and pull the colors into interesting shapes and patterns.
  4. When your little artist has finished working, place the lid in a safe place to dry. It can take up to 10 days for the glue to dry completely. You will know the sun catcher is ready when the sides of the sun catcher pull away from the sides of the lid.
  5. Pop the sun catcher out of the lid, poke a hole through it, add a string, and hang it in a sunny window!


  • Keep an eye on your little artist’s progress while they are blending and swirling the colors. You may want to limit their work time to a few minutes to prevent over blending. If you are doing this project with one artist, you may want to fill many lids with glue so that they can make multiple sun catchers and extend their art making time.
  • When poking a hole through the sun catcher to add the string, look for a place where a bubble has dried in the glue. Poking a hole through an area that is already thin can help prevent cracking and breaking the sun catcher.

glue 4


Image result for My Color is Rainbow by Agnes Hsu


Before or after your sun catcher project, read the book My Color is Rainbow by Agnes Hsu together with your little artist.

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