STEAM + Gelli Arts® Suncatcher with Marsha Valk Lesson Plan


  • Students Will Be Able To (SWBAT) create a Gelli Arts® printed suncatcher.
  • SWBAT learn the definition of transparent through practice with the suncatcher.
  • SWBAT practice patience through the transfer technique.
  • SWBAT use the elements of line, shape, value, and color as they plan their design.


  • What is transparent?
  • What objects are transparent?
  • How does the sun play a role in our lives?


  • Gelli Arts® printing plate
  • Roller
  • Newsprint
  • Masking tape (to tape newsprint to table)
  • Baby wipes
  • Aprons
  • Pencils
  • Stencils
  • Mark making tools
  • Acrylic paint
  • Clear contact paper or packing tape
  • Transparency
  • Craft foam
  • Scissors
  • Brushes
  • Bone folder or old gift cards.


Suncatcher – A decorative piece of see through material that is hung in a window to bring in and broadcast the sun’s rays on the walls of the room.

Transparent – A material that allows light to pass through so that objects behind can be distinctly seen.

Transfer – Move from one place to another.


These colorful suncatchers feature the tape transfer technique. Instead of covering the Gelli Arts® Plate with acrylic paint and pulling prints from the wet paint, you build layers of paint, letting them dry on the plate before removing them using packing tape or clear contact paper.

Each layer of paint needs to dry completely before you can add another layer, so depending on the amount of layers, there will be more or less paint drying time involved. You can use the drying time to cut DIY craft foam stamps or you can choose to work on the different paint layers over the course of a couple class periods.

Suggestion for students: use the fastest drying paint that you have and try to keep the paint layers as thin as possible.


  • Step 1 – Gather the acrylic paint colors, mark making tools, and stencils you want to use for this project.
  • Step 2 – Apply paint to a Gelli Arts® plate. Create a design using a stencil or mark making tools. Make sure to leave areas without paint! When you are done with the layer of your design, leave it to dry completely. The drying time ensure that you do not unintentionally smear the paint marks you just made and it also saves the background from mixing into a mud color.
  • Step 3 – Once the layer is dry, you can add another layer right on top of the first. Continue with this step until you are happy with all the layers.
  • Step 4 – It’s time for one last paint layer. Using black paint for the final layer will help your design stand out and give it the look of stained glass. Add a drawing of your favorite animal or design using your finger or a paint brush.
  • Step 5 – Let all of the layers dry completely. Overnight if possible.
  • Step 6 – Cut a sheet of contact paper or packing tape to the size of your Gelli Arts® plate and place it sticky side touching all of your painted layers. Burnish it well with your bone folder or old gift cards.
  • Step 7 – Pull it from the plate as you would a print. Stick the contact paper transfer onto a transparency.
  • Step 8 – Find your suncatcher a nice window and enjoy the colorful view!

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