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Sunflower Sun Catcher Garden Art

DIY Garden Crafts | Earth Day | Mother's Day Craft Ideas | Summer

Learn how to make a beautiful sunflower sun catcher for your garden or yard! Using outdoor paint and beads, you can create garden art that adds a fun pop of color to green spaces.

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Wooden sunflower sun catcher outside in front of a blue fence and plants.

Hello Crafty Friends! Creating garden art is one of my favorite things to do during the summer. I love filling our yard with homeade art that add pops of colors among the greenery.

Today I’m excited to share this sunflower sun catcher! It turned out even better than I expected and I’ve already started making a second one for my mom to hang in her yard.

Wooden sunflower sun catcher outside in front of a blue fence and plants.

This sunflower was created using a wooden flower I purchased from Amazon. The flowers came as a set of four and I used the other three to create a trio of flowers I have hanging from a Shepards hook in our front yard. 

With a little bit of my favorite outdoor acrylic paint, I transformed the wood flower into a vibrant sunflower. I added strands of hanging beads in yellow, orange, black and clear so that it would catch the sunlight. I have used beads in some of my other outdoor crafts like my ladybugs and watering can, and really like how they sparkle.  

Strands of yellow, orange and black beads hang from the sunflower catching the sunlight outside.

Below is the tutorial. I hope you enjoy creating your own sunflower sun catcher! 

DIY Sunflower Garden Art

Supplies Needed

Wooden flower, paint, beads and jewelry supplies.

Prepare the Sunflower

The wood flower came with two holes at the top for hanging but I needed to create holes at the bottom of the flower for hanging the beads. I used a nail and hammer to carefully add holes to the bottom four petals. This worked pretty well, though I did have a little wood chip off on one of the holes. I think if I placed my holes in a bit further from the edges it would have helped. 

After adding four strands of beads, I decided I really needed a fifth strand in the center but I didn’t have a hole. I decided to glue the fifth strand to the back of the board but on the second flower I’m making my mom I went ahead and added all five holes at the beginning. 

Painting the Sunflower

Start by painting the front and back of the sunflower yellow. I did two coats of yellow paint on each side using Fiesta Yellow, then added streaks of a darker yellow using Marigold to the inside of the petals.

Wood flower painted yellow.

Darker yellow paint is added to the sunflower radiating from the center of the flower.

Paint the center of the sunflower black. 

A brown circle is painted in the center of the yellow flower.

Use a cue-tip fill in the center of the sunflower with dots. I used Woodland Brown along the outside of the circle then did a few layers of yellow dots with Sunshine Yellow. Finally, I filled in the center with a combination of black and brown dots. You can look at a picture of a real sunflower to help create the center. 

A cue tip is used to add detail to the center of the sunflower.

Wood sunflower painted yellow with brown center.

Finally, I carefully outlined the petals with black paint. This really makes the sunflower pop with each individual petal becoming clearly defined. I wasn’t originally planning to outline the petals but I’m so glad I did!

The wood sunflower is painted with a black outline around each petal.

Once you are happy with how the painted sunflower looks, you have the option of sealing it on both sides. The DecoArt Patio Paint says you do not to seal it and I did not seal it on my stepping stones or painted doormats…but I usually seal my garden art. Figure it can’t hurt!

Creating the Bead Strands

Adding the sun catcher element to this garden art is a lot of fun but you’ll need to plan ahead. I like to make all of my strands have the same pattern of beads. You can of course decide to create unique strands that do not follow a pattern – there really isn’t a wrong way to do this part. 

Since I like my strands to match, I create one strand and then count my beads to make sure I can repeat that pattern four more times for a total of five strands. I started with just four strands but later decided it really needed a fifth one – thankfully I had enough beads! I made the center strand longer so I repeated part of the pattern at the top.  

Bowl of yellow, black and orange beds, wire, and a crimping tool.

Place one of your larger beads and a crimping bead on a piece of cut wire that measures between 14″-17″ long. Slip the end of the wire back through the crimping bead so your first bead is held in a loop. Use the crimping tool to crimp the crimping bead, placing it first in the hole closest to the handle of the tool. It will be crimped into an “m” shape with two humps.

Next move the crimping bead to the next hole of the tool that is furthest from the handle and crimp again. This will close the “m” shape and secure the bead on the wire.

A yellow bead is added to the end of jewelry wire and secured in place using a crimp bead and crimping jewelry tool.

Start adding beads making sure they are positioned over the wire tail until it is covered up.

Black, orange, yellow and clear beads are added to the wire.

Repeat for each strand of beads you will be adding to your flower. Below you can see my four strands of beads (before I added the fifth!)

Four strands of beads in the same patterns lay on a table next to the wood sunflower.

Place a crimping bead at the top of the bead strand, then thread the wire through one of the holes in the bottom of your flower.

A strand of beads is threaded through a hole in one of the sunflower petals.

Pass the wire back through the crimping bead and through as many beads as you can get it to pass through. 

A strand of beads is attached secured to the sunflower using a crimp bead.

Use your crimping tool to secure the crimp bead, just like in the earlier step, then trim any extra wire with a wire cutter. Repeat until all of your bead strands are added!

Four strands of beads are connected to the wooden sunflower.

Adding the Hanging Loop

The final step is to add a hanging loop. I used the twine that came with the wooden flowers. Use strong outdoor glue like E6000+ to secure the twine. I recommend using this glue outside in a well-ventilated area and with gloves. You can use painters tape to hold the twine in place until the glue is added and dries.

Painters tape holds twine in place while glue dries.

Hanging the Sunflower Sun Catcher

The flower is ready to be hung and enjoyed in your outdoor space! The outdoor paint should hold up well outside, I’ve had really good luck with DecoArt Patio Paint lasting a long time. On my ladybug garden art the color of the plastic bowls faded before the paint did. When I touched them up I painted them entirely with outdoor paint and they look awesome.

Placing the sunflower under a roof line, covering, or awning will extend it’s life even further! I’ve also found my garden art that is against our home or sheltered a bit from the elements lasts longer. My mandala garden art has been outside for several years now in a garden bed against our house under our roof and they look great!

I placed our sunflower on a shorter Shepard’s hook in a garden bed that gets full sun so the beads will sparkle. The lower hook helps it not whip around in the wind as much as the taller one. It is fully exposed to the elements but is in a perfect spot to catch the sun’s rays! 

Wooden sunflower sun catcher outside in front of a blue fence and plants.

Handpainted wooden sunflower garden art hangs outside from a shepard's hook.

Be sure to check out all of my DIY Garden projects. I love creating colorful garden art for our yard :) 

Happy Crafting! -Kim

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