Updated: Sep 6
Suncatcher stickers are a beautiful blend of art and science. These pieces are designed to capture sunlight and transform it into a stunning display of colours.
They became a cherished part of my home décor, turning my (slightly sad) office space into a room full of rainbows and colours. Nothing beats the Monday work gloom at 4PM like a scattering of rainbows across your desk!
Flower Rainbow Suncatcher creating Radial Axicon Pattern.
© Katia Hinic
What are they? How do they work? How do you use them? Who makes them? I get many questions about these when I sell them at markets, so let's find out!
They are exactly that: transparent stickers that are made out of a special holographic film. It reflects light in a way that when it travels through the sticker and your window, it creates rainbows in the darker, shaded parts of the room.
'Fiery Fox' Rainbow Suncatcher with its fiery, scattered rainbows.
© Katia Hinic
They come in different designs and shapes, but I find that the larger the sticker area, the larger and more intense are the rainbows they create. Because you want as much surface of the sticker to be clear (for more rainbows!), the designs are generally line based - hence why my Fox or Robin Suncatchers are mostly thin lines, with large empty areas within the design.
I also use mostly white ink, as I think it looks best on the window!
Where to use them?
If you want to use them as intended, then sunny windows and glass doors are your friend. Even more so, if the window gets sunlight throughout the day (say, a south facing window). I like to add them in the middle / high up on the window as it means the rainbows are projected far into the room, as the sun travels across the sky.
There are also other ways - my customers have used them on car windows (kids chasing rainbows on the back seat!), campervans, rooflights, mirrors, and even laptops or other smooth surfaces.
One of my favourite places to stick the suncatchers are on see-through picture frames. This is ideal for those who rent their homes, don't want to stick them to windows or would like to have a more portable suncatcher. You can hang framed suncatchers in the window where they can slowly spin and turn, and create moving rainbows.
Flower Rainbow Suncatcher against the sky.
© Katia Hinic
How to use them?
These suncatchers have formulated adhesive that makes them easy to stick on any smooth surface. Once they're on, they're ON.
There's two ways to stick them - the wet and the dry method. Both methods involve cleaning the window first, so there's no dirt, hair or specks where you intend to put your sticker on. With the wet method, you then spray a little water to the area and apply the sticker where you want it, position it, and then use a squeegee (or a card) to squeeze any access water and air bubbles out from underneath the sticker. It may appear cloudy at first, but this will disappear once it completely dries.
The dry method is very similar but without spraying the surface with water. You need to clean the window first and then apply the sticker. Normally you can remove the bubbles with fingers, but for any stubborn bubbles use a card. The downside to this method is that you can't reposition the sticker as you would with the wet method.
However, I recommend the dry method for people that live in an area with hard or treated water. Sometimes this can leave deposits between the glass and the sticker, meaning the sticker won't be clear like it should be!
Please note, the suncatchers are not removable - only remove them when you're finished with them. If there's any residue left, rubbing alcohol should easily remove it.
Let's talk rainbow patterns
Suncatcher material comes in different patterns, which determine how the rainbows are scattered. Whether it's in lines, random patches or floating triangles and squares, they all cast their rainbows in their own unique way. My suncatcher stickers come in two patterns:
Radial Axicon Pattern
This pattern creates unique radial shape, with sharp streaks of vibrant rainbow lines. Because the lines are more concentrated it creates the most vivid rainbows.
Cracked Ice Pattern
This pattern (my favourite!) mimics the appearance of fractured glass, and casts different size of rainbow patches into the room. It adds a touch of playfulness and positivity to any space - whether it's a gloomy office or kid's play room
'Fiery Fox' Rainbow Suncatcher with its Cracked Ice Pattern.
© Katia Hinic
Why go for suncatchers?
I personally love my suncatchers - it reminds me of my childhood, when I would be fascinated with rainbows on a stormy summer afternoon or when light would hit something just right to create rainbows inside. Chasing that feeling somehow feels like chasing rainbows. They don't appear very often but when they do you're awash with a sense of nostalgia and peace.
Which is why these make a perfect gift - either to yourself or a loved one. What's a better than giving someone smiles every time the sun shines through?
an Architect and Artist based in Cornwall, UK
I am inspired by all manner of flora and fauna of the world around us, and I enjoy experimenting with different mediums to capture their beauty. Whether I'm using ink, oil or fabric, I like to create art that is a little whimsical and a little enchanting.