Sun Catcher (Paper Stained Glass Art)

Good morning scientists! We have a fun art project that doubles as science exploration. This is very versatile and can be used for many holiday celebrations or just to decorate.

MaterialsSun Catcher (1)

Clear Contact Paper

Multiple Colors of Tissue Paper (Cut into small pieces)

Container (To hold your tissue paper, an open Tupperware container worked best for us)



Optional: Glue-stick and Scrapbook Paper for a Boarder and Ribbon (As decoration, we made a “Jellyfish”)


  1. Cut your desired shape out of clear contact paper.Sun Catcher (9)
  2. Double the tape over and tape the clear side down onto the work surface. Peal off the white backing.Sun Catcher (14)
  3. Have your little scientist decorate the sticky side of the contact paper with the tissue paper pieces until there are not sticky spots remaining. Optional: Cut and glue a frame for your artwork. Add any additional decorations to your sun catcher.Sun Catcher (22)
  4. Display your sun catcher in a window and watch the light interact with your creation.

Talking Points

We created a fun sun catcher to display in a window. My little scientist made a “Jelly Fish”, we had previously made two different hearts, one with a board and one without.

The sun is able to travel through the tissue paper and you and your little scientist can talk about how some of the area let more light through (lighter) and other areas let less light through (darker). If you added a boarder you can clearly see the outline of the boarder as the darkest area. This part is opaque or not able to see through, the light was not able to travel through this opaque boarder.

This activity also allows you to talk about how colors are formed. The three primary colors are blue, red, and yellow. All other colors occur from combining these primary colors. Blue and red create purple, blue and yellow create green, and yellow and red create orange. The colors purple, green, and orange are considered secondary colors (Made from the three primary colors). If you look really closely at the jellyfish you can see green in areas where the blue paper and yellow paper overlapped and orange where the red and yellow overlapped.

Extended Learning: Try one of our other related activities

Mix a Rainbow (22)
Mix a Rainbow
Water Cycle in a Bag and Sun Catcher
Water Cycle in a Bag

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