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Kids Arts and Crafts Activities Suncatchers

How to Make Autumn Leaf Suncatcher with Paper Plates


Try this simple and beautiful autumn leaf suncatcher craft activity for kids using fall leaves, flowers and paper plates.

nature suncatcher with paper plate

We had so much fun making these leaf suncatchers with autumn leaves, chrysanthemums, and zinnias.

This is just the beginning of some autumn crafts with fall leaves that we have planned for the Fall!

We’ve made these so many times before and just used contact paper, but the paper plates work so well as frames for the suncatchers! The frame sets the leaves off nicely and offers a further canvas for decorating.

crafts with fall leaves suncatcher pinterest

How To Make an Autumn Leaf Suncatcher



  1. Create your suncatcher frame

    Begin by making a frame for your Autumn leaf suncatcher by cutting a hole in the paper plate.

    creating a paper plate frame for suncatcher

  2. Add a center of transparent contact paper

    Lay the frame over the contact paper and trace circles to fit over the opening (overlapping the paper plate by about half an inch).

  3. Press leaves and petals to the sticky contact paper

    Arrange the leaves and Fall flower petals on the sticky side of the contact paper. You can make an abstract design, a mandala, or anything you’d like!

    leaves in nature suncatcher

    *Optional: you can decorate your paper plate frame with markers, if you’d like!

  4. Cover your design with more contact paper

    Add another circle of contact paper over the top to protect and hold the nature design in place.

  5. Hang up your Autumn leaf suncatcher!

    Punch a hole at the top of the frame and tie a loop of yarn for hanging.

    fall leaf suncatchers

The circular format is perfect for mandalas, like the flower petal ones we’ve made before, but for these, we didn’t create the concentric designs. Just abstract arrangements of fall leaves and flowers to bring a touch of the season indoors.

crafts with fall leaves - nature suncatchers in window

More Kids Crafts with Fall Leaves

Fall craft bundle graphic

Autumn Arts & Crafts Ideas & Supplies

Download our FREE printable idea list of 30 autumn activities for kids & families! Or check out the blog post with the links. So many fun ideas for fall!

And be sure to check out our FALL family fun list in our Amazon store! It includes supplies for fall arts & crafts (including the best paper leaves for painting!), autumn toys, Halloween ideas, and picture books about autumn. Plus, we have lists of the best kids art supplies, open-ended toys, children’s games, and more!

PLUS: Get our new Autumn Arts & Crafts for Kids workshop!  This is an online workshop with 10 fun fall arts and crafts activities that your family can enjoy all autumn long, with a bonus of 10 fall-themed drawing prompts! Use coupon code KASHALFOFF for $9.99!

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leaf suncatcher pinterest - crafts with fall leaves
How to Make Autumn Leaf Suncatcher with Paper Plates


  • Reply
    September 26, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    This is very cute! I’m new to crafting – wondering if the center is made of something special? Would appreciate any help, thanks.

  • Reply
    September 26, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Is that wax paper in the center and do u iron it? How do u get it adhered to the plate?

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    September 26, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    The center is transparent Con-Tact paper. Sorry I didn’t mention that! We’ve been making so many contact paper suncatchers over the years, I sometimes forget that it’s not something everyone does all the time!
    You can buy it at the grocery store or drugstore — in the aisle with the adhesive shelf paper. Just make sure to get the transparent kind!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    September 27, 2011 at 10:31 am


  • Reply
    The Outlaw Mom
    September 27, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I love all of your suncatcher ideas! Thanks for sharing this one :-) So happy fall is finally here!

  • Reply
    Heather @ Life Gluten Free
    September 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    So cute! love it! will have to try it :)

  • Reply
    Jessica Flowers
    September 27, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    I like the frames – a nice new touch! Now if only I lived in a place where we actualyl got to experience fall! (It’s 108 degrees outside right now!) on another note, I’ve been meaning to ask you, Jean, about self-imposed perfection in art. My 3 year old has started critiquing his own drawings to the point that he is so frusterated he cannot finish anything. He will draw and erase or draw and start over, and over, and over.. . . Stating that he “doesn’t like that bump” or “that line is all wrong”. I am concerned and don’t know where he got this behavior (we always talk about how there are no mistakes in art) or how to get him past this stage. Any suggestions?

  • Reply
    September 27, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    So is it 2 sheets of the paper for the center….Or how did u do the center?

  • Reply
    September 28, 2011 at 8:37 am

    They are fantastic! I love them. x

  • Reply
    Science Sparks
    September 28, 2011 at 8:38 am

    What a great idea!

  • Reply
    September 29, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I can’t wait to try this with my little one, but first we need the leaves to turn in our neck of the woods.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Do you press the flower petals before you make them into suncatchers? How long do you press them for? They are so beautiful and I was thinking of make this the craft that we do at my daughter’s 4th birthday party about a week from now. But the thought of pressing enough flowers for a roomful of little ones. . . !

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    October 1, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Hmm. Perhaps try redirecting him for a while to a different kind of art (that he might not have the same level of self-imposed perfection with). Try a more play-based art or action art, like splatter painting, marble rolling, spin art, using wheels or rollers, etc. Or a more sculptural art such as with playdough or clay or building with boxes or popsicle sticks. Or making a game out of art (and imperfection). Like maybe putting on a blindfold and seeing if you can draw without looking at the paper.
    Let me know how it goes!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    October 1, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Yep. First one circle of contact paper attached to the paper plate. Add the leaves and flowers to the sticky side of that contact paper. Then, cut out another circle of contact paper and attach it to the first leaf-covered contact paper, sticky side down. So it ends up being a sandwich with two sheets of contact paper, sticky sides together, and leaves and flowers in between the two sheets of contact paper. Make sense?

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    October 1, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Or try it with whatever is in season where you are!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    October 1, 2011 at 11:29 am

    We didn’t press them first. Just picked them and turned them into suncatchers. It would be a great party activity! They can even pick their own flowers! That said, they won’t last forever. The flowers and leaves do fade (and sometimes decay) after a week or so. But they are glorious until then. And we even like the faded suncatchers in our home. They are more subtle but still beautiful.

  • Reply
    Karen G.
    August 21, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I also want to suggest reading the books Ish & the Dot by Peter Reynolds (can get at the library) w/ your child. The books teach kids to not have to be “perfect” in their art. My son is the same way & loves these books. They have helped. (:

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