Melted Bead Suncatchers 7+ NEW Ways

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Melted Bead Suncatchers 7+ New Ways from 3D shapes and mobiles to Halloween decor

So, my friends, when I wrote about the melted bead suncatcher words a while back, I promised I'd share the rest of our suncatcher experiments in one fell swoop rather than another 10 or so posts. I know I snuck in that post about the melted bead fairy wands in the guise of a birthday post, but I'm (mostly) trying to keep my word.

Here goes… Another 7+ fun melted bead suncatcher ideas:

Melted Bead Suncatchers 46

1. Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Suncatcher with melted
pony beads
in a die cut wood frame purchased at Michael's

Day of the Dead Skull Suncatcher

Notes:

  • We used teal
    liquid watercolors
    to paint the skulls after the beads melted. The wood had scorched a bit and I wanted to cover that up and also add to the whole colorful look. Also, I knew that I could paint the whole thing with the liquid watercolors and then just rub any extra paint off the plastic beads (something that wouldn't work so easily with other kinds of paints).
  • The die cut wood skulls come with a hanging ribbon, but we removed them before melting the beads and then added a new one (after learning through trial and error that the ribbon disintigrates in the heat).

Melted Bead Suncatchers 41

2. Rainbow melted bead suncatcher in a die cut wood frame (again, purchased at Michael's or AC Moore)

Rainbow Melted Bead Suncatcher in a Wood Die Cut Frame

Notes:

  • This is a suncatcher that a friend of Maia's made when she was over for a playdate. She carefully arranged the beads in rainbow order within the square wood frame.
  • We've made a few suncatchers in these die cut wood frames and have been very pleased with how they've turned out. With some of them we've painted the frames with black acrylic paint (as you can see in one of the photos below).

Melted Bead Suncatchers 102

3. 3-Dimensional Heart and Star Suncatchers made in metal gelatin molds

3D Melted Bead Suncatchers Made in Jelly Molds

Notes:

  • I picked up a couple of old metal gelatin molds at a thrift store to experiment with and they worked great for the melted bead suncatchers!
  • We've made the suncatchers with one layer of beads inside the molds and also with several. They work both ways.
  • It's especially effective to use different colors or color combinations within the various shaped areas.
  • Harry drilled a couple of holes at the top of each and I added beaded hanging loops.

Suncatchers

4. Shapes within Melted Bead Suncatchers using cookie cutters

Shapes within Melted Bead Suncatchers

Notes: 

  • To make the shapes, we set a cookie cutter on the foil-lined baking dish (shown here with an embroidery hoop frame), filling the cookie cutter with one color of beads and the space outside of the cookie cutter with another (or with a mix of colors), then carefully removed the cookie cutter before melting the beads and fusing the design together.
  • You can use either metal or plastic cookie cutters this way since you're not leaving the cookie cutter on during the melting process (unlike with the individual suncatcher shapes)

 
Spiral Melted Bead Suncatcher

5. Spirals, Circles, Hearts, and Words within Suncatchers using beads on embroidery thread.

Spirals and Words within Melted Bead Suncatchers

Notes:

  • These suncatchers are created much like the melted bead words except that they have additional beads around them. We string beads, usually all one color, on embroidery thread, arrange the string of beads on a foil-lined baking dish into any shape or word desired (sometimes within an embroidery hoop, wood frame, or cookie cutter), then fill all the remaining spaces with contrasting beads.
  • My favorites are the spirals!

Beaded Star Ornaments

6. Beaded Suncatcher Christmas Ornaments using plastic pony beads within a die cut wood ornament from Michael's. Basically much the same method as the sugar skull suncatcher in #1 above.

Melted Bead Spiral Mobile

7. Beaded Wire Spiral Mobile. We created this mobile with a few of our melted bead spirals just loosely hooked onto each other. It hangs on our front porch and twirls slowly in the breeze. I just love it and would like to experiment more with this idea and form, adding more bits and pieces.

As you can see, we've been going a bit crazy with pony beads. My family is ready to move on to other arts and crafts projects and I think I am, too. Finally.

Looking for the basic melted bead suncatcher instructions or more ideas? Here are my previous melted bead suncatcher posts:

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Comments

  1. katie says

    Looks like you need to make a book solely on your bead projects!!! ;p
    Do you know how the ones in frames hold up against the cold weather. Had a thought that in the upcoming chilly weather in pa that they might contract ( I think I’m using the correct term?) And pop away from frames or are they well- blinded?

  2. shelley davidson says

    Don’t you just love melting things. I think we women like to melt things, and male types like to blow up things! I love using salad bar containers to make into shrinky-dinks…Only certain types work, but try it sometime. You cut out the flat parts and trace over a drawing or picture using sharpies. Then shrink in toaster oven…put foil down and do outside. OR even better, sand all of flat area and use colored pencils and outline with sharpies when done w coloring fairly hard with pencils. REally cool. on pinterest there are a jillion ideas of what to make:diy buttons, necklaces, earrings, I’ve mosaiced an entire table top and then grouted in just like broken tile or glass…so cool!!

  3. says

    Not sure about the plastic suncatchers pulling away from the frames in the cold. Does plastic contract in cold?
    Here’s what I’ve found (without any cold weather) — sometimes we don’t put enough of the pony beads in and the suncatcher contracts a bit from the frame as it cools (so maybe that answers my question above!). So then I just turn the suncatcher upside down and run a line of glue from the hot glue gun around the edge of the suncatcher. It’s virtually invisible and holds the suncatcher in place. Maybe that could be your back up plan if you make the suncatchers and find out they contract over the winter.

  4. says

    Yes!! We definitely love melting things! (I’m thinking chocolate right now, LOL)
    We’ve experimented with shrinky dinks but have only used the kind of shrinky dink sheets you can buy. I haven’t tried recycle bin plastic yet.
    And Wow! You mosaiced an entire table with shrinky dink art? Any chance you have a pic of that you can send? :)

  5. jwgmom says

    I’d love to do this as part of a full day of art for my CDA students but we don’t have access to an oven. There is a microwave and maybe a toaster oven. Any idea if they will work?

  6. Ailar says

    I have accidentally stumbled upon your blog today and I am just amazed with your works and can’t wait to do the suncatcher and more with these beads. Thank you for sharing your projects and ideas here.
    I wonder if you can tell me if only transparent beads will work for suncatcher or other colored ones will do too?
    Thank you!

  7. snsproat@gmail.com says

    I love your ideas and will try them with my special needs daughter but I have a question I noticed that in a picture you have some of them sitting in a grill, would you recommend doing them there due to the fumes? thanks
    Saula

  8. says

    Yes, definitely, Saula! Some people also do them in a toaster oven outside. You can take a look at one of the earlier posts on the melted bead suncatchers (see the list at the end of this one) for step by step instructions.

  9. says

    Colored, yet translucent, ones work the best. Any will melt, though, so if you want to use the colored, opaque ones, that’s fine — the sun just won’t shine through those ones.

    • teri wynne says

      microwave ? it might end up being all distorted, or it might blow up,splatter art inside the micro, id like to hear if anyone has tried also

  10. says

    I tried the grill with mixed results. Clearly our grill does not heat evenly. ;-) But the side that is hotter, the beads melted beautifully. It seemed to take longer than I thought it would. But it could have been because I kept lifting the lid to make sure nothing was going awry. We tried the die-cut wood shapes from Michael’s too. Though, I’d like to know how you kept them from burning?? Or is that why you ended up painting them? Maybe it’s because I had to keep them on the grill longer than I thought.

    I also discovered, the iridescent pony beads do not melt at the same rate (or as well) as the translucent beads. We LOVED how the glitter translucent beads look! Really fun! We’ll be experimenting with this more to perfect our technique! Thanks for the great post!

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