King Features Syndicate
Decorations utilize pipe cleaners for outlines and glue with food coloring for the "glass."

This month, make these colorful window decorations to brighten your child's bedroom during gloomy winter days. When the glue has dried, these sun catchers will have the look of stained glass. Help your kids create a design of a character or object from their favorite books and stories.

You'll need:

Plastic wrap

Plastic or paper cups

All-purpose, white household glue

Food coloring

Several thick, black pipe cleaners in 12-inch lengths

Ribbon, string or cording

Think about what kind of sun catcher you would like to make, such as a star, heart or daisy. For your first project, make it as simple as possible. Use basic drawings from coloring books to get yours started, if you wish. As you get more proficient, make a shamrock for St. Patrick's Day or a decorated egg for Easter.

Bend and attach pipe cleaners together to get your desired shape, and glue the shape completely flat onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Add details by gluing smaller lengths of pipe cleaner on the inside of the design, like a small circle for the center of a flower. (It is very important that pipe cleaners adhere to the plastic wrap.) Your design should look similar to the outlines on a coloring-book page. Let dry. Now it's time to add the color.

Pour 3-4 tablespoons of glue into a paper cup. Add 5-10 drops of food coloring, and stir. Mix glue and food coloring in additional cups if you wish to have a rainbow of colors. Pour the colored glue inside the pipe-cleaner shape. If you added details, pour different colors in the various sections. Let dry completely. (It usually takes about a day.)

When dry, the colored glue will appear translucent. Carefully peel off the plastic wrap from the sun catcher and discard.

Hang your beautiful design in a window using cording or ribbon.


Donna Erickson's new award-winning television series "Donna's Day" is airing on public television nationwide. Visit www.donnasday.com to find out when it airs on your local PBS station and to sign up for Donna's e-newsletter. Her latest book is "Donna Erickson's Fabulous Funstuff for Families." © Donna Erickson

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