Today I am excited to share a simple tutorial on how to make a DIY suncatcher with pressed flowers that is elegant and easy! I am such a fan of suncatcher diy crafts because they are unique and a great way to show off a variety of items by letting the sun stream through your treasures!
Materials for the suncatcher diy:
- Fresh flowers
- Large book
- Parchment paper
- Two part epoxy resin
- Mixing cup
- Stir stick
- Fishing line, pearl string, etc.
- Gloves, hot glue gun, heat gun, glue sticks and scissors
Disclaimer: Throughout my post, you will see links to products. As an Amazon Influencer, I earn small commissions from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Earning commission is what allows me to continue to provide free content to you. I am very grateful when you click on my links, whether or not you purchase something I have shared or something else, it all helps! Thank you so very much!
Step 1 – Pressing the flowers
There are many different ways to press flowers which I covered in a previous post. If you would like to learn all the different ways to press flowers, just click here.
For this project, I just used the heavy book method. Simply pick your flowers from the garden when they are at their peak of perfection. Also, make sure that they do not have any water on them. Find a very thick book, like an old gigantic dictionary as seen here. Line the pages with parchment paper or wax paper and lay the flowers down carefully. Now lay another piece of parchment paper on top and gently press down. It is important to look at the flowers and turn them until you find a side that will press nicely and look beautiful.
Carefully close the book and press down firmly. Leave them for approximately 2 weeks.
One of my favorite flowers to press this way is sweet peas.
After two weeks has elapsed, carefully open the book and the pieces of parchment paper. If the flowers stick to the parchment paper, they likely need to dry a bit longer. When they are completely dry, they will fall easily from the parchment paper.
Learn from my mistakes
I originally tried a different pressed flower suncatcher diy by placing a pressed flower between a plastic sheet of acrylic round circles. I thought it was a good idea but it looked terrible because the thickness of the flower, while very thin, still held the acrylic circles apart. Here is how they turned out. Yikes what a mess. No matter how hard I tried to get the glue to be smooth or for there to be very little, it was still very visible. The two rounds gaped open on the sides. It just was not what I was hoping for.
I wanted a better way to capture the beauty and delicacy of the pressed flowers so I settled on trying epoxy resin. I watched several tutorials and it all seemed very easy but it took me several tries to get it right.
The problem I had was the resin did not set up properly even though I left it to dry for a very long time (over a week). I have narrowed the issue down to two potential problems – (1) the resin wasn’t good or (2) the flowers were not as dry as I thought they were and they messed with the hardening. Reason #1 seems unlikely because the flowers I used were one year old so they were very dry.
I wanted to mention the need to use very dry flowers because I have heard if they aren’t thoroughly dry they will cause problems.
Step 2 – Choose your molds wisely
I purchased a set of four round silicone mold off of amazon. They are all different sizes and I like that the mold includes a hole at the top of the round to make it easy for hanging. There are several choices when it comes to molds such as ones with all sorts of different shapes. Always be sure to pay special attention to the size and whether they are providing the size in metric or imperial. You will want molds big enough to accommodate the flower, but not so big that you have lots of plain resin surrounding the flower.
Note: If you want to make a more colorful suncatcher craft, you can add some drops of food coloring or resin coloring to the mix for a touch of color. You can also add gold leaf.
Step 3 – Mixing the two part epoxy
Follow the instructions for mixing the resin very carefully. As I was having problems with the resin setting so I added 15% more hardener and this helped. You should not need to do this. I think I just received bad resin.
It is important to stir for the full amount of time that the directions say. Mine said 4 to 5 minutes. The first time I tried it I mixed for 4 minutes. When it didn’t set, I wondered if that could have been the problem. The next time, I stirred for the full 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the cup as they suggest. Unfortunately it still did not set.
One thing I learned from trying to troubleshoot the resin problems was a requirement to stop stirring only when you see the resin turn clear again. What happens is that you pour the epoxy resin into a cup and then you add the hardener on top. The resins do not mix together and that is why it is very important for you to mix thoroughly. When you first start stirring you will see that the mixture turns cloudy. When it has been thoroughly mixed it will turn clear again.
So wait until it turns clear!!!
While all of these set backs were frustrating, the good news is that I learned so much and now I can share all those mistakes with you, so you don’t also make them.
Step 4 – Pouring the resin
First, lay out the flowers in the molds and make sure the petals are not touching the exterior sides of the mold. Depending on the size of the molds and the size of your flowers you can come up with many different beautiful patterns. I wanted a very simple but elegant suncatcher so I simply placed one bloom in each mold.
Once you have a plan in place, remove the flowers, make sure the mold is clean and then pour an extremely thin layer of resin – about half of the depth of mold. If there are any bubbles, use a heat gun and pop them by gently blowing the heat gun on the resin where the bubbles are.
Lay the flowers into the mold and let dry for 4 to 10 hours – just until the resin is getting slightly firm and tacky. It will depend on the resin you use on how long this will take.
When working with pressed flowers in resin, you will need to pour the resin in two parts because the flower petals will rise to the top of the resin if you try to pour it in one pour. You must allow the flowers to dry into and adhere to the bottom layer of resin.
This was another mistake I made. No matter how hard I tried to keep pushing the flowers down into the resin, they floated to the top. Therefore, two layers of resin is a must!
It is also important to make sure that the surface they are drying on is a perfectly flat surface or else your resin will be thicker on one side and the flowers will slide over to one side.
Step 5 – Pouring the top layer of resin
Once again, mix up the resin as described in Step 3. Slowly and carefully pour the resin into the mold. Make sure that you do not overflow it because it will cover the plugs in the mold that will eventually become kind of like a hole punch in the suncatcher for suspension later on. As well, if you overflow it, the sides will be uneven and the top may bulge.
It is extremely important to thoroughly inspect the resin in the mold to make sure that the resin has reached to all edges.
If there are bubbles, make sure to pop them with a heat gun, but also make sure not to blow the resin outside of the mold.
Leave to dry on a flat surface. The resin I used took about 36 hours to fully dry.
Step 6 – Removing from mold
Check to make sure the resin is completely dry and there is no tackiness to the touch. Then gently start to remove the mold from the edges working your way around the mold and then pull the entire mold off.
This is such an exhilarating moment!
Step 7 – Assembling the suncatcher
There are different ways to hang suncatchers. You could hang them all in a line from a branch or you could hang them vertically one beneath the other or you could hang them all separately and stagger their heights.
For mine, I chose to hang them vertically with the smallest on top followed the medium sized one and lastly the largest one on the bottom.
As the flowers I chose to work with are delicate lavender sweet peas, I chose an elegant pearl strand to hang them from. If you don’t want anything too noticeable, I would suggest fishing line.
Starting with the largest one, the one that will be at the bottom, I placed the pearl strand thru the hole and placed a dab of glue on the top. I then ran the pearl strand through the hot glue and held both sides until they were strongly attached. Be sure to remove any excess glue so that it isn’t looking messy.
Trim the pearl strand to 3 inches long and place a dab of glue on the very bottom of the medium sized sun catcher and stick the top of the pearl strand into the glue. Let dry and remove any excess glue.
Repeat these steps for the medium to the smallest suncatchers.
Once you are at the smallest suncatcher, string the pearl strand through and place a dab of hot glue just above the hole and place the end of the pearl strand in the glue and wait until dried. Cut the pearl strand 12 inches above the smallest suncatcher so that you have enough length to hang the suncatcher down into view where the sun will shine through it beautifully.
If you like you could add crystal beads to the bottom for added glitz.
Be sure to place this suncatcher in front of a sunny window to fully capture it’s beauty.
Isn’t this a beautiful suncatcher? This type of suncatcher diy allows you not only to preserve a little bit of your garden, it also allows you to have a better look at all the parts of the flower – some of which you might not have even noticed before.
One of my favorite parts is where the green stem comes up and joins the blossom. I think it is so pretty and beautifully designed.
Once you have the resin pouring and mixing down, I think this would be a fun project to do with kids of all ages. While this will be a simple craft for older children, younger children will need assistance and hands on guidance. What wonderful and easy way to spend quality time with your children or grandchildren and have a great time making memories.
I hope you have enjoyed this project and that your give it a try. I am sure your own designs will be wonderful and you will end up with your own beautiful pressed flower suncatcher!
Looking for more inspo?
How about this sweet sunflower back of chair wreath? Click here for the post.
Looking for an alternative color scheme for Thanksgiving? Click this link for the post.
Don’t forget about your garden. This post has some fun ideas for how to update your raised garden beds for fall. Just click here.
Thank you for staying until the end! I appreciate your support. If you aren’t already a subscriber but you like what you see, please be sure to subscribe.