This shell suncatcher craft is perfect for summer and with some help can be made by even young children (my kids started making suncatchers when they were toddlers). Shell crafts are always popular (after all who doesn’t love a pretty shell?) and you can make this craft using our free shell template too.
We’ve made lots of suncatchers using cellophane but I think this might be our first tissue paper suncatcher. Both materials are fine to use and as you’ll see this can also be a good craft for using up any scraps of crafting materials that you have.
Shell suncatcher craft
I think this suncatcher makes a great summer craft for kids and I love stuff that you can display once it’s made. This would look great up in your child’s bedroom or decorating the windows in a classroom.
Where possible I like to get the most out of any craft supplies that we have and so this suncatcher is made using a combination of tissue paper (old, crumpled and found at the back of a draw), shredded tissue paper from a year or two ago (I really don’t chuck stuff lol) and some textured brown paper that was in a box from a delivery. I like the way that the brown paper and torn tissue reminds me of coral so it’s a good reminder to always check and see what you have lurking at the back of a cupboard that can be reused!
This craft was made using our free shell template. You can print as many copies as you like so do go and grab it if you’d like a copy for this craft.
Should you use tissue paper or cellophane to make a suncatcher
We’ve used both cellophane and tissue paper to make suncatchers in the past. Both materials work although the effect that you get will be slightly different depending on which one you choose to use.
Cellophane tends to be brighter and can be a good one for kids to practice cutting as well while tissue paper doesn’t give such vibrant results, it still looks good though! Tissue paper is also good because you can tear it rather than cutting it.
Generally I’d just go with whichever one you have at home, both will look great and they’re both fine to use.
How to make a suncatcher – video tutorial
Below you’ll find the instructions for how to make a suncatcher craft with kids but I thought it might also be helpful to link a video to this page showing how we made our fall leaf suncatchers so that you can see the tutorial in action – I know that for myself I quite often find it easier to watch how something is done rather than just reading about it.
The video is speeded up (trust me the slowed down version would be a bit dull) so it doesn’t take that long to view and the only real difference between that craft and this is that I used cellophane rather than tissue paper- the craft is different but the principles remain the same. I hope it helps!
Shell Suncatcher Tutorial
- Contact paper (sticky back plastic)
- Washi tape or sellotape
- Shell template
- Coloured tissue paper
- Print out the shell template (or draw your own if you'd prefer).
- Cut the shell shape out, ensuring that you leave the outside of the piece of paper intact.
- Cut a frame shape out of the piece of paper you cut your shell shape from.
- Cut your sticky back plastic (contact paper) to size. A good way to do this is to place your paper frame on it to check the size is correct. You will need two pieces this size.
- Place the sticky back plastic onto a table and remove the backing paper so that the sticky side faces up. As you would expect, sticky back plastic is extremely sticky and will stick to anything (fingers, clothes) so I would highly recommend that you stick each corner of it down on your table with some washi tape or sellotape. As you can see in the video I do this as I remove each corner of the backing paper. You can then place your paper frame onto the sticky back plastic and put the shell shape face down on there too.
- Add your coloured tissue paper (and any other materials) to your suncatcher.
- Carefully unpeel the second piece of sticky back plastic and then smooth this down over the back of your suncatcher.
- Cut out the frame shape of your suncatcher. It's now ready to display and you can hold this up in a window with a piece of sellotape or washi tape.
More Shell Crafts for Kids
My kids made these seashell decorations out of salt dough.
Large shells are good for making into animals! We’ve tried a couple and I like the way this sea shell whale turned out.