From the great cathedral windows of Europe to the famous Tiffany lampshades, the majesty and beauty of light streaming through stained glass has fascinated and awed us for centuries.
It's like plucking a fleeting rainbow from the sky and preserving it forever here on Earth.
Many of us try to bring that majesty and beauty into our homes through the creation of, or at least the use of, suncatchers. We pluck our own rainbows with tiny pieces of colorful art.
A lot of craft suppliers make suncatcher kits for kids these days. Kids love the idea that they can catch and create their own rainbow. There are so many different ways to give kids opportunities to capture those rainbows that it can become confusing and overwhelming.
The goal of this buyers' guide is to remove that confusion and resolve that overwhelm when it comes to choosing between glass suncatcher kits and Purple Ladybug's kid-safe SunGemmers craft kits.
Today, we'll be looking at four aspects of these two crafts. They are:
- Mess and less cleanup
By comparing traditional glass suncatchers with our SunGemmers, you'll have the information you need to decide which method of capturing rainbows is right for you and the children in your life. After all, they deserve the very best!
1. Which Is Safer? Glass Suncatchers vs SunGemmers
To make a glass suncatcher, you need the following:
- Stained glass or clear glass pieces that can be painted
- Lead to hold the glass pieces together
- Soldering iron and solder to hold the leading together
- Know-how or a source of detailed instructions
To make a SunGemmers requires the following materials, all included in each SunGemmers craft kit:
- Pre-printed plastic window design
- Self-adhesive plastic SunGemmers gemstone stickers
- Full-color guide for placing the gemstone stickers
- Double-sided mounting tape to adhere the finished product to the window
- Included clear, descriptive instructions
With glass suncatchers, there's a risk of getting cut on the sharp edge of a glass fragment. The glass can break and chip if dropped, creating sharp shards that can also cut.
Soldering irons can reach a skin-blistering 890℉, and should not be used without adult supervision.
On the other hand, SunGemmers are safe for children over 6. There's nothing to break. No sharp edges. No fears of injury of any kind, as long as the child doesn't put the SunGemmers gemstone stickers in their mouth.
And you don't have to be there hovering over them to make sure they stay safe. SunGemmers are a great way for parents and grandparents to entertain a creative child and be able to cross items off your to-do list at the same time.
Purple Ladybug tests all our crafts in independent laboratories to ensure they meet all child toy safety standards.
2. Which Is Neater? SunGemmers vs Glass Suncatchers
Some craft kit makers supply kits with clear glass suncatchers and either glass paints in pots or glass paint markers. While you may think the markers are a better solution to avoid messy cleanups, please think again.
Glass paint typically does not simply wash out of clothing. It requires special treatment with rubbing alcohol and possibly acetone. Glass paint can also stain wood and other hard surfaces like quartz and even granite countertops.
All of this means that an uncapped marker or a slip of the hand could leave you with more of a permanent rainbow in a place you didn't bargain for.
The self-adhesive nature of the SunGemmers gemstone stickers, on the other hand, erase all the mess, fuss, and worry. Your little one doesn't even need a smock or apron, because there's no liquid of any kind to drip, run, or stain.
3. Which Costs More? Glass Suncatchers vs SunGemmers
It's difficult to put a price tag on your little ones' happiness and creativity. After all, their smiles, their pride in showing off what they've made, and their joy in seeing their creations on display for all to see are priceless.
With that in mind, we recently did a cost comparison between glass suncatcher kits and SunGemmers kits. The results were surprising, even to us.
Glass suncatcher kits can be purchased ranging from 2 to 14 times more than SunGemmers kits. We expected costs to be a bit more, given that you are buying a real piece of glass. But fourteen times the cost of a SunGemmers craft kit? That’s a big difference!
One thing that helps to keep the cost of SunGemmers down compared to their glass counterparts is that there are more than one suncatcher in most of our kits.
While glass suncatcher kits can be purchased for around the same price as a SunGemmers kit, you only have one finished product in the end.
Here's a table showing some of our SunGemmers suncatcher craft kits, and how many SunGemmers suncatchers each makes:
|Kit Name||Number of SunGemmers||Size of SunGemmers|
|Mermaid, Dolphin, Turtle||3||6 X 6 inches|
|Tree, Flower, Flamingo||3||6 X 6 inches|
|Sun and Rainbow||2||8 X 8 inches|
|Heart and Flower||2||8 X 8 inches|
|Wolf, Cactus, Eagle||3||6 x 6 inches|
4. Which Is More Creative? SunGemmers vs Glass Suncatchers
There are two basic types of glass suncatcher kits.
- Colored bits of glass that fit together like a jigsaw picture puzzle to create an item or scene
- Clear glass bits already joined together that are painted to create the item or scene
Type 1 glass suncatchers don't really afford a creative opportunity at all. Unless you decide to go abstract with one, a la Picasso, it's more of a done-for-you project you solder together.
Type 2 glass suncatchers are a better choice for the artsy crafter, but come at the price of messy paints and in some cases, an unpleasant paint odor, too.
SunGemmers kits come with color guides and instructions, it's true. However, the Craft Time Police aren't going to come knocking if your mini artist decides to throw caution to the wind and allow their creativity to come out to play, choosing to use different color gems than the guide indicates!
Our guides are just that: guides. Follow them, and you'll get a mermaid or flamingo as it looks on the package. Get creative without them, and your SunGemmers will become a unique, one-of-a-kind art piece.
This is one reason why we believe SunGemmers kits make great gifts for the children in your life, and help them create great gifts for the adults in their lives.
A birthday gift creates a Mother's Day gift, or goes back to Grandma's house as a finished rainbow for her kitchen window. Your young artist gets the opportunity to share their creativity and joy.
SunGemmers vs Glass Suncatchers: The Decision Is Yours
We've shown you how our SunGemmers are safer, less messy, less expensive, and just as creative as glass suncatchers. Now, let us tell you a bit more about us and our SunGemmers kits.
At Purple Ladybug, we love to see the entire family get creative in fun, safe, meaningful ways. We offer kits for everyone - from the littlest crafter to the teens and adults, too. We take our inspiration from our own family, and try to bring it to yours.
Our new SunGemmers kits are a perfect choice for crafters aged six and up. They're just the right amount of creativity without the stress or fuss of more technical artistic skills.
Purple Ladybug's promise to you is that a world of creativity and enjoyment lives within every one of our kits. With SunGemmers, that world comes with its own rainbow or three.
Capture yours today. Jules already has and created this lovely video review, too.
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