Making a Sun Catcher with Shirley Bovshow

Materials Needed to make a Sun Catcher?

  • 6 or 8 gauge copper wire
  • Thin copper wire for wrapping
  • Black polyester cording for hanging everything
  • Glass-like christmas tree ornaments
  • 6"-inch metal ring to suspend decorative material
  • Small key ring
  • Pliers for bending wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Spray paint can to shape copper into tear drop shape
  • A lampshade to use as prep surface for your suspension ring
  • Rolling clothes rack to hang your sun catcher while you work on it

What is a sun catcher?

  • Sun catcher is hanging art meant to reflect the sun.
  • Creates beautiful shadow patterns on walls and floors.
  • Often made of reflective glass as well as acrylic and plastic.
  • "Visual" equivalent to the sound of wind chime.

The sun catcher looks the same as the wind chime that's hanging here, why doesn't it sound the same?

  • Sun catcher made from solid copper metal which gives it a dull, dense, sound.
  • Musical quality of copper wind chime comes from hollow tube.
  • The notes on a musical wind chime depends on thickness of metal wall, length of metal and amount of air inside tubes.
  • You can "tune" your wind chime to play specific notes. more complicated to do but do-able.

Start by making your copper and glass pendants.

  1. Cut 10'-inch strips of 6-8 gauge copper wire.
  2. Wrap wire around a can of spray paint, squeezing sides to create the tear drop shape.
  3. Push the open metal ends towards each other and ends with pliers so that they touch.
  4. Score the end of metal with pliers so they have slight grooves for traction.
  5. Wrap these ends together with light gauge copper thread and attach glass pendant while wrapping.
  6. Once copper and glass are together, tie black string to pendant, which you will later tie to suspension ring.
  7. Assemble more pendants and tie black string at different lengths.

Now it's time to assemble the suspension ring which we will hang the pendents from

  1. Use a lamp shade to set your metal suspension ring on.
  2. Grab your small metal key ring and tie long, black string that has been folded in half and then one more time.
  3. Tie the balck string to the key ring and cut ends to same length.
  4. Hold the metal key ring and strings with one hand and tie one end to the suspension ring, pull tight so string has no slack.
  5. Continue pulling key ring with strings tightly as you tie end of the four strings to suspension ring.
  6. When all strings are on suspension ring, hang suspension ring from clothes rack and start tying your prepared pendants to it.
  7. How much does it cost?

    • Between 10- 15 dollars but you can save money by repurposing your tree ornament.

    How do you take care of it?

    • Copper will weather to nice patina.
    • Re-tie pendants with new string as it frays.
    • Hang from tree branch or from your house eves by a window you look out of to enjoy reflection and shadows.

    Check out Shirley Bovshow’s Garden Designing Expertise at, and follow her on Twitter @EdenMaker.

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