Post by Contributing Writer Amy
This project puts together two things I love: fall and laminating! Really, there is something so satisfying about seeing something go through the laminator. My kids were mesmerized watching me run the leaves through it for this project. Or maybe they are just as weird as me. :)
Making these laced leaf suncatchers is fun because it involves getting kids on a walk outside to find just the right leaf and stick, first. I love how seriously kids take that mission!
Here’s what you need:
- Laminator & Laminating sheets (Clear contact paper would likely work as well.)
- Hole punch
- Rubber band
- Masking tape
- Your child’s perfect leaf
- Stick (Cut from a bush worked best)
Go on a walk outside and have your child collect leaves they think are beautiful. Newly fallen leaves or leaves taken right off the tree work best. Curled up and crunchy is not the way to go here. While on your walk, cut about a three foot length of stem from a bush and cut off all the little twigs and leaves from it.
When you get home, fill your sink (or bathtub if need be) with enough warm water to cover the stick and let it soak. This makes the stick much easier to bend when making the outside of the suncatcher.
While your stick soaks, sort out all the leaves and have your child pick their very favorite for laminating. Put the leaf in the middle of the laminating pouch, to ensure you’ll have enough room to cut it out in a circle.
Laminate away! We did several leaves because there were too many favorites!
Bend your soaked stick around slowly, making it as circular as you can. Snip the rubber band and wrap it around the two ends a few times, tying it off tightly.
Wrap yarn around the rubber band to hide it. Tie off the yarn, leaving a loop for hanging.
Cut a circle around the laminated leaf and hole punch around it. I didn’t measure as I punched, but left about 3/4 inch space between holes. Use masking tape to keep the laminated leaf suspended in the middle of the circle until your child can lace it.
Wrap masking tape around the end of the yarn to make it easier to thread through the holes. Don’t cut off the yarn yet, since it’s hard to tell how much you will need!
Have your child start lacing at the top, and move the tape down for them as they lace. One of my kiddos had me hold the project while she threaded the yard through the hole. Then, she would walk backwards away from me, holding the yarn since it was so long. When she got it laced tightly, she’d come back to thread the yard through the next hole and repeat her backwards walk holding the end of the yarn. It actually worked much better than sitting in one spot and trying to pull all the yarn through each hole.
When the lacing is done, just tie off the yarn around the top where you already have the wrapped yarn. The way the sun brings out the colors in the leaf is just gorgeous, so hang it your window and enjoy!