Craft Time ~ Glass Gem Suncatchers

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The final product.

I haven’t done anything crafty in a while and I suppose it was time. My mom found this idea for a Glass Gem Suncatcher on Pinterest and thought we should do it. Here’s what we used:

~Glass Gems (you know, like the little things you’d put in the bottom of of a vase)

We used clears, blues and greens.

~Elmers Glue (we used clear, but I hear you can use the normal kind if you want)

I had no clue clear glue even existed.

~String / Ribbon (I used fishing wire)
~Suction Cup
~Plastic Lids (from a butter container, etc.)

It doesn’t matter what lid you use. Bigger lid = bigger suncatcher.

This may be one of the easiest and quickest projects every. First you squeeze a ton of glue into the lid. Make sure it coats the entire bottom nicely. Then you arrange the gems. I arranged mine in a pattern because I am OCD like that. L and my mom did theirs in a random pattern.  I think I used even more glue when I was done.  Just to be sure.
 Now wait 2-3 days for it to totally dry. Then peel off the lid and attach your ribbon or string to the suction cup and that’s it, you’re done.  You won’t even need to poke a hole to hang it.  The glue dried for me with pre-made holes.  Such a cute, easy and cheap idea for teachers gifts or just for you own house!  And it’s fun for all ages.  I did one, my mom did one, L did one and my cousins who are (10 and 13) made them too!

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Jennifer

Jennifer is the author and founder of Subscription Box Ramblings. She first discovered subscription boxes in 2012 and has been addicted since. Current favorites include CAUSEBOX, Boxycharm and Beachly!

This Post Has 143 Comments

  1. jen

    Thanks for the great idea! Looks like a good slumber party project for my kids!!

  2. Karen

    I just wanted to come back to this post and say thanks for sharing this project. My 5 year old daughter made these for goodbye presents for her pre-school teachers. She had a lot of fun making them, and the teachers really seemed to love them. I love your blog, and although I am totally not crafty, you inspire me to try.

    1. Brenda

      Does the beads fall off if left in the sun? Does the glue melt in the heat?

      1. Jennifer

        No and no.

      2. Honey David

        I made a sun catcher with glass gyms and hung it in window after 2-3 days it broke. How do I keep this from happening?

  3. Kathy

    I love this and am looking forward to making it with our 3-year-old for Mother’s Day for the grandmas in our life. Yep, it’s January. I’m constantly planning, lol. I’m confused on how you got the fishing line attached. In the first photo it appears to go all the way around the circle of rocks? Thanks in advance for any help!

    1. Jennifer

      That’s the glue you see around the outside, not fishing line. The glue leaves little holes all over the place which are perfect to put the fishing line through! I’ve had mine up for MONTHS and it hasn’t fallen down! Hope this helps!

    2. Connie Redfern

      This looks like a real awesome project to do with my 3 year old grandson. They look like they would make good coasters too.

  4. Lisa

    I can not wait to try this. We live in southern FL and I am wondering if the sun will melt the glue after time?
    Thank you.

    1. DG

      @Lisa: Did you end up trying these? I’m in FL also and ours started drooping and the gems started falling out one by one. Also, anyone making them should definitely use the clear. We used regular Elmers and they turned yellowish within days of being in the sun. Fun to make though! 🙂

      1. Tanya

        Thanks for the clear glue tip! Gonna do this for Mother’s Day in our Sunday school class.

        1. Lori Ventimiglia

          If you use GE Silicone II Clear, this works in FL. This is normally used for gutters and flashing and it rain, sun, freeze proof. It’s found at Home Depot ($6.97) and you need a caulking gun ($2.97) I got this tip from Empress of the Dirt on Pinterest.

      2. Lis

        Hummm.. I wonder if you could just spray on clear varnish and that would hopefully keep it from melting???? Just a thought.

  5. Betty Romig

    Will rain make the glue get soft?

    1. Raven Littlefeather

      Try using silicone glue, like the kind you fix aquarium glass with

      1. Sharon Sommer

        I use all weather 100% silicone or E6000 on my projects , I live in Arizona and some of my yard art has been out for 6 years and still together.

  6. Pandy

    Living in a dessert gives me lots of sun to “catch”. Thank you, I’ve been looking for something like this for sooooo long!

    1. Sue Wyatt

      Another idea is make little holes in a fence in random spaces….a little smaller then a marble…the take the marble and push it in the hole…and when the sun comes threw it’s very pretty..

      1. Corinne Boots

        nice idea but I don’t have a fence But I’m going to try to make some small thing first than try to make a large on to hang on my gazbo. Might have proble there can’t climb a ladder yet getting over a broken ankle.

      2. Terri W

        Hi!! I realize your post is from March 2014 but I’m going to try and ask you anyways!! I was wondering if you did the project and added in your marbles? If so, how did it go?? Did it work and did you like it? If you have any tips or suggestions from your experience I would love to hear them. Please and Thank you, Terri

      3. Marcy Gagnon

        I did this and love it. Two different sizes.

    2. Joyce

      I make all yard art & indoor decor with glass & ceramics. The best adhesive is 100% clear silicone II which is waterproof & UV protective. Items can be left outdoors until the ground freezes & should then be brought in & stored or used as indoor decor. I make birdbath/birdfeeder, plate flowers, teapot totems, floating teacups, centerpieces, gaze balls, etc.

      1. Debby

        I would love to see your outdoor items you made. Would you mind sending a few pics? I would really appreciate that. Thanks!
        Especially the floating teacups!

  7. Marsha Householder

    Wonderful! Our granddaughter will love making these.

    Thank you so much.

  8. cathy

    Would E6000 glue work better for those in warmer climates?? I am in Wisconsin so don’t think I need to worry about the heat..:)

  9. Tara

    Hi, when do u add the string, after you lay the gems?

  10. Grandmotherof 8

    I would expect these are for indoors. Since there is a suction cup involved and inside the glue wouldn’t get hot.

  11. ronnie

    This is amazing!!!
    I love it.
    It seems so simple and is beautiful!!!
    Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  12. BJ

    Maybe try with silicone for outside light catchers may take another day to dry.

  13. Bonnie

    I absolutely love these! One question though. What happens to them when it rains? I live in England, and we get as much rain as we do sun during the summer.

    1. Pamela

      These are for indoor use since they use washable school glue

    2. Joyce

      Like I said if you use the GE CLEAR SILICONE II with a caulking gun, it can be for indoor or outdoor. It’s waterproof & Sun protected

  14. cheryl

    Wonder what the equivalent glue is for those of us in the UK any clues?

    1. tinysaucer84

      @cheryl: pva gluewould be good and drys clear for us in the uk

  15. Mary

    When is the suction cup attached? Is it glued in upside down with the gems?

    1. Chel

      @Mary:

      The suction cup is tied to the ribbon, at the top. It’s not attached to the gems. 🙂

  16. melissa

    My boys and I are going to make these!! We just finished the” beads on a jar on a stick for the garden” project and that turned out great:) The!

  17. Marilyn

    What a great idea, I do lots of garden art, using glass gems. But I use a product called “Plumbers Goop” or just Goop. It’s weather proof and quite easy to work with. Can’t wait to try this idea. Thanks.

    1. Donna Flowers

      Where do you buy the Plumbers Goop

      1. Alice

        Home Depot. These make great as Christmas gifts.

    2. sandy

      Hi there, how would you use the plumber’s goop, sounds like it would work if it’s clear. How long does it take to dry, I guess as long as it takes, haha.. What kind of container does it come in, for I am deficient in caulking!! Thakas so much..

    3. Beatrice

      Hi, I have tryed the goop, an it dried like it’s fogged not clear at all. I do recommend the clear glue. Hope this helps.

      1. Martha

        I use E-6000. You can’t beat it .

        1. Terri

          E6000 works for everything: glass ceramic,wood, etc. Used it for years and cannot beat it for ease and durability, I’m a glass artist & have sworn by this glue for everything. It is available at Walmart, Michaels, and hardware and dollar stores. Give it a try; it’s not expensive and comes in all size tubes.

  18. yvonne

    Not sure on how to put ribbon on after craft is done were do u attach it at

    1. Jennifer

      The glue doesn’t dry totally solid and leaves spaces so you can easily slip a ribbon or line thru there to hang it up!

  19. suzie

    Hey. These look great. I might be being completely dumb… but the instructions don’t mention the suction cup? When/ does the suction cup come into.play? Thanks

    1. Jennifer

      Once you put the string on (it’ll loop through the glue – you’ll see what I mean when it dries) you can attach a suction cup to the string to hang on the window.

  20. corinne boots

    Thank ou for sharing this I had bought some of these jems a long time ago and never knew what to do with them now I do and I will make some of these for myself I have a camper and love to decorate outsid my camper also great to hang up insideof your houon a window so the sight can sine through the gems. Also I havea big year I would love to hang them out door on my patio. Once again thank you for shareing your idea with every one.

  21. Corinne Boots

    thank you for sharing I love this idea

  22. Deniece C

    I cannot wait to get some Goop and try this. We are in Florida too and I do not want it to fall apart. My husband had a front porch built and I have been hanging everything I can find that will hang and chime or shine plus (of course) plants. Do not have any little ones around but do have a brand new great grand daughter 300 miles away and will try a small mobile for her.
    Thanks for all the info.

  23. Kate

    Hi thanks for this great idea! I want to know if you don’t have any plastic lids, you think plastic coated paper plates will work? Or you think the glue might stick to it? I actually have these made up and drying right now.I would like to send a pic but not sure how just so you know what I mean. So in a few days I guess I will find out 🙂

  24. Kate

    Ok the plastic coated paper plate did not work, paper peeled off with the sun catcher…soooo now waiting for my other ones I did the right way to dry…this is day 3, still not ready. Can’t wait to make more! Thanks!

    1. Jennifer

      Yay!! I hope they are perfect!

  25. Vickie

    I have loved this sun catcher for sometime. Now I see how easy it is to make, I can’t wait to make one. Thanks for sharing this idea with everyone.

  26. Kate

    I have made 4 of them so far, and love them! So simple and easy and very pretty to look at! Came out perfect every time! Can’t wait to make more!

    1. Jennifer

      Yay! I am glad you enjoyed them!

    2. TERSA HENLEY

      HI DID YOU HAVE TO PUT MORE GLUE ON TOP OF THE GEMS AFTER GLUEING THEM TO THE PLASTIC LID

  27. Elizabeth

    Thank you so much for sharing this on Pinterest. I’m going to make one (or two) with my Grandaughter, she’ll love it.

  28. Tanya

    Looking forward to making these in our Sunday school class for Mother’s Day. I’m gonna have to make a few ahead of time for myself to make sure it works though. 😉 😉 lol I can’t resist! Too adorable and cute!!

  29. Robin

    This is great!! I will introduce this idea to my chapter’s youth group.

  30. Tracy

    Is there anything you can put over it like outdoor varnish or something to stop it from melting in the sun if you use elmers clear glue? I have a tonne of the glue and would like to use it and sell them, but don’t want them to fall apart.. 🙁

    1. Jennifer

      Mine has help up fine. It’s been years!

    2. Sandy

      You might want to try Weldbond Glue. I use this for outdoor mosaic projects. I wouldn’t want children breathing in the GE II Silicone glue.

  31. Beth Crumpton

    Great idea! How many glass gems did you buy?

    Thanks!

  32. Marie Ullrich

    Thanks so for the share, I love sun catchers and this one is soooo easy! I will make lots for gifts and for myself !!

  33. arlene

    I love this,i will try to make this my self. thank you

  34. tina wambolt

    I think this is a really cool ideal thanks for sharing!

  35. Ronda Lane

    love these suncatchers

  36. Carol

    I love the sun catcher idea! My question is rather than using a pool of glue on a plastic lid, how would it work (for a more daring person) to use a shaped piece of clear glass to glue the gems to? I can see this done with using different sizes and hung in a grouping outside! Would need to be able to drill a hole in the glass and I would consider using a length of very small chain to handle the weight. I found a project here on pinterest to cover a window using E6000 glue for the gems. I did this in my bathroom and have had numerous compliments on how pretty it is.

  37. madison loftis

    this is a really cool idea! since I’m only a teenager I have lots of time on my hands when I’m not in school. Lol. I will definitely try this this summer!!!!!!!!

  38. Carol Bernatchez

    I am always looking for projects to do this looks like fun I love things for outside

  39. Joanne

    i am in love with this idea. I am going to be very busy before Easter. This is great! Thank you so much!

  40. LYNN

    How does the glue NOT stick to the plastic lid? Do you put down saran wrap or have to spray with pam?

    1. Jennifer

      Nope you don’t have to spray it with anything or put anything down. I don’t know why it doesn’t stick, but it doesn’t.

  41. Lis

    Love these. I have a lot of just clear ones at the moment and am wondering if I painted the bottoms with glass paint that I also have right now, if that would work??? Any advise? Thanks so much for sharing.

  42. Sharon

    I made one with the clear glue and gave it to my sister….she hung it up right away in a window where the sun shines…it didn’t do anything….Does it have to be really sunny out or what? I hate making them if they are not gonna work…Any suggestions?

  43. priscilla

    My students and I loved the sun catcher project. Thank you.

  44. Debbie

    thankyou I am going to do this with my granddaughter for her Mother’s Day gift

  45. Judy

    How many days to dry been three already and still not dry

  46. Alise

    What if you used hot glue? Do you think it would discolor in the sun and do you think that it would hold fairly well in the weather?

  47. TERSA HENLEY

    HI CAN YOU TELL ME AFTER PLACING THE MARBLE GEMS ONTO THE GLUE DO YOU THEN COVER THE WHOLE THING WITH GLUE AGAIN I TRIED DOING THAT BUT IT NEVER WOULD DRY WHAT AM I DOING WRONG THANKS

  48. Pam Hannah

    Can they be hung outside without falling apart? I work with special needs kids and this looks like a great project

  49. Lisa

    Love these what a great idea!

  50. Kathy Frye

    do you think I can use a metal pan? should I spray it first with cooking spray? thanks

  51. Lesley

    i can not wait to do I think it’s fantastic

  52. Nieves

    Beautiful !!!! Very easy to do with my gr8grand kids. Thanks for sharing !!!!!

  53. Pat Botkins

    love I this idea. Going to try it.

  54. Brenda

    I like this and I will try it. Neat

  55. Shelley

    Hi, I was curious if you could use I lid from a tin? We have a lot of tins already on hand. I would think you could pop them out. I have a daycare so need quite a few.

  56. Cara Roberson

    This is beautiful!!! I can’t wait to try it!!!

  57. MOLY KAO

    great

  58. Mary Dominguez

    That’s is a good idea, thank u I will try it tomorrow see how it comes out

  59. Alma Dunn

    Love the sun catcher. Thanks for sharing. – Alma

  60. Shidan

    This is a great project and I am going to help my 94 year old mom make it as she loves doing craft. Can you explain what is a suction cup please?

    Thanks
    Shidan

  61. Linda

    I’ve done other things with the glass pebbles. One thing was magnets for the fridge,etc.i glued a small picture (head shot)of my grandsons on the back of the pebble and then glued a small magnet on that. The curvature of the glass magnified the picture. I’m going to try this with the sun catcher . I SO hope thes works. I want to give it to my 90 yr old Dad to hang in his window !

  62. Janelle brennan

    Not sure about the suction cup….u just stick it on the back side? Does it hold the weight of the stones? Could it be glued on?

    1. Jennifer

      You hook some fishing line in between the beads. The glue will leave some spaces. And then you hook the suction cup on the fishing line. It holds it.

  63. Sherry Bryant

    Jennifer you are so very patient and kind. Ty for sharing!

  64. janice

    I don’t understand one step. After the beads are in the plastic cover how do you add more glue. Do you squeeze the glue between the beads. Thank you

    1. Jennifer

      Just squeeze it all over the top. It will distribute itself.

  65. karen thornton

    fantastic idea to hang in trees around the yard. Sunlight would catch them and simply glow!!!!

  66. Lisa

    I just wanted to tell you how beautiful the photo is itself! I LOVE the storm clouds in the background..this photo for domestic reason just makes me intensely happy and I really can’t wait to make my own. ???

  67. Robyn

    Love the idea. Think I will have to make one. I make light hangers out of old computer discs. I love the rainbow colours when it catches the sun.

  68. pat

    I made one of these with clear Elmer’s glue. But can I hang this safely outdoors and will it be water resistant? Also, we live in a humid climate…

  69. Patricia Alvarado

    When and where does the suction cup go on?

    1. Jennifer

      “Now wait 2-3 days for it to totally dry. Then peel off the lid and attach your ribbon or string to the suction cup and that?s it, you?re done. You won?t even need to poke a hole to hang it. The glue dried for me with pre-made holes.”

  70. Chris Cortese

    What a great site!! This would be a project that I can do with my little granddaughters! So much fun

  71. Shelley McGarry

    How did the suction cup go on?
    Thanks!

    1. Jennifer

      You just attach it to the string. There will be some small holes in the suncatcher after the glue dries, so just thread some fishing line through one of the holes and then attach it to the suction cup.

  72. Helga

    SUch a nice idea. I once tried this on a lid used beneath a plant , however I could not get it out with breaking. I wonder if I had to place more glue. Also it was stuck to the lid. I would appreciate your help. Nice job and thnak you kindly for relying.

  73. Dennis

    Elmer’s clear washable school glue where can I buy it plz
    Very cool I.l Ike them all

  74. Rosemary Simmons

    The sun catcher is an awesome idea. I want to do this with my grandchildren as Mother’s Day gifts for the Moms. This would also be a great VBS craft too. Thank you.

  75. Car

    I doubt best would make them droop. I would think moisture is what would make them fall apart.

  76. Car

    I doubt heat would make them droop. I would think moisture is what would make them fall apart.

    1. Jackie

      I hear that. Maybe a clear epoxy would work better for the serious crafty person. 😉

  77. celeste a.

    I may have missed something…….what is the suction cup for, and where do you attach it?

  78. celeste a.

    Never mind. Just saw where someone asked the same question. Thank you.

  79. Jackie

    Maybe lay the hanging string in the glue and allow it to dry in it?

  80. Fran

    Does the glue hold up in a sunny window though ? Gets hot in my window !

  81. WONDERING

    WHO IS L?

    1. Jennifer

      My son. He was 4 when we did this.

  82. Mary

    Hi Jennifer, how do you stay so nice and calm when confronted by so many stupid questions? Why don’t they read your post properly before asking a question already explained? Lovely idea and you must be an angel xx

    1. Jennifer

      LOL!!! I will admit, I have asked myself this question a few times!!!!

  83. Sue Williams

    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  84. Sally

    Hi Jennifer what’s the suction cup for and …. Sorry only joking.
    Mary I completely agree with you.
    So I’m very new to this and this is my first reply.
    I’m so looking forward to trying this and looking for more ideas.
    Thanks for sharing

    1. Mardell

      Are you making fun of me? LOL
      I really didn’t understand why a suction cup was listed. Not realizing they were listing it to hang the suncatcher. I figure we can figure out where and how we want to hang it. Anyway, your joke made me laugh.

  85. Mary

    Won’t the glue melt in the sun?

    1. Jennifer

      no. I have never had any issues at all.

  86. Diane Livingston

    Only thing is it won’t handle water, so you would want to keep them indoors unless you live somewhere that never rains or snows.

  87. Peggy Miller

    Love this idea simple and looks easy to make for a beginner like me Thank you for sharing

  88. dolly

    Great stuff Jennifer…I would really like to try this soon. My only concern is when those suction cups dry out and fall off the window, these glass beads will break off the arrangement !!!!
    I might find another way to hang it

  89. sylvie clement

    just want to know where and when do you attach the suction cup, thanks HAVE A GOOD DAY,

  90. Rena

    I’m absolutely going to try this in different colors, including the colors you used. Thank You!! 🙂

  91. ophelia carter

    my question is for the string just put it through the hole or or it need to go around the whole thing

  92. Linda Hensleymk

    When you use the plastic tops do you do the top of it or underneath?

    1. Jennifer

      The underneath. So the lip is facing up.

  93. Laura Rappa

    Help! only two more days until my students have to take them home and they are still not dry! I used paper plates because I have 20 students. Could it be because I used paper plates instead of plastic lids?

  94. colleen

    Love this Idea Jennifer. I am going to make these tonight

  95. Iris Fields

    These are made with washable glue. Once exposed to rain won’t they just disintegrate?

    1. Jennifer

      I don’t know. Mine where inside the house on the window.

  96. Cheryl

    Great idea, I want to try.

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