During our last library trip, the twins found a seasonal display of books about apples and we ended up bringing several of them home with us. We’ve been on an apple kick ever since! We can’t go to the grocery store without picking up a new kind of apple to taste. We’ve cut open apples to see the star inside and pick out the seeds. We’ve painted with apples and made apple crisp. We even had a fun apple invitation to play. And since we (I) love suncatchers, I thought I would show you one we made to decorate the windows in our new play and learning nook while we are still getting things in order.
If you saw our powder paint suncatcher, you know the basic process for this project- sticking powdered tempera paint to Contact paper. Simply throwing a rainbow of it on the Contact paper yielded pretty groovy results, but this time I wanted to try using a stencil to see if we could make some resist art out of it.
So here’s how we did it:
First, I got a blank stencil template (made of super thin plastic) from a craft store, freehanded an apple from cardstock, and traced it several times on the template. Then I cut out the apples from the stencil with an Exacto knife. Psst- next time I do this I will totally just use a paper stencil- it would work just as well. However, the upside to using the stencil template is that I can use this apple stencil again in the future.
After I created the stencil, it was easy peasy. I cut a piece of Contact paper the same size as my stencil (really easy because the stencil happened to be the exact width of the Contact paper), peeled the backing off, and pressed the stencil on top of the sticky side of the Contact paper. I don’t have a photo of this step, but after you’ve done it, the only sticky parts will be the actual apples themselves. The rest will be covered by the stencil.
*Tip- be sure that you smooth out any air bubbles around your designs so powder doesn’t leak under the stencil.
And then, the real fun can begin! I had the kiddos help me choose “apple colors” of tempera powder- red, green, and yellow. I put some of each color into a divided tray and then let them apply the powder liberally to the sticky apples. I provided them with giant fluffy pom poms to use as “brushes” to apply the paint, but they quickly forsook those in favor of their fingers. And then they had to use matchbox cars for good measure
After they had sprinkled, poured, pounded, and otherwise ground the paint powder into the apples to their satisfaction, I took the whole thing outside and shook it off really well. You want to get as much of the paint powder off as you can before you peel off the Contact paper. When I peeled it off, it worked just as I had hoped- lots of “Oohs” and “Aahs” all around! Just for fun, we added some leaf shapes cut from green transparent plastic dividers (you can get ‘em super cheaply at the dollar store or Walmart, and there are lots of crafty uses) and then slapped the whole thing straight onto our chosen window. The non-powdered part of the sticky paper sticks right to the glass so there is no need to double over your Contact paper unless you are wanting to save it for next season. Also, I have repositioned this a couple of times since the initial sticking and neither the window nor the suncatcher are any worse for wear.
The process was super fun, and I LOVE the finished product! Each of the apples is totally unique.
Here’s a close-up of one of the apples- notice the lines? Tire tracks. I think they give it a nice touch