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How to Make a Sun Catcher with Beads

Updated on June 8, 2014

Again, I have expanded on something I saw on Pinterest. While I cannot take full credit for the birth of an idea, the beautiful “child” that came forth is of my own hands and creativity.

Did you know that you can melt Pony Beads in the oven? (Proper ventilation required!) I didn't know that either until a few weeks ago when I saw a woman post a cake plate she had made out of melted Pony Beads. It looked fantastic! I wanted to do it too, but wanted to something other than a cake plate so I got to thinking. And I came up with the idea for sun catchers. There are hundreds of possibilities and it is super easy and super fast. The kids will LOVE it and they don’t have to wait hours for them to cool once they come out of the oven, so they can play with them almost immediately. And who doesn't like immediate gratification? Okay, so let’s get started.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Clear and Solid Colored BeadsTiny Muffin Pan with beads melted.Large Individual Muffin PansNormal Sized Muffin Pan with beads melted.Small Cake Pan not completely filled.  We did fill it all the way.
Clear and Solid Colored Beads
Clear and Solid Colored Beads
Tiny Muffin Pan with beads melted.
Tiny Muffin Pan with beads melted.
Large Individual Muffin Pans
Large Individual Muffin Pans
Normal Sized Muffin Pan with beads melted.
Normal Sized Muffin Pan with beads melted.
Small Cake Pan not completely filled.  We did fill it all the way.
Small Cake Pan not completely filled. We did fill it all the way.

What you will need to make your "discs"

Clear colored pony beads (can be glittered or glow in the dark too)

~~ We used clear and solid to add texture and depth. If you use only colored it will not be a “sun catcher”, but it will still look really neat)

Multi sized baking cup cake and muffin pans

Small cake pan

Oven (obviously)

Oven Mitts

Glitter or sequins (optional)

What you will need to assemble your Sun Catcher

Drill with small drill bit

String or fishing line

Extra Pony Beads or other sparkly beads (for added flair)

Hook or hanging implement (key chain ring)

Now Let's Melt Some Beads!

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2) WARNING!! High ventilation required or bake them ALL at once. I did mine in 4 rotations: small, medium, large and largest which required me to bake the beads for nearly 1 hour and the house smelled horrid and we all got kind of lightheaded. So regardless of whether they are labeled non-toxic, please take care to ventilate the kitchen properly when doing this activity.

3) Layer pony beads in whatever pattern or non pattern (like colors together, contrasting colors together, checkerboard pattern, or random) on the bottom of a muffin pan. A single layer on the bottom is generally sufficient. A bead or two on top in areas where the beads cannot cover the entire bottom due to size or shape is fine, but if you start to pile too many without making a complete second layer your disc will not melt flat and will be bumpy.

4) Sprinkle glitter, or sequins, now if you so choose.

5) Place pans in oven and set time for 15-25 minutes. The small cup cake pans will take less time and the small cake pan will take a little longer.

6) Let cool for about 3-5 minutes and flip pans over and tap on the counter. All your discs should fall right out and be ready to use.

Sizes from Left to Right: Small cake pan (with added glitter), individual large muffin pan, normal sized muffin pan, and tiny cupcake pan.
Sizes from Left to Right: Small cake pan (with added glitter), individual large muffin pan, normal sized muffin pan, and tiny cupcake pan.
Tried a little pattern play around the edges.
Tried a little pattern play around the edges.
To show relative thickness of discs when finished.
To show relative thickness of discs when finished.

Assembling the Sun Catcher

1) Using a regular drill and a small drill bit drill two holes in the top of your largest disc to hand a ring from. This will be the main area that all the smaller discs are hung from.




2) Drill 6-8 holes in the bottom of the largest disc to hang your smaller ones off of.




3) Drill one hole in the top of each disc you want to hang from your large disc. Some of them may appear to have a side that feels more like the bottom. Maybe a few darker beads gathered on the bottom and the lighter ones ended up at the top. Maybe they created a bit of a shape and one side looks more like the "top". There is no right or wrong, just whatever looks good to your eye.


4) String your thread or fishing line through the holes and knot off. I use superglue on all my crafts that will be going outside to simply make sure the knots cannot come undone with the breeze pulling on them.



Now Hang in the Sun and Enjoy Your Creation!

For other creative ways to use your melted pony beads, check out my other Hub:


Comments

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    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 

      4 years ago from Fountain, CO

      Wow! This is incredible! How creative. Very nice, very informative article. :)

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is really beautiful, however I would be very concerned over the fumes from melting the beads cause, only because I already have a huge problem with my lungs. However when I get a new stove what I may do is put the old stove in the garage and try making a sun catcher or other items using your technique. I'm going to pin this onto my craft board on Pinterest so that I can refer back to it at a later date.

    • LopezUnleashed profile imageAUTHOR

      LopezUnleashed 

      4 years ago

      Suzanne Day -- Yes it really is. It is great hands on project that they kids can use to explore patterns. They get very excited when they can play with them so quickly after they are melted too.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 

      4 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Good idea to do with the kids ;)

    • LopezUnleashed profile imageAUTHOR

      LopezUnleashed 

      5 years ago

      It is a lot of fun. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I really liked that I choose to use solid colors as well, it ended up kind of looking like stained glass. Feel free to add any tips or suggestions if you do it too.

    • faythef profile image

      Faythe Payne 

      5 years ago from USA

      Great idea...may give this a try......early morning then the house can air out all day..doors and windows wide open

    • sereseus profile image

      Albin Pius 

      5 years ago from kerala,India

      Wow ...Great idea...:)

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