We’ve been in the midst of a whole round of melted pony bead suncatcher experimentation! We first started with using round cake pans and muffin tins but now we’re into more freeform experiments. We’re absolutely loving the freedom of form that string and wire are allowing. And we’ve even tried adding glass stones among the plastic pony beads, just for fun. Read on to discover how easy and beautiful creating melted pony bead suncatchers can be!
HOW TO MAKE MELTED PONY BEAD SUNCATCHERS
- Translucent or glitter pony beads
- String or wire (we used embroidery thread for most of ours)
- Metal bakeware: pans, cake tins, muffin tins, metal cookie cutters, or even gelatin molds
- Aluminum foil to line bakeware (for easy clean-up and no risk of plastic residue)
- Pre-heated heat source (we recommend a grill or toaster oven used outside due to fumes)
- Hot pads and oven mitts
- Optional: glass stones or beads (glass will not melt at the temperatures used)
- Optional: small metal ring to create hole for hanging (per a reader’s suggestion)
- Optional: electric drill to add hole for hanging after suncatcher has cooled
- String or ribbon for hanging
STEP 1 :: STRING PONY BEADS ONTO THREAD OR WIRE
For most of our melted pony bead suncatchers we’ve used embroidery thread. I suggest tying off the last pony bead just so they don’t slip off in the next step. We also tried wire for one but because it was fairly rigid and did not lay flat in the pan, the melting beads started to drip off of the wire. A more malleable wire such as floral wire might work better.
STEP 2 :: CREATE YOUR DESIGN WITHIN THE METAL PAN
Prepare your metal pan or bakeware with a layer of aluminum foil. Note: These photos were taken before I discovered how helpful using foil was. You should especially be sure to use foil if you are using the same pans you bake with.
Our first creation was a tight spiral but we quickly figured out we could be more abstract and experimental with our shapes. We dropped the string of pony beads loosely in the pan, allowing it to overlap itself at points.
Option: Add in glass stones. Make sure the glass stones are surrounded by the plastic pony beads. You want the melted beads to surround them and hold them in place.
STEP 3 :: MELT THE SUNCATCHER
We had the best success with using our grill set on “high” (about 450º Fahrenheit). Place the pan in the center and put the top down. When we tried doing multiple pans at once we found that the ones on the edges did not heat up as well and we had to rotate them for even melting. Heat for 5 minutes and then check the progress every few minutes after that. Melting the pony beads completely should take no more than 10 minutes.
STEP 4 : ALLOW TO COOL AND REMOVE FROM PAN
Once the suncatcher has cooled completely (this only takes a few minutes) it will peel easily out of the pan.
STEP 5 :: PREPARE TO HANG AND ENJOY!
If needed drill a small hole through the top. String with ribbon and hang your new suncatcher indoors on a window or outside on your porch or deck.
MORE MELTED BEAD SUNCATCHER ART::
- Use metal cookie cutters to make shapes and use the shapes in a mobile
- Use star-shaped cookies cutters to make melted pony bead fairy wands
- Make suncatchers in wooden frames or wooden embroidery hoops
- Discover 7+ new ways to do melted pony bead suncatchers (includes using gelatin molds)
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