Flower Suncatcher in a paper plate frame
Crafts Kids Arts and Crafts Activities Suncatchers

Flower Suncatcher: A Flower Mandala Kids Can Make


This beautiful flower suncatcher is also a flower mandala kids can easily make!

Flower Suncatcher in Paper Plate Frame + Contact Paper

When we get on a roll, we go with it. That’s been the case lately with all of our flower petal and contact paper suncatchers. We’ve made nature suncatchers in the past, but have never quite gotten into it as much as this past month with the flower petal art box, the flower stained glass door, and subsequent flower mandalas.

And we’re still going strong!

We’re loving all these flower suncatcher crafts!

Here’s a video showing Flower Petal Suncatchers in action! And don’t forget to scroll down for step-by-step instructions.

Flower Suncatcher Mandalas

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Paper Plate Frame + Contact Paper


Step 1: Create flower suncatcher frame

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

Step 2: Add a center of transparent contact paper

This time I cut some frames out of paper plates (the centers will be used for spin art) and then cut circles from contact paper to fit over the opening (overlapping the paper plate by about half an inch).

A young girl sticking flower petals to the paper plate frame with contact paper.

Step 3: Press flower petals and leaves to the sticky contact paper.

Maia and I arranged flower petals, petal pieces, and leaves in outwardly concentric designs on the contact paper to create our mandalas.

(Daphne worked on one, too, but mostly just explored the sticky nature of the contact paper and eventually crumpled the whole thing up.)

Step 4: Protect and hold the flower design in place.

We added another circle of contact paper over the top to protect and hold the flower design in place.

Flower mandala suncatcher hanging in the window

Step 5: Hang the flower mandala suncatcher.

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

We hung Maia’s (for me) in the living room window and mine (for Maia) in her bedroom window.

More mandala suncatchers hanging in the window

More About Mandalas

I love how well these circular frames hold the mandalas, perfectly, in the center! And I also love some of the meaning that has historically been connected with mandalas.

Here’s a description (found on The Mandala Project’s website) that I especially like:

The word “mandala” is from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit. Loosely translated to mean “circle,” a mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself–a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds.

There are so many examples of mandalas found in nature: daisies, oranges, onions, the iris of the eye, starfish, and snowflakes just to name a few.

Flower mandala suncatcher in paper plate frame and contact paper

Not to get to woo-woo on you or anything, but I’d love to learn more about mandalas. More about them as an art form. About the meanings associated with them. And about how they’ve been used in cultures around the world.

Have you ever made a mandala, either yourself or with your kids?

Pin It for Later

How to Make a Flower Suncatcher with a Paper Plate + Contact Paper
Flower Suncatcher: A Flower Mandala Kids Can Make


  • Reply
    [email protected]
    June 2, 2011 at 8:38 am

    That is wonderful! I love these flower mandalas you have been sharing. They are so beautiful! I wish I had more flowers so we could do some ourselves. I may go buy some just for this purpose.

  • Reply
    Kate @ An Amazing Child
    June 2, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I once made a mandala when I was on a work retreat. It really was fantastic and something I think you would enjoy. A very large circle of plain material was placed on the floor. Many many baggies of coloured rice were place around the outside. We were then each invited to silently take a bag and start creating. At first people weren’t quite sure what to do but as the coloured rice flowed and people started to form patterns it really came together beautifully. Plus pouring the beautifully coloured rice into swirls was really relaxing. At the end the floor was covered with 10 huge rice mandalas. They were so beautiful – and such a shame to ruin come days end :(

    • Reply
      Sneha Maroo
      June 29, 2020 at 3:22 pm

      I am a mandala artist and teacher :) Good to see your interest in mandalas.

  • Reply
    June 2, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Such fun! Love that carpet, btw.
    One of my longest suffering knitting projects is a round lace shawl from a pattern called “Mandala”. It’ll be gorgeous when ever it gets done…all 91,194 stitches of it (eep!)

  • Reply
    June 2, 2011 at 9:46 am

    I am an elementary school teacher and for several years we had a Buddhist monk come and construct a sand mandala in our gym. Each morning all the students would meditate with him and then watch him add sand. You’ve never seen children sit so still as when watching that beautifully colored sand pour from his tools.

  • Reply
    June 2, 2011 at 10:15 am

    great use of “woo-woo” jean. ;)
    so fun and beautiful and relaxing btw.

  • Reply
    June 2, 2011 at 11:15 am

    I have! Last summer, I hosted an art play group. Ages ranged from 4 up to 9.
    It worked pretty well too! My son and I collected lots of leaves and petals from around the yard. A friend with a computer-type husband brought lots of old cd’s and also some flat-backed plastic-y jewels to add a bit of sparkle. Big hit with the girls.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    June 2, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Looks lovely! I have loved all the flower-based art that Maia and you have made recently. Especially loved the glass door art.
    Here in India, we make mandalas on every festive and religious occasion.

  • Reply
    Julie Liddle, ART IN HAND
    June 2, 2011 at 11:47 am

    If you are interested in learning more about Mandalas, Phyllis Frame at Round Oaks Creative Center is your “go to” person: https://arttherapyblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/round-oaks-creative-center-schedule/
    And if you want to pursue the topic further, perhaps for an interview on your blog, here’s a list of contacts. https://www.mandalaassociates.com/Mandala_Associates/Teachers_files/Mandala%20Life%20Cycle%20Theory%20Teachers.pdf
    I highly recommend Carol Cox, a former professor of mine and a friend. I think it’d make for a great inteview for your blog. Tell her I sent you. :)

  • Reply
    June 2, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    We use a mandala exercise in a decision-making program I teach (and I’ve used it with my kids). We trace a circle onto a piece of paper using a paper plate (or other large circle template), then use crayons to color freeform within the circle. It’s particularly useful when you’ve been doing alot of left-brain work (learning to read, studying, etc.) Doing this right-brain mandala exercise immediately afterwards helps “seal” the knowledge in your neural pathways. My mentor, who taught this to me, also uses it at night when she can’t sleep or is overthinking an issue. It really works!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 2, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Leaves and leaf pieces work well, too! And leaves come in so many different colors and shades…

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 2, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Sounds like a beautiful experience!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 2, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    :) That’s why I like to sew. Zip, zip, zip! Much quicker.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 2, 2011 at 12:56 pm


  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 2, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I’m learning… :)

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 2, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Those look great! I’d love to try that with Maia.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 2, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Thanks for the links, Julie! I just e-mailed Carol about an interview. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Do you make them yourself? Just curious…

  • Reply
    June 2, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    You might enjoy _The Mandala Workbook_ by Susanne Fincher.

  • Reply
    June 2, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I’m in love with your blog! I just now found it and it’s full of all those things I hope to make one day with my baby. Thank you thank you so much for every idea and project that you share here!

  • Reply
    June 2, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    In reference to mandala in children’s work, you can barrow this book from the library to learn more. The author writes about mandalas in one of the early chapters of, Young at Art. There are probably many other books about mandalas and children. Sounds like Carl Jung has some opinions on the matter.

  • Reply
    jen at paintcutpaste.com
    June 2, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    this is so beautiful! as you might know from my blog where mandalas pop up quite a bit: https://paintcutpaste.com/tag/mandala/ and from my being a transpersonally oriented art therapist (read: woo-woo supreme! ;) i adore mandalas. we had semesters devoted entirely to them in my graduate program. they are such powerful healing tools, and i use them every single day in art therapy with adult clients. my favorite book on mandalas is: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0835608476?tag=paicutpas-20&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=0835608476&adid=134TMWF78NRB2N450X6S&
    art therapist, joan kellogg, developed a MARI card assessment tool based on using mandalas for the healing arts – you can learn more about it here: https://www.mariconnections.com/ – you can be trained and certified in using this method.
    yikes, can you tell i like to nerd out on mandalas? ;) happy circling!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 2, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    I’m going to try that! Thanks for the idea!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 2, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Thanks! I’ll look for it.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 2, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    You’re welcome! And thank you! I’m so glad you are finding inspiration here!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 2, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Yes, Striker is talking about the transition young children make from scribbling to more control and early realism where they start to make enclosed shapes, primarily circles. They often add radiating lines (as in a stylized sun) outward or inward.
    Her reference to mandalas is a bit different from what I’m exploring now.
    I’ll have to look into Jung’s thoughts on mandalas…

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 2, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Ooh, this looks like an amazing mandala book with images from nature!
    The Mandala Book: Patterns of the Universe

  • Reply
    jen at paintcutpaste.com
    June 3, 2011 at 10:29 am

    very cool – carol was my supervisor when I lived in VA! small world :)

  • Reply
    June 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    These are just gorgeous! Your rug is too! Can I ask where it is from?

  • Reply
    June 15, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Wanted to share our mandala my daughter made for her daddy for Father’s Day-
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply
    July 3, 2011 at 6:36 am

    I have been to several mandala drawing classes and have led two myself. I think it’s very relaxing, just to draw.
    One special mandala I made over and over with my kids, because they love it, is the mirrowmandala. you draw a circle and a line in the middle. Each of you takes a side of the mandala. (Then you can fill it in in ceveral ways.) The way my kids like it the most: Your child draws a form and you do the same form in your half… So on till your child thinks its ready. Than you can color it in. Sometimes I colored the whole mandala, sometimes we take turns in picking the color. Your child’s selfesteem will grow, because you mirrow him/her. He’s in charge! This is always fun, for young and old! Hope this was helpfull.

  • Reply
    June 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    In Family Fun magazine (Nov 2011) there was a mandala game/art project.
    Each person started with a piece of paper and 1 marker (different color for each person). They drew a circle (or circular pattern – you can use dashes, swirls, dots, etc).
    The paper then gets passed to the person on your left (or right – as long as this is consistent each time.
    Now add a new circular design to your neighbor’s paper.
    Continue until everyone has a beautiful mandala.

  • Reply
    September 25, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    The luminescence of the flower mandalas are beautiful. Here is more info about others creating flower mandalas, an entry from my blog, TogetherOne.
    Your site is so much fun!!!!

  • Reply
    Nancy Baumann
    March 7, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    My Grandchildren and I have been making these when you posted them years ago. They go out to my garden and collect whatever they find to make one. My oldest Grandchild is 10 and the youngest is 2. We have a grand time making them
    They are so creative and proud to present one to their parents hanging in a window at home

  • Reply
    April 2, 2020 at 5:25 am

    We did this activity on a rainy day with tissue paper and other bits and bobs we had lying around, including glitter. Tip – don’t use glitter! It stopped the contact paper from adhering to the plates properly and getting everywhere!

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      April 3, 2020 at 2:27 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this activity, Gwen! And thanks for the tip about using glitter. :) I know that my kids have used it sometimes with suncatchers (and flower crowns) but it needs to be used sparingly if the contact paper is still going to stick!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    Thank you for great art ideas. My kids (4&7) loved puffy salt painting And also we used your recipe to make play dough. Kids spent three hours playing first day and two hours the next – never ending fun and such a good way to stimulate kids imagination. Can’t source sticky paper for suncatcher but will keep looking. Thank you again 😊

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