I got the original idea from these animal constellation cookies, which I still may make someday because they are SO COOL. My original idea was to let the paint dry on the sun catchers and then use brads for stars and connect them with embroidery thread. But then I thought that you might be able to see the back of the brad that's bent over when you put it up to the sun, so I decided on this version instead. It would still be cool to do the embroidery floss version using acrylic paint (maybe paint pouring??), that way it wouldn't be see-through and you wouldn't be able to see the brads.
I told them this is the constellation Ursa Major (Great Bear). I asked them if they could see a bear in it:
I showed my girls some drawings of constellations (from Zoo in the Sky) and explained to them that it would be a good idea to put stars on the important parts of the body, like the head, legs, tail, etc. We had tweezers at the ready in case some of the stars got out of place and needed to be removed.
I used a bag of clear faceted beads I had found at our local creative re-use center (aka craft thrift store), Who Gives a Scrap. There were two different sizes of beads in the bag, so that was neat because the stars were different sizes.
It will take 3-4 days to dry, depending on how thick the paint is. You can check it after a couple days by holding it up vertically. If the stars start to move, it's not ready. Just nudge them back into place and keep waiting.
Once it's dry, you can punch a hole in the plate and use a suction cup (or string and tape) to hang it on the window. The dry paint may slide right off the plate after a week or so. You can just take the white paper off the plate and tape it onto the back of the dried paint disc and hang it back up.
Side note - the one below had some bubbles in it which kind of look like other stars in the galaxy. I suppose it's a fine line between getting just enough bubbles and too many, but I think it looks cool. The trial one I did after I made the all-bubbled-up mixture I showed above did not look very good at all, as all the bubbles attached to the beads. There weren't random bubbles scattered around to look like other stars, they were just globbed up right next to the beads.
All in all, it was a lot of fun and the girls LOVED it!