By Jessica Wilson This is a favorite mess-happy project that I have been doing for years. Until recently, I usually stuck with funky noodle shapes made from your average semolina or wheat pastas. But lately, I like rice noodles, as they are wee bit more translucent than your average noodle and they’re gluten-free. Taking inspiration from the sunny summer weather here and my fondness for the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I have tweaked this project a wee bit so your kiddos can turn their noodle creatures into beautiful noodle-y suncatchers.
Liquid watercolor, washable
Paint tray or other shallow paint containers
Strong glue such as E-6000
Tacky glue, optional
Scrap of ribbon or string
Step 1: Prepare the rice noodles according to the directions on the package. Once noodles are cooked al dente, rinse them in cool water and then add a smidge of vegetable oil so they won’t stick to each other too much. Pop them into the fridge to chill. This step is good to do a day or so before you want to work on your suncatchers.
Step 2: Prepare the paints. Liquid watercolor is the most vibrant and easiest paint to use for this project and is available in a washable form. Watered-down food color will work as well, but will stain your kiddos’ hands like crazy.
To prepare, squeeze a dollop of white glue in each of your paint cups. Add your liquid watercolor, and stir to combine.
Step 3: Set out a sheet of wax paper for each kiddo making a monster. Plop a handful of cold cooked noodles on each sheet.
Step 4: Have your kiddos paint up their pasta. They can get as clean or messy as they like. A paint brush will keep kiddos a tad bit cleaner, but if you really want them to get into it, let them use their hands. It can get crazy!
Step 5: Your kids can paint their noodles all clumped up or try arranging them in a satisfactory monster-esque shape. Once they are finished, top it all off with a sprinkle or two or three of glitter. Then, drizzle on another round of white glue by squeeze it directly from the tube/bottle over the noodle mess. This will ensure the “joints” of the noodles are connected and the glitter remains stuck.
Step 6: Set your monsters aside to dry at least overnight. Remember, you’re not only waiting for the glue to dry, you’re waiting for the noodles to dry back out, too!
Step 7: Once the whole thing is dry, add googly eyes to create a monster. (Or, you can leave the eyes off for a pretty, if unusual, suncatcher.) If your noodles are oily, use E-6000 glue to adhere the eyes. If they aren’t oily, a dollop of Tacky Glue should do the trick. Allow the glue to set.
Step 8: Gently peel the noodle-cacaphony from the wax paper. If your noodles are extra-sticky, you might not be able to peel, so instead you can cut around the whole thing. Loop a length of yarn, ribbon or string through a noodled-loop near the edge.
Step 9: Hang in a happy place let the sunlight shine through!
About the Author: Jessica Wilson is most happily known as “jek in the box” and spends most of her time crafting it up and taking pictures. She can often be found standing on benches over on Flickr and creating all sorts of kiddie crafts on her blog scrumdilly-do! She lives a life of scrumdillydilly and loves to share.