Introduction: Broken Glass Sun-Catcher Ornament

About: In the "real world", I'm a very boring person living a very boring life. Fortunately for me, I don't spend much time in the real world. I have a new interest every week, sometimes every day, so I nev…

Question: "What do you want to keep that junk for?"
Answer: Why, to make broken glass art, of course.

Okay, so maybe I have a habit of saving stuff. Lots of stuff. Too much stuff, some might say. But I always have a reason for keeping what I keep. I just don't always know what that reason is...until I do.

Among my collection, there were several old, broken bits of glass. Bottles, candle holders, vases, etc. I say "were" because, giving in to pressure to "get rid of that junk" over the years, many of my pieces have ended up either in the garbage or hidden away where even I can't find them. So I decided it was finally time to prove that, yes, I really do have a reason for saving that junk, even if I had to create more "junk" to do it.

This little sun-catcher is fast, fun and easy enough that anyone can do it.


For this project, you will need:

-Broken glass, various colours
-Picture frame with glass, or any flat, clear piece of glass
-Glue that dries clear, such as Mod Podge
-Strong glue to secure glass to frame (I used e6000)
-Wire or twine to hang when finished (optional)

-Safety glasses/goggles
-Gardening gloves or other thick gloves
-Wire cutters or scissors
-Tweezers and pliers (optional)

Optional Extras:
-Paint or permanent markers
-Marbles or glass beads

Step 1: How to Break Glass (or Are You Smarter Than a Monkey?)

Safety First: Wear your goggles and gloves for this step. Wrap what you want to break in a towel or several layers of paper, to prevent flying glass. Then smash away until you are happy with the result.

It turns out that glass bottles are really hard to break, especially when you try to do it with a plastic mallet on a wooden surface. After several blows that echoed loudly through the entire neighbourhood, but produced no results, an image came to mind of a monkey cracking a nut between two stones, and I realized where I went wrong. Using my rusty old hammer and a brick, I was able to produce much quicker, and quieter, results.

Step 2: Create Your Base

Remove the back from the picture frame and carefully take out the glass.

Line the glass up with two of the four popscicle sticks and glue it using your strong glue. Then lay the other two sticks over the first two, on either side of the glass and glue in place. Allow to set.

If you wanted to, you could use the picture frame the glass came in. Just glue the glass to the inside of it.

Step 3: Glue Glass Pieces on

Select the pieces of coloured glass you want to use. I selected very small pieces because my picture frame glass was only 3x5. Tweezers were helpful here to avoid getting the tiny bits stuck in my fingers.

Once the glue on the frame is set, brush Mod Podge or other clear glue evenly over the glass. Drop small pieces of glass on top however you like. I chose to just keep it random. While the glue is wet, keep arranging the pieces, adding and removing, until you're happy with it.

After laying on all the pieces, I took some of the very fine glass I had and poured it over the top, to fill in the gaps. Then let it dry.

Step 4: Touching It Up

After the Mod Podge has dried, pick it up and give it a little shake or tap, so that any lose pieces fall off. There were a few pieces on mine that had overlapped or just didn't come in contact with the glue enough to stick.

After shaking off these loose bits, apply more glue to any bare spots and fill them in. Leave it to dry again, give it another tap to make sure there are no more loose bits, then finish off with another coat of glue overtop of everything, just to be sure.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Finally, add wire or twine if you want to hang your sun-catcher. Alternatively, you could just prop it up somewhere, or put it on a stand.

I used 24 guage gold coloured craft wire, because that's what I had, and it's good enough for the size and weight of my suncatcher. It took approximately 72 cm (28 inches) of wire to do it this way.

First, fold your wire in half to find the centre, then measure how much you want to leave at the top for a hanger. Then wrap the wire around the top of the sticks on both sides, 3 or 4 times. Run it along the back to the bottom end and wrap around again, finishing with both ends in the center between the sticks. Twist the two ends together. I added a couple of beads before twisting it and finished by threading both ends through a bead and wrapping them around a toothpick to coil them.

Step 6: Catch the Sun

Finally, pick a nice sunny spot to display your work of art. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen delays, it was too late to catch the sun by the time I finished, but it looks pretty good with indoor light too!

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed! Please comment and share your own experiences and tips. :-)

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