Scented Light Catchers | a 10-Minute Project

Creating doesn’t have to take a lot of time – or a lot of tools – to be meaningful & fun – that’s why we’ve created 10 minute projects.

Scented Light Catchers Cover image I’ve started to notice a beautiful shift in the light – it’s coming in at a new angle, a lower angle, casting beautiful shadows and a special glow through our home. Sure night is falling a little sooner, and the the morning sun coming a bit later, but I’d prefer to focus on the beautiful quality of the autumn light.

The past few months we’ve been having a lot of fun in our home discovering new creative tools and art supplies. We have also been continuing to enjoy exploring scent – we go on scent walks (which can be particularly… ummm… exciting living in a city!) to see what fall smells like, or rain, or the lake breeze. We’ve been experimenting with new combinations for scented play dough. And we’ve been cuddling in with our scented comfort pillows.

So for this month’s 10 minute project, we wanted to find a way to combine these themes in our life right now – the light, new art materials, and scent. The result has been these beautiful scented light catchers. For the little ones, it’s a process project – coloring and painting with scented oils. For the grown-ups, a bit of cutting and stringing, and you have a lovely bit of decor – seasonal or otherwise.

You Will Need

supplies for scented light catchers via Construction paper
Leaf stencil printouts (optional)
Markers, crayons, charcoals, or pastels
Scented oil
Mineral oil
Needle & thread

What To Do

Start with your dry materials – your markers, crayons, pastels, etc. You can color in some autumn leaves, or just cover full pages of construction paper with color.

IMG_3130 IMG_3135 Once you’re little one is satisfied with their art, it’s time to add some scent! Combine 1/4 to 1/3 cup mineral oil with a few drops of scented essential oil. No essential oils? You can use flavorings that are suspended in oil, like peppermint or almond (vanilla won’t work since it is water and alcohol based).

Let your little ones choose with their nose – do you have a scent that smells like fall or spring? Like love or flowers? Like something else? What words do your little ones use to describe what they smell?

Stir the oils together and then let your little ones paint the oil across their paper. The oil will make the paper translucent. Watch what happens to your drawings – some materials will mute and combine, others will enhanced into bright jewel-tones.

IMG_3152 IMG_3154 Once your little ones are done painting, wipe their drawings to both remove excess oil, while making sure that the whole paper is covered with oil so that it will catch the light once hung.

Cut out your light catchers. If you have a scissor-savvy little one, invite them to work with you. Cut around the shape of your leaves, or cut circles or other shapes from your painted construction paper.

Thread your light catchers together, hang them in a window, then sit back and enjoy the beautiful seasonal light streaming through!  double image scented light catcher IMG_3191

Explore More

What if you use a colored piece of construction paper? What happens to the paper when you paint on your oil?

How about using something different for your initial coloring? If you used markers, try crayons and so on.


Make Connections

Look around, does your home have anything else that catches the light? How does it work? Does it have a story behind it? Talk with your grown-ups to find out!


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