Kids can turn ordinary coffee filters into vibrant pumpkin sun catchers. Easy enough for toddlers and preschoolers to make for Halloween, but the process is so fun that the older kids will love it too.
We made these sun catchers by dyeing white coffee filters with liquid watercolours to make them look like pumpkins. You can use liquid food colouring if you don’t have liquid watercolour paint.
The hooligans love dying coffee filters with water colours. It’s one of our favourite easy art techniques. If your kids haven’t tried using liquid watercolours before, you have to get some.
They ‘re life-changing as far as crafting goes. Seriously.
Liquid watercolours are so versatile and vibrant.
You’ll use them for tons of projects, and they’re great for every age – little kids, big kids and even adults. Here’s my affliliate link to Amazon: you can get them here.
Hop on over and order some! You’ll love them!
We’ve made all kinds of projects with coloured coffee filters over the years: poppies, daffodils, snowflakes, Christmas trees etc., but I don’t think our coffee filters turn out this bright and vibrant before.
I love the intensity of the colours in these pumpkins. When the afternoon sun streams in through the window, our pumpkins look absolutely radiant; almost as if they’re glowing.
Let me show you how we made them so you can get some pumpkin sun catchers up in your own classroom or home before Halloween is arrives.
To make our coffee filter – pumpkin sun catchers, we used:
- white coffee filters
- liquid water colours (affiliate link)
- medicine dropper and/or paint brushes
- ice cube tray
- black construction paper or card stock
- dinner plate
Making your pumpkin sun catchers:
Fill a few compartments of an ice cube tray with red, yellow and orange liquid watercolours. Do not dilute with water. If you dilute your watercolours, they won’t be nearly as vibrant.
We placed our coffee filters on dinner plates to colour them. This prevents the colour from seeping through the coffee filter to your table or tablecloth.
To dye the coffee filter, simply drip the liquid watercolours all over it. Your child can use the medicine droppers to do this, or they can apply the watercolours to the coffee filter with a paintbrush. Either method works well.
It’s really fun to watch the colours blend together as they soak into the coffee filter. This is a great time for you and your child to observe and talk about water absorption.
When the coffee filter is completely saturated in colour, gently lift the filter off the plate and lay it flat to dry. Be sure not to lay it on anything absorbent, or your vibrant colour will leach out into it. We spread ours out on the plastic table cloth on our table.
To speed up the drying process, I gave the coffee filters a blast with the hair dryer.
While our coffee filters were drying, the hooligans cut their pumpkins’ eyes and mouths out of the black construction paper.
Once they were glued in place, our pumpkin sun catchers were ready to be taped to a window.
I suggested we put them on the sliding glass door that opens to our back deck. It’s a south-facing door, and I figured the south sun would illuminate the sun catchers best there.
The day we hung our sun catchers it was cloudy and grey, and we had another rainy day after that.
On day 3, late in the afternoon, the sun broke though, and ta daaaaa….
We were thrilled to see how vibrant our sun catchers looked in the sunlight.
They positively glowed!
These photos have not been altered in any way. This is the way our sun catchers actually look when the late afternoon sun hits them.
Aren’t they gorgeous?!
I hope you’ll make our pumpkin sun catchers with your kids or students before Halloween arrives!
For more easy Halloween crafts for kids, check out our:
Get the 3-5 Playful Preschool e-Book!
25+preschool activities by 25 bloggers, 10 printables, plus links to 50 additional crafts and activities all for $8.99!
Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.