Wonderful Wintertime Ice Suncatcher Ornaments

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Do you need extra motivation to get outside when the temperature drops below freezing?  Perhaps this craft will be just the thing to get you and your kids outside.  These frozen sun catchers can be made with a variety of items, are interesting to look at, and sparkle beautifully in the sun.  Plus, they are super easy to make; winter did most of the work for us!

a toddler's hand making frozen sun catchers

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How to Make Nature-Filled Ice Ornaments

You’ll find instructional photos and a video below.  This craft is very simple and straight forward.

  1. Fill a container with natural treasures
  2. Add water
  3. Freeze
  4. Pop out of the container and hang outside

Here’s what you’ll need for ice suncatchers:

The process of making frozen sun catchers: a small girl placing twigs and berries, using a drill to put a hole in the frozen ornament, two finished ice ornaments hanging in a tree

Directions – how to make the frozen sun catchers:

Have your little ones hunt out some interesting nature treasures.  Maybe you’ve already collected some treasure on another walk that you could use today?  You may suggest leaves, berries, grasses, pine needles, twigs, seeds, and such.

These treasures all get put into the bottom of your freezing vessel.  Pour water over everything and leave this outside overnight or pop it into the freezer if it’s not cold enough.

Once the disk is frozen, pry your ice ornament out of the container.  Use your drill to make a hanging hole (not too close to the edge) and hang your ice sun catcher in a spot where you can enjoy it sparkling in the sun.

A few notes:

The first time I made these I tried to freeze the hanging string into the disks.  It did work, but I found the string melted out quickly.  I have also seen others wrap a ribbon around the outside of the disk, but I haven’t tried this myself.

If you are going to drill a hole in your ornament, the further you go towards the center, the more time it will take that string to melt through the edge.

If you actually hang them in the shade they’ll last longer, but then they won’t actually be sun catchers!

Ice clarity: I have never had a problem where I felt my ice looked cloudy. I have read that some people will boil their water first or use hot water to prevent the cloudiness.

Turn it into a science experiment: I haven’t experimented, but this would be a good opportunity to do some controlled freezing experiments with different water treatments. Just make sure to label them so you remember later!

You can make ice ornaments that the birds can enjoy too.  By adding fruit, berries, and nuts, birds will have treats to snack on as the ornaments melt in the sun.

I tend to only put natural items in the ornaments because when they melt, everything will fall to the ground and I don’t want small pieces of plastic littering the ground.  Although, that being said, I had a hard time not wanting to add some glitter!

Here’s a photo from Twig and Toadstool  who did a variation of this frozen sun catcher craft.  I really like how they are each a different color.  Check out their page to learn how their ice sun catchers were made.

An easy winter craft are frozen ice sun catchers
Rainbow Frozen Sun Catchers from Twig and Toadstool

What should you do now?

Other wintertime posts to check out:

frozen ice sun catchers hanging from a tree

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  1. I’m saving this for later – brilliant idea, but seeing as Christmas is in summer here (and we never even get frosts, let alone snow) it will have to wait until we’re travelling again!

    1. Hi Rumana, Thanks for your comment. I agree, they really are lovely… although, I don’t know how sad I’d be if I lived somewhere a tad bit warmer;)

    1. Hi Julie, Yes, my little really enjoyed making them. You can see her little helping hands in the video. But, you’re right, kids and adults love these!
      … I think the kids like making them and I like admiring them all finished hanging in the trees!

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