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Crafty Mom: Suncatcher rainbows

Posted March 12, 2013

I have a soft spot for rainbows.

I’m not sure what it is exactly that draws me in -- whether it’s the bright colors all lined up in a specific order; or the graceful, curving arc of the rainbow’s shape; or the fact that “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” starts playing in my head bringing back happy memories of watching "The Wizard of Oz" with my family as a child. But there’s something about rainbows that instantly brightens my day. As such, we tend to do lots of rainbow crafts at our house. Our latest are suncatcher rainbows to brighten the windows and welcome in spring!

To make suncatcher rainbows, you will need coffee filters, food coloring, a nasal aspirator (or pipette or medicine dropper), scissors, and clear tape.

First, use the scissors to cut the coffee filter in half. Then cut out a semi-circle shape along the flat edge of the coffee filter so that you have a rainbow arc.

Create colors for your rainbow creation by combining about 10 drops of food coloring with about a tablespoon or two of water in three separate cups; one each for red, yellow, and blue. For brighter colors use less water and for lighter colors use more.

On a plastic tray or other non-porous surface, lay out an absorbent (rag) towel, and place your coffee filter rainbow shape on top. Use a nasal aspirator to squeeze up some of the red color. Gently squeeze the red color along the top arc of the coffee filter. Squeeze any excess color back into the red cup. Repeat with blue along the bottom edge of the coffee filter, and then finish by filling in the middle with yellow.

Touch up any colors and fill in any white spots as needed. The colors should mix a little to create some orange and green where two colors touch to give you more of a rainbow effect.

Lay your coffee filter on a dry (rag) towel until it has dried. Then use clear tape to hang your suncatcher rainbow on your window and enjoy all the pretty colors!

Here’s a step-by-step photo tutorial of the steps above along with another coffee filter rainbow craft you can create. If you enjoy this type of crafting, here are some additional ways we’ve experimented with coffee filter art that my two children absolutely love!

These suncatcher rainbows are a perfect St. Patrick’s Day craft for kids, as well as a great pick-me-up to send to someone who’s sick or shut-in! Who wouldn’t love to receive a rainbow in the mail??

Happy crafting!

Genny is a former Wake County Public School System elementary and reading teacher, who is now a stay-at-home mom of two preschoolers in Cary. Read more on her blog In Lieu of Preschool and Facebook page. And check out her new site Parent Teach Play and the Parent Teach Play Facebook page.

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