Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Baked Bead Suncatcher Project

This is a fun project to do with the kids any time of the year.  I love adorning the outside of the house, especially when the kids have a hand in it.  These also make really great gifts for grandparents.

Here is what you need:
Plastic Pony Beads (we used pearlized brights and glow in the dark)
Cupcake and/or Cake Pans
Fishing Line
Either small metal grommets or a dremel tool
Dowel Rod

Now that you have gathered your supplies, let's get started.

Lay your pans out on your work surface.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  While the oven is preheating, let the kids place pony beads in a single layer in the bottom of your pan or tins.  Let them put the beads in whatever format they want.  This makes for an original piece of art.  If you want these to be more clear, you need to use more clear beads.  We used the glow in the dark ones because they are colored, but very transparent.

Once the kiddos have arranged the beads the way they want, you need to check to make sure they are in a single layer and pop them into the oven.  If you have chosen to use metal grommets to leave a space for the fishing line to string through, you will put a grommet in the place of one bead.  We didn't do that.  We are just going to drill holes later in the process.

Bake these for 20-30 minutes, until the beads melt down and make one solid disk.  The house will definitely smell like melting plastic, so it is best to do this on a day when you can open the windows if the smell is something that will bother you.

Once the beads are melted down, you will need to pop them out of the oven and let them cool completely.  Then, if you have not used a grommet, you will drill a small hole to string the fishing line through.

You can hang a larger disk by itself or string several smaller disks suspended from a small section of dowel rod for a different look.  These can be used both indoors and outdoors to catch light.

This little one was my two year old's solo work.  You can see the gaps between some of the beads.

Did you do this project?  Have a different idea?  Let me know.  I love to hear from you.

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