Love beads for your Home

Melted Bead Suncatchers

melted bead suncatchersThis is an awesome homemade Mother’s Day gift that you can make in an afternoon. If you are my mother, mother-in-law, or older sister, you should stop reading now.

Or keep reading and ruin your surprise. It’s up to you.

A few weeks ago, my little sister sent me these two photos on Facebook.

I thought they were really neat, but the link with them was spammy. I scoured the internet to find instructions to make them, trying all kinds of different searches on Swagbucks, Google, and Tineye.

After reading over fifty pages of explanations, warnings, and tips, I decided we could make these melted bead suncatchers.

Melted Bead Suncatchers Materials

Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of our materials. Sorry.

melted bead suncatchersHere’s what you’ll need:

  • Glitter Pony Beads – I bought these same ones at the craft store. Any plastic pony beads will work. If you use opaque pony beads, the light won’t go through your suncatchers (there is one opaque bead in one of my pieces below). Plain transparent pony beads are a little cheaper than ones with glitter, but we really liked the glitter look and spent the extra money.
  • Metal pans – Any metal pans should work, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to eat out of a pan that I’d melted plastic beads in. The plastic does leave a ring around the edge that I couldn’t get out. We gave ourselves a budget of and hit the Salvation Army Store. We got all shapes and sizes of dishes, including a really neat heart-shaped mini muffin pan.melted bead suncatchers Most of the dishes were 99 cents.
  • Normal cooking stuff – hot pads, timer, big metal tongs (for turning the pans)
  • String – You could use fishing line, but I can never get it to tie a nice knot, so I got Classic Crochet Thread in Size 10. It is thin enough to almost disappear in the sunshine, but it’s sturdy enough not to fall apart.

1. Fill the container with a single layer of beads.

Get as many beads as possible into the container without allowing any to jump up into a second layer.

Melted bead suncatchersGrace was really into this part for about five minutes, long enough to fill up the heart tray below.

The hearts below worked pretty well, except for the ones that needed an extra bead. It took a lot of heating to get the two on the right side of the middle row to look like hearts. They didn’t have enough beads.

Another thing to note is that the beads that are flat (with the hole facing you) will melt into a sort of hexagonal shape. The beads that are up on their side will melt into a square or rectangle. A combination of both makes for an interesting pattern.

2. Melt the beads.

After all my reading, I decided to melt these in the oven. Preheat to 400, melt for 20-30 minutes, check for adequate melting, heat longer if necessary, remove and cool.

Melted bead suncatchers Melted bead suncatchers Melted bead suncatchers Melted bead suncatchers
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