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DIY Beaded Sun Catcher {Finished Friday} Link up your finished projects, too!

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A Heart For Home: DIY Beaded Sun Catcher {Finished Friday} Link up your finished projects, too!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

DIY Beaded Sun Catcher {Finished Friday} Link up your finished projects, too!

Join the fun and link up your finished projects at the bottom of this post.

A few months ago I was inspired to make a beaded sun catcher by this pin. Unfortunately I couldn't track down the original link, but the picture was enough to help get us started in the right direction. Over the past few weeks the kids and I have been working on this project as a graduation present for my niece.

The bead stringing was simple enough for our 5 year old and 3 1/2 year old to do independently, which made this a fun project to work on here and there as we had time.

wooden top (painted, stained, or left natural)
drill with small drill bit
monofilament fishing line
metal circle key ring
metal crimp tube beads
small needle nose pliers ( I have a pair of chain nose jewelry pliers like this that I love)
lots and lots of beads (we used mostly glass beads to help reflect the light)

My dad helped with the project by cutting out the letter R (our niece's first initial) that I traced on a 1 inch thick board. He also drilled small holes where I had marked, about an inch apart around the entire letter.

You can see the holes here.

Since the sun catcher will be hanging, I chose to make the letter face the correct direction when viewed from below. Even though this sun catcher is meant for indoors, I couldn't help snapping this shot while taking some photos outside.

(We painted the wooden piece white and let it dry completely before starting.)

I simply cut the fishing line to double the length I needed (for the beaded part as well as the part at the top to attach the key ring). Then I added a small bead to the string. Once the bead was on I pulled both ends of the string together so the bead was in the middle and I slid the crimp bead onto both ends. To keep the bead from moving around I pushed the crimp bead down to the other bead and pinched it closed with the pliers.

You can see the ends in this photo. (The crimp beads are the tiny silver ones.)
Once I had finished securing the bead to the middle, Emahry and Jonathan took over the stringing of the beads. Emahry (5) was able to hold both strings together and get both ends through the beads quite easily. Jonathan simply used one of the ends to strings his beads and then gave me his strands so I could poke the second string through each bead.

We made all of the strands about the same length and the secured each one with another crimp bead before passing the end of each strand through the wooden top. Once each strand was through I topped it with another small bead and then used another crimp bead to keep it in place.

Attaching the strings to the key ring was definitely the hardest part. If your piece of wood is symmetrical I would highly suggest just hanging it by attaching a couple of eye screws and threading a length of chain or wire through them. Since the R wouldn't hang evenly I attached each set of fishing line to the key ring with a crimp bead. This was a lot easier said than done. 

Finally, I decided to pinch each crimp bead partially closed as I got it positioned correctly, then when each set of strings was attached I went back through loosening and tightening each string to make the R hang evenly. Finally I used the pliers to close each crimp bead completely and I cut off the extra strings.

I already have another beaded sun catcher in the works as a gift and would love to make one for myself soon as well.

Today's Questions: Have you finished any projects this week? Let us know in the comments and link up your posts below.
I'm trying to hold myself accountable to finish some of the projects on my to do list by posting each Friday about a project I've completed.
Would you like to join in? Link up to your own projects below.

Link to your project post, not your blog's home page, so we can find it easily.
2. Let us know what project you are sharing in your title, for example: Spring Wreath
3. We'd love it if your post links back here so that your readers can come join the fun. Feel free to copy & paste our Finished Friday Button into your post. (Just copy the text in the box below the button, click on the "Edit HTML" tab for your post and paste it there.)

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Blogger Jillian @ Hi! It's Jilly said...

What a fun project! Thanks for hosting your linky party every week! :)

June 8, 2012 at 4:39 AM  
Blogger Megan {The Brick Bungalow} said...

Love this! This would be such a great idea to use up all my old beads and broken necklaces too! I have so many things that could be added to this, plus a letter too! Very creative!!!

June 8, 2012 at 8:44 AM  
Blogger being mom{me} said...

This is such a great project! I think I might need to make some of these with my older girls - they would love it! I'm glad I found your blog through the link party at Simple Home Life.

June 8, 2012 at 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Didi said...

This is so beautiful! What a wonderful idea. Thanks for the inspiration.

June 8, 2012 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Tim, Allyson, and kids said...

@Megan Sloan, You're right, this is a great project for using up random beads. In fact, the vast majority of these beads came from a bin of glass beads that I purchased inexpensively at a yard sale last summer.

@being mom{me}, I think your girls would love this project. It was really easy for our just turned 5 year old, especially since (with the bead secured to one end) she didn't have to worry about the beads falling off. It's also nice because you can do a string at a time and then put it away for awhile and do another string when you have a bit more time.

June 8, 2012 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger Katelynn said...

It turned out beautiful!!

June 9, 2012 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger Crafty Mischief said...

Too cute! I love this!

June 11, 2012 at 11:26 PM  
Blogger cheapcraftymama said...

I love it- how fun and adorable! I would love for you to share this (and any other creations) at Pin It and Win It Wednesday @!

June 13, 2012 at 8:20 AM  
Blogger Six Sisters said...

Love how colorful this is! Thanks for linking up with us on "Strut Your Stuff Saturday!" We hope to see you next week! -The Sisters

June 13, 2012 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger The Monko said...

That is so pretty and what a genius way to use those wooden letters. We have some that My son's Nan gave us and I have been racking my brains to think of what to do with them

June 21, 2012 at 3:25 PM  

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