Last week Mike took Sami out for Movie Date Night to see the Batman Marathon… meaning Taylor and I had six whole hours to do nothing but play. It was FANTASTIC. I perused Pinterest for a few minutes looking for some fun crafts that she and I could do together that were mess free. I found some pins on creating sun catchers by melting cheap plastic beads in a pie dish… an idea was born.
Melted Bead Windchime
- cheap plastic beads
- cookie cutters
- round baking pan
- mini muffin tin
- shaped silicone molds
- fishing line
Using the largest baking dish for the “top” of the windchime I had the idea of using cookie cutters to make fun shapes in the beads. Since we had silicone heart shaped muffin molds from Valentine's Day I got heart shaped cookie cutters to make a “Love” wind chime.
We began by putting the large heart cookie cutter in the middle of the circle pan and filling each section with different colored beads. Make sure you only put ONE LAYER of beads, but as many as will fit so that when they melt they will not leave holes or be too thick. I wasnt sure if the cookie cutter was going to work – but I thought it was worth a shot.
We then filled the heart shaped molds with one layer each of thee colors – pink, white, and red. Again, make sure the beads are close together but still just one layer.
For the third size we used mini muffin tins and for these we let the colors be mixed. These were actually a different style bead and worked even better than the colors we used for the larger pieces.
Heat your oven to 400* and begin “baking” your beads. Now, let me say on a few forums I have read people talk about it being “toxic” to melt beads and stuff… it is a bit stinky -and even a little smokey – I have no idea if it is toxic. What I DO know is Taylor and I scampered off to play in another room and put the range fan on and were just fine. Its been a few weeks and neither of us have a twitch, so I am assuming we are all clear.
We baked the beads for about 30 minutes – really just checking every 5 minutes or so to see if they were melted. The larger beads took longer and looked almost like jelly for a little while, but eventually succumbed to the heat and melted down.
Once all of the pieces have cooled and hardened, they will easily pop right out of the molds. The large red heart was actually its very own piece – I had hoped the beads would melt under the cookie cutter and fuse together, but it ended up working great that it was 2 pieces as they blow separately in the breeze. To make it all one piece take the cookie cutter out of the hot melted beads before they cool.
After taking all of the pieces out of the molds, use the drill to put holes for the fishing line to string them together. I let Taylor pick the “positioning” which made my inner OCD twitch a bit, but she loves it and they do make a pretty sound clinking together.
This was such a fun way for us to spend the evening together. We have since made all kinds of fun things like SunCatchers, “frisbies,” “trading tokens,” and “monies”… its amazing what you can do with cheap beads, an oven, and a 6 year old's imagination.