Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Summer Suncatchers

In need of a fun and easy summer project ? Well This might be the best one yet !
By doing a little web surfing I found out that you can transform plastic beads into bowls, sun catchers, night lights, jewelry and cool Christmas ornaments!

For our first melted bead projects we made a few sun catchers.

Here is what I did.

1. First, decide on a shape you want your sun catcher to be. I used some cheap bowls and such from goodwill. You can use metal - but beware it will melt faster in your oven. You can also be very creative and use different shaped things.

2. Place the beads in a single layer on the bottom of the form. Try to fill the entire area the best you can to avoid holes. If your using something like a bowl - beware that you won't get a clean edge due to the curve. We found that using flat type bowls worked best.

3. I melt my beads at 425 for approximately 15-20 minutes. The time needed to melt the beads will depend on a few factors, size of your beads, your oven, and the type of vessel used. Less melting times = the beads holding more of their original shape. More melting time = more blending. We found that some of the bowls that dipped in the middle created a tie dying affect which was cool.

You'll an toaster over and a few heat pads. You will want to work outside for this project due to the fumes.

After you take them out, let them cool for a while before trying to get them out.
 They two kids I'm watching loved this project. She was always deep in thought for what colors to choose.It was a great project for both.

Our final product turned out great. I then just drill a few holes into them and strung them with ribbon. I love the endless possibly with this project. They would make great gift for kids to give and they would make great ornaments. Also remember about choosing your colors. School colors, sport team colors and holiday colors are all great ideas to keep this going. I bought the beads at our local craft store for $4 and it gave me about 2 hours worth of fun. The kids are hoping to make these again. Happy melting ! 

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