01 of 08
Beaded Sun Catcher Project Instructions
This project is a simplified version of the garden beaded wind chime. These beaded dangles work up super quick and look great scattered around your garden or patio. They can be hung on individual plants to help keep birds away, since most birds don't like the movement or flash of the crystals or metal charms. They also look great in the windows in your house.Continue to 2 of 8 below.
02 of 08
Materials for a Beaded Sun Catcher
To make my beaded sun catchers, I use a variety of glass and faceted crystal beads, seed beads, embossed aluminum and copper hearts and handmade large S hook clasps. I think this is another great project to use up odds and ends or lower quality beads that may not lend themselves to jewelry. In my case, I buy a lot of bead assortments just to get an idea of the different bead shapes and colors so my stash has lots of possibilities for this project.
I used 10 lb smoke colored Fireline, a type of... fishing line, to string my suncatchers - but I think any heavy weight line that can withstand the weather in your area will work. I like Fireline because it is not biodegradable and it is very strong.Continue to 3 of 8 below.
03 of 08
Threading the Beads and Charms
The only tricky part of this process is if you are using the embossed foil shapes - which I personally think add a great touch to the overall design. In order to hang the embossed foil shapes, you will need to stitch the beads through the foil to keep them attached. I considered using hot glue as an alternative, and I think that could work too - but stitching through was very easy and I had the needle and thread out anyway...
You can create a hole in the embossing foil using an embroidery... needle or similar pointy object.
Add a stop bead to the end of your thread. I used a single strand of thread - but my climate is very mild. If you get real weather (rain or snow) - you may want to double your thread.
If you want beads running down the center of your foil designs, thread a few seed beads before the charm as well as enough to reach the hole you made.Continue to 4 of 8 below.
04 of 08
Adding Beads to the Back of the Embossed Foil Charm
Stitch through the hole in your charm and flip it over. Add enough seed beads to reach the next hole. Stitch through the hole to secure.
For the most part, you want to add only as many seed beads as you need to reach the next hole - otherwise there will be a gap between the charm and the beads and it may not hang straight.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Add a Turn Around Bead at the End of the Strand
Continue adding seed beads to cover the length of the foil charm plus a few extras. When your beaded strand has reached the right length, add a turn around bead. A turn around bead is just an extra, smaller bead used to secure all of the beads in place.
Stitch back into the beads above the turn around bead going in the opposite direction to lock the beads in place.Continue to 6 of 8 below.
06 of 08
Stitching Beads to the Embossed Foil Charm
In order to make the embossed foil charm hang evenly, you will need to lock it into place with more seed beads. I have done this a couple of different ways, but found the easiest way is to string beads along the sides of the charm that I skipped on the first pass.
Exit a seed bead underneath the foil charm. Add enough seed beads to reach the hole on the side of the charm that has no beads at the bottom and stitch through the charm. Repeat on the other side.Continue to 7 of 8 below.
07 of 08
Finish attaching the charm
To finish attaching the decorative beads and charm, add enough seed beads to cover the charm and reach a seed bead above the charm. Stitch back through the seed bead and the rest of the beads in the strand until you reach the stop bead.Continue to 8 of 8 below.
08 of 08
Tie the Beaded Strand to an S Hook Clasp
I topped off these sun catchers with large decorative S hook clasps that I made from 18g or 20g copper wire. They are very easy to make following this step by step hook and eye clasp tutorial. The hook makes it easy to take the sun catchers down for cleaning or to bring them in for winter.
I used an overhand knot to tie the cord to the clasp. I tied the knot several times and even looped the tail though a couple of times on some of the knots - like you do when making a surgeon's knot. Trim... the thread tail and you are ready to hang your new beaded sun catcher.
Make several of these sun catcher strands and combine them to make a more complex garden wind chime.