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How to Make Melted Bead Suncatchers


Melted bead suncatchers are easy to make from kids plastic pony beads. Follow these step-by-step instructions to make a beautiful and durable suncatcher.

Melted Bead Suncatchers

Updated April 2021

Yesterday we made melted bead suncatchers, an idea I found on Craftster.

Now that Maia is on summer vacation, we have been using Daphne’s nap time to read and, often, to work on an art or craft project together.

The melted bead suncatchers were surprisingly easy to create yet are very durable.

Unlike most suncatchers and stained glass projects we make out of paper or contact paper, these melted bead suncatchers will last and last and will also withstand the elements for outdoor use.

Update: Here’s a video I created, showing how to make the melted bead suncatchers. 

And here are the step-by-step instructions and photos:

melted bead suncatchers pinterest 2

How to Make Melted Bead Suncatchers

This post contains affiliate links.


  • Translucent pony beads
  • Metal baking dishes (such as an old muffin tin or a cake pan)*
  • Outdoor grill (best) or toaster oven

*After doing this several times, we’ve decided that it’s best to use older or thrift store baking dishes that you’ll dedicate to crafts.


  1. Arrange beads in metal baking dish.

    We started with cheap, translucent pony beads. I bought ours at our local craft store, but they are available on Amazon as well. We arranged the pony beads into a single layer in metal baking dishes.

    She started with a cake pan but was soon daunted by the size and switched to the smaller muffin tin sections.

    By the way, I was skeptical about melting the plastic beads in my baking dishes. I half thought that they would never come out and I’d be stuck with ruined pans, but that wasn’t the case. As soon as a bead suncatcher was cool, it popped right out and didn’t leave any visible residue at all!

    Melted Bead Suncatchers

    Melted Bead Suncatchers

    While Maia created several smaller suncatchers, I used the cake pan to make one large suncatcher. I arranged my beads to form a sun as you can see in the partially completed design below.

    Melted Bead Suncatchers

  2. Melt the beads.

    Important Note! The melting plastic is not good to breathe, so this step is best done outside.

    While we originally made our suncatchers in the oven, we’ve since made all of our melted bead suncatchers on the gas grill outside, thanks to a comment from Lou. It works great and only takes about 10 minutes! Some readers have been using a toaster oven outside, which may be another good solution.

    melted bead suncatchers in metal baking trays

  3. Let the suncatchers cool.

    Once the suncatchers were cool, I inverted the pans and they popped right out! As you can see from the somewhat pebbly surface, they probably could have used a few more minutes in the oven.

    Cooled melted bead suncatchers out of trays

  4. Hang your melted bead suncatcher.

    Next we drilled a small hole in each with the power drill, then strung some old kite string through the holes to hang them up. We decided to hang the melted bead suncatchers on the front porch to catch the morning sunlight.

    Melted Bead Suncatchers

Aren’t they lovely?

Maia has already said she wants to make more and I have to admit that I’m eager to try different colors and designs myself. I think they would make great gifts as well.

Melted Bead Suncatchers

By the way, look how the round beads melted into hexagons. And when the beads were more widely spaced out or set on their sides, some of them melted into rectangles and pentagons.

Melted Bead Suncatchers

Now we have a riot of colorful melted bead suncatchers to join the melted crayon stained glass bunting on the porch!

Perhaps it’s time I just give in and admit this is a stained glass and suncatcher blog. :)

Melted Bead Suncatchers

6 More Ideas for Melted Bead Suncatchers

If you’re looking for more melted bead suncatcher ideas, here are several more of my melted bead suncatcher posts.

  1. A Melted Bead Suncatcher Mobile (And how to make shapes)
  2. Suncatcher in an Embroidery Hoop Frame (We’ve made many gifts this way!)
  3. How to Make RAINBOW Plastic Bead Suncatchers (A wonderful window decoration or gift!)
  4. Make a DIY Fairy Wand with Pony Beads (Kids LOVE these!)
  5. 7+ NEW Ways to Make Homemade Suncatchers with Plastic Beads (Includes ornaments, die-cut wood frames, spiral mobiles, and shapes within suncatchers)
  6. How to Melt Beads to Make Suncatcher Hearts (Lovely and free-form!)

Pin It for Later

melted bead suncatchers pinterest
How to Make Melted Bead Suncatchers


  • Reply
    Lori N
    June 20, 2012 at 7:52 am

    I love it!
    Although, I might use my (extra large) toaster oven and move it to the porch to keep the smell outside.

    • Reply
      Rebecca S Linscott
      April 24, 2020 at 4:03 pm

      where is the PRINT out button?

  • Reply
    Melissa @ the chocolate muffin tree
    June 20, 2012 at 8:02 am

    These are fantastic Jean! As usual you are an inspiration. I want to make these….

  • Reply
    June 20, 2012 at 8:13 am

    I love this! Too bad about the smell though. Reminds me of the time we tried to make soap monsters in our microwave and the soap smell took over the house for DAYS!

  • Reply
    June 20, 2012 at 8:51 am

    We are going to do this TODAY! Thanks!
    Hello Grandparent gifts! HA!

    • Reply
      Melissa Rumble
      December 8, 2018 at 9:52 pm

      That’s exactly what I was thinking of doing for my mom from the grandkids.

  • Reply
    Growing Roots.... {my little artist}
    June 20, 2012 at 9:27 am

    oh I love that idea that is how we will do it also!!! thanks

  • Reply
    Jen @ Plain Vanilla Mom
    June 20, 2012 at 9:52 am

    This is really cool! Totally going to do this!

  • Reply
    June 20, 2012 at 10:24 am

    could you bake them on the grill in a pan to avoid the fumes??
    may have to give it a go!!

  • Reply
    June 20, 2012 at 10:57 am

    This is neat. I might just get a cheapie toaster oven to try this out. We live in an apartment so I imagine the smell would overwhelm us. And…crafster! That is totally my playground. :D So much fun, members can start up craft swaps after they’ve been around for a month. There is even one for kids which reminds me I need to find out when the next one is so Aria can join one! ~Robin

    • Reply
      November 7, 2017 at 5:14 pm

      Do you have to use a nonstick pan? I got a very small toaster oven from my daughter and can’t find any nonstick pans to use in it.

      • Reply
        Jean Van't Hul
        November 8, 2017 at 5:45 am

        We didn’t use nonstick pans, Anna. Just regular metal pans. However, after doing a bunch of these, we realized that if we lined the pan with foil, it will be better. So try that!

        • Reply
          Kim Gillett
          April 5, 2020 at 1:01 am

          Hi Jean. These are great, I’m excited to do them with my daughter. What oven temperature do you recommend? I don’t have a grill or toaster oven. Thank you! Kim

          • Melanie Armstrong
            April 22, 2020 at 5:51 pm

            Kim Gillett, Did you ever find out a temperature to use in a conventional oven? I don’t have a grill or toaster oven, either.

            M Armstrong

  • Reply
    June 20, 2012 at 11:10 am

    We made some after breakfast, took a quick walk while they baked, watered the garden while they cooled (with door open and fan on), and the smell is gone ;) My kids are REALLY excited by their finished product, and quizzing each other on which one has the most of each color. I think these would make really fun game pieces for a homemade board game, or necklace pendants if made in a mini muffin tin, or special award medals in a regular muffin tin….. Thank you so much for getting our creativity flowing today!

  • Reply
    June 20, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I just melted them on the bbq/grill at around 400/500 for ten minutes and they melted great!!! just letting them cool off on the back porch—i really enjoy your blog—so many great ideas in one spot!

  • Reply
    June 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I love these — thanks for the idea! I wonder, though, apart from the fumes, whether it’s then safe to use the muffin tins and cake pans (post-melting) for food again?

  • Reply
    June 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    These are beautiful, as well as all the other sun catchers you made (loved the melted crayons idea!). I would not attempt to melt plastic at home though, it makes me too nervous (especially the fumes). Of course, it all depends on the type of plastic: I am assuming the beads are not made with PVC. but still..
    I found this Q&A useful:
    Apparently one could check a data sheet from the plastic manufacturer, which should say if and how to melt the particular plastic material at hand.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 20, 2012 at 10:09 am

    What a great idea!

  • Reply
    June 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! I’ve also seen these on pinterest, but I couldn’t find such a detailed tutorial. This is great. Also, thanks for the tip about the smell. I was worried about that.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Next time something like that happens try Febreze. I was surprised by how well it worked. I just got the no-scent version but I know it comes in all kinds of scents and variations, too.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm


  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 20, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I know! I haven’t replaced our toaster oven since it broke down last year, but now I’m thinking maybe I ought to. Maybe a cheapie thrift store one for art projects…

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Oooh… I love all your ideas!!!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Awesome! Thanks for the idea. We’re trying another set on the grill right now, thanks to you!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Well, there was really no visible residue at all to the pans. So I’m thinking (and hoping) that a good scrub out will make them usable again. The muffin tin we used is one that I save for art projects (mixing paints, holding collage materials, etc) so it’s already dedicated to art, but the cake pan we used is one we also use for baking.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Try the ideas the others suggested! Either use a toaster oven out on the porch/balcony or melt them on an outdoor grill. I agree — plastic fumes should be avoided.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    June 20, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Thanks, Melissa! I’m so glad!

  • Reply
    June 20, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    That’s an awesome activity for kids! Thanks for sharing it. Definitely true that the plastic fumes should be avoided :)

  • Reply
    June 21, 2012 at 2:04 am

    These look great and want to try – just wondering if any plastic beads will do or are them some to avoid…

  • Reply
    Arizona Cardinals NFL Jersey
    June 21, 2012 at 12:00 am

    By the way, I was sceptical about melting the plastic beads in my baking dishes. I half thought that they would never come out and I’d be stuck with ruined pans, but that wasn’t the case. As soon as the suncatchers were cool, they popped right out and didn’t leave any visible residue at all!

  • Reply
    Mummy Drinks Tea
    June 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Wow, I love these! I have literally just posted on my blog about our recent beading experiences, and this is the PERFECT way to use up the rest of our plastic beads! Definitely a weekend task for us here in London, can’t wait! Thank you.

  • Reply
    June 23, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Thanks Jean, definitely doing this one soon!! And thanks for reposting about the bbq……..I don’t want any plastic smell in the house either and am very curious about what chemicals are in Febreze?
    Those suncatchers are beautiful and it’s so nice to do something different to show Naomi the endless possibilities art has, :))

  • Reply
    June 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I LOVE these, I cant wait until my little one gets a bit older so that I can try out your craft ideas with her :)

  • Reply
    June 26, 2012 at 8:26 am

    I tried these with perler beads, because we have gazillions of them (those beads are THE main art project Norwegian kids do – they LOVE it. Actually “perler” is simply the Norwegian word for beads, so I suppose this kind of beading is Scandinavian?) and melted them on the grill outside. That worked fine, but only half the suncatchers came out of the muffin pan : I suppose Perler beads are made of a different kind of plastic? Oh well, Ive been wanting to upgrade my muffin pan…
    I did feel a bit silly doing this with Perler beads, because of course they’re meant to be melted. You make patterns, then iron them – and yes, you can hang up your beaded item as a suncatcher. The feel of the melted ones is different though, much less orderly.

  • Reply
    June 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Thanks for the great idea! I made these with my 5 year old last night (we had some great math and science conversations– sorting, patterning, problem solving, solids, liquids, heat, melting, thickness). First thing this morning she asked if we could make more!

  • Reply
    July 2, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Unfortunately Febreze works by destroying the receptors in the nose, and making you unable to smell. The fumes are still there, you are just no longer aware that you are breathing them in.
    “1,4-Dichlorobenzene (1,4,-DCB) is a chemical which can be found in the blood of 96% of Americans. It has been linked to lung damage, is a known carcinogen, and it is actually an EPA-registered pesticide. Studies found it to increase rates of asthma. It can be found in the majority of air fresheners, toilet deodorizers, and mothballs. It works by attacking the receptors in the nose, and thus eliminates the sense of smell. This is how the new generation of air “fresheners”, such as Febreze, function. They are literally products using chemical warfare to destroy their customer’s sense of smell, and thereby, this is where the illusion of “freshness” comes from. The user only smells an air freshener for the first minute, or so, after spraying these chemicals, and then the nose cannot smell anymore. This is not a normal adjustment to odors. These chemicals cause intentional damage to the nose, which is claimed to be temporary. No long term studies have been done to test the effect to one’s senses with chronic exposure. What is important to remember is that anything inhaled is immediately absorbed into the blood through the lungs. Of course, no tests have been conducted for cancers or organ failure with extended usage.”

  • Reply
    July 3, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    I LOVE this idea!! After reading some of the comments and your initial idea I decided to try this out in the back yard using a toaster… the only problem, all my metal pans are too big SO I tried a foil pan. I followed your directions and then put the foil pan into the toaster set to about 400 degrees… I set my timer for 25 minutes and went to play with my daughter! After about 5 minutes I could smell plastic burning, thinking back to your post I ignored it, but at around 10 minutes I went to check and my toaster had smoke pouring out… it was the plastic burning and the toaster was fine BUT the beads didn’t melt as pretty as yours did. All the light colors blended into one single color… but the few orange and blue beads stand out. Any suggestions?? [email protected]

  • Reply
    July 3, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    We tried this today, with a red, white (clear) and blue theme. My older daughters used pie pans and my youngest used a mini muffin tin. The onlybtime in really noticed any strong smell was when I opened the oven to take them out. I kept the fans on and windows open the whole time. There was a bit of smoke when I took the pans out, but nothing horrible. All in all this was fun and it kept my kids entertained for well over an hour! Even my 15 year old daughter had fun making an intricate design.

  • Reply
    July 6, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    I make these all the time but as soon as I get them out of the oven, I stick the pointy end of a meat thermometer into the soft plastic suncatcher in the places I want holes and just twist it until the hole (or holes) is the size I want. That way I don’t have to wait for my husband to drill a hole for me or get a drill ready to do it myself. It’s so much easier =)

    • Reply
      July 27, 2019 at 8:23 pm

      Great ideal!!!

    • Reply
      October 30, 2019 at 12:33 pm

      Great idea – thanks

  • Reply
    July 13, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    is it safe to use the pan again after melting the plastic in it?

  • Reply
    Debbie Brown
    July 16, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    My grandkids made these today we used the grill no fumes here they turned out awesome. I guess I will be buying more beads they want to do it again. I even got in on the action I just had to make one . Thanks for sharing this fun craft. Grandma Debbie from Oregon.

  • Reply
    July 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Gorgeous! I probably would have freaked out about that smell, too :) I need to borrow a toaster oven so we can do this soon!

  • Reply
    jen at
    July 17, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    beautiful! i’ve been wanting to try these – thank you for the clear instructions. as always, you and your girls are so inspirational!

  • Reply
    July 18, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Love this idea! I am a nanny, and am always looking for new projects to do with the boys I nanny for! I actually have a blog of my own where I post some of the activities we do! Do you mind if I mention your page there when we make these?

  • Reply
    July 18, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Love this! I can’t wait to try with my daughter!

  • Reply
    July 19, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    i’ve been doing this with a toaster oven outdoors for awhile. 380 degrees for 7-10 minutes melts them well. i’ve used all sorts of different disposable pans. it’s so much fun!! yours are so pretty!

  • Reply
    July 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I made these with my daughters yesterday. We used muffin tins. Smell wasn’t bad at all!!! We experimented with all types of beads, pony beads did work best. We can’t wait to hang them. I teach a kindergarten class afterschool and this will be an awesome project for them. I will bring my toaster oven. :) Thanks for this great idea!!

  • Reply
    July 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    this is the first time i’ve been to your site, and i was just wondering. have you tried making shrinky dinks? as long as the plastic has a 6 in the triangle you can use it. this means you finally have a use for the salad containers from pizza hut! toaster oven on 350 and just watch them till they’re done, it’s usually 3 mins or less

  • Reply
    July 24, 2012 at 7:19 am

    So cool! Love the updates as well. Hey, some one has to experiment and try it out for the rest of us, don’t they? Thanks for being that one! :D

  • Reply
    Julie Osburn
    July 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    With this HOT July in NC, I think that I may just put the things out on the driveway for a few hours tomorrow. ( : … joking, but thanks for the neat idea. We will certainly be trying it out!

  • Reply
    August 1, 2012 at 3:37 am

    That looks so cool!
    I think it would make great jewelry pieces too!
    On the note of worrying if any bad stuff would be left on the cook pans, maybe using old tuna cans and soup cans might work?
    I have never tried it, but it just got me thinking. :)

  • Reply
    Jo Rich
    August 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Thanks for the tutorial! I wonder if you could just cook the beads for longer in a cooler over?
    I made melted crayons following a tutorial from a US-based blogger. My oven was HOT as I used Fahrenheit instead of Celsius. The smell and fumes were overwhelming – thankfully my girls weren’t at home that day. When I made them again using a cooler oven, there was no smell and the crayons still worked fine. Just takes a little while longer.

  • Reply
    Jo Rich
    August 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Should have explained that a bit more clearly, sorry!
    The method said 250, which I took to be in Celsius, hence the hot oven. In fact 250F is about 150C…

  • Reply
    Shelby Wittum
    August 13, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Hi there! I love this idea! I nanny two girls who are 6 years old and they would love these…as would i!!! I have loads of pony beads from my own childhood that don’t get used enough, however mine have glitter in them. I’m wondering if your have tried the glitter pony beads and if they have worked or if the glitter has altered them? Can’t wait to make these! Thanks!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    August 14, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I love love looove that you did this on the grill!!! I was worried about stinking up my oven and house!!!!

  • Reply
    August 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I tried this on my grill and I have to ask did anyone have a problem with them catching on fire…I think I had the flames to high with the lid down, as soon as I opened it the flames started

  • Reply
    August 23, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    We just made these, they turned out so cute! The ones I did in a silicon pan turned out smoother than the ones in my beat up old pans. We are going to try making Christmas ornaments next!

  • Reply
    August 27, 2012 at 5:14 am

    Love this idea! Just a word to the wise about melting plastic, if you have pet birds, melting plastic can kill them within minutes of breathing in the fumes. I’m sure all bird owners know that teflon pans are a definite no no with birds and plastic is no exception.
    Also, along the lines of the melted crayon ideas, did you know that an unwrapped crayon fits perfectly into a small lo-temp glue gun? I personally have used them for accents on encaustic paintings and it is fun to do. I bought a bunch of them from the dollar store and each gun has it’s own color, I figured the colors would bleed if their was a significant color change and get muddied.

  • Reply
    August 28, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    These are fabulous! My daughters and I had a great time making these for every window in the house. I was wondering if everyone’s sun catchers have little tiny rings of bubbles in them. Any thoughts on how to get rid of these?

  • Reply
    August 31, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    This was a really fun project for my 2 and 5 year olds. We did use the grill and some cheap pans I got from the dollar store. I’m glad I did, there most definitely is plastic left over on them.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Yes, in addition to my concerns about the melting plastic, this site has a bit more info about Febreze (from the EWG)

  • Reply
    Kay L.
    September 7, 2012 at 2:52 am

    I also used dollar store pans, and got let over plastic. Also, I have no gauge in temperature of my grill… So my first set was completely evaporated and burned… I’m afraid I may have ruined my grill… Yikes! Medium heat was best on the grill and I definitely got fumes, but was outside so it was not a big deal. Thanks for sharing! We’re doing it tomorrow with an art group!

  • Reply
    September 19, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    How can you SHARE this on Facebook?

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    September 29, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    I tried this tonight with my 3 year old, she had a blast. it is still cooling, but i think i might have done something wrong, does the type of pan you use matter? I used a glass pie pan. Hope that doesnt matter, also, thought these would be adorable for stepping stones in a garden, everything i have read makes me think they would be durable enough..?

  • Reply
    October 12, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    I love your honesty about the smell of melted plastic, I would totally feel that way as well in fact I will worry if I try it that it would scre up my oven..LOL

  • Reply
    October 17, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    My Daughter and I made these this past weekend and they turned out great. We used our grill outside. I was too afraid of using the oven but the grill works wonderful and only takes about 10mins to melt

    • Reply
      January 27, 2018 at 8:09 am

      What temp. did you use and did you close the lid? Also how long
      Thank you

  • Reply
    December 4, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    We love these everyone is getting these for xmas!!! :)

  • Reply
    M. Fern
    December 11, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    AWW I’m sad. Mine didn’t turn out at all. I used the hard plastic beads. I put the toaster oven outside. I had to work on it all day. They began to melt when I put the toaster up to 450 and left it there for two hours. They did leave residue on my metal mini cupcake pan. I had sprayed the pan with PAM because I wanted to save my pan from any damage. Too late. I did get a bumpy disk like sun catcher but it shows where every bead barely melted. Just wanted to warn people. I was really excited to finally use my ugly see through beads but I’ll have to use them for something else. Thanks for the idea though.

  • Reply
    December 12, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Will do this with my grandboys when they get out of school next week. So neat!!

  • Reply
    December 15, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    We just did this craft and used the grill! What a great tip! It worked wonderfully and my daughter was so excited to see the finished product! Thanks for the post!

  • Reply
    December 20, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Ok, question. We made these using metal cookie cutters and made great butterfly ones. I had to put a glass pan on top of the cookie cutter to press it down onto the cookie sheet so there was a tight fit and the beads wouldn’t melt out. Here is the question. My one year old son climbed up and broke the wings off the butterfly. Once these are melted, can they be remelted or is our butterfly a bust?

  • Reply
    January 1, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    I used a toaster over and it caught on fire, very scary. I don’t know why it did that. I wasn’t that worried since I saw so many websites with ideas and photos of people making these before, good thing I did it outside & checked on it

  • Reply
    January 5, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    I first saw this craft on Pinterest and thought it would be a great one to try with my great nieces and nephews. (They all love to come over and try new crafts.) I just googled it to make sure I remembered the correct time and temp, which by the way varies from site to site,I poured my clear plastic pony beads in my muffin tin and then scattered small glass seed beads and small glass E beads, the glass looks so nice floating within the clear plastic. and added a copper hanger before they cooled and they came out great, my next batch will need more color though. As for the odor, I simply lit a few candles and spayed the room while they were in the oven. Thanks and Happy Crafting

  • Reply
    January 12, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I want to make this with my class as a gift for the baby expected in a student his family… Is it correct that I just need beads and a oven??? I don’t need ann

  • Reply
    January 17, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I did these with the kids and we put them out on the grill. The grill was not very hot (less than 300 degrees). Honestly, I got started doing something else….but it was not that long. WATCH YOUR GRILL! The next thing I knew there was black smoke billowing and all of the plastic had “vaporized” and the pan was on fire. There is plastic all over the inside of the grill.
    I’m sure it would be fine if you just paid attention (which I did not – DUH!). But I just wanted to offer up my story as what *not* to do!

  • Reply
    January 25, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Turn on the exhaust fan. Don’t use cooking spray. Put the oven at 250º F. Leave the exhaust fan running for a while. you can stay in another part of the house or outdoors other than getting the project out of the oven. But to improve the remaining smell, put a couple teaspoons of pure vanilla extract in a glass ovenproof pan and leave that in the oven.

  • Reply
    February 11, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Cute ! Really nice idea.
    The muffin form can be used for food afterwards?

  • Reply
    February 25, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I love this idea. I am a babysitter, so I am constantly looking for activities to do with my kids. I think I will definitely be doing this in the near future!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    I am starting a new blog, check it out sometime at!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    March 9, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    I was wondering about using disposable pans, so they work ok, I would be doing mine in an oven, so would 400 at 15 mins work ?

  • Reply
    Rosa Alamo Sostre
    March 29, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Wow a amazing I deas!!! I will be doing this activity with my daugthers…..thanks a lot God Bless You and yours.

  • Reply
    March 31, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    I would like to purchase one of your clown fan pulls. Would you respond to me on how I might make contact and do this.
    Thanks so much,

  • Reply
    April 6, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    an idea of which I wll try whn I make these, is maybe to place a little metal ring in the spot u need whn melting the beads…(I haven’t yet tried it)so tht u dnt have to drill a hole

  • Reply
    April 14, 2013 at 4:42 am

    Super, werden wir auch mal ausprobieren :)
    Viele Grüße

  • Reply
    Alissa Jackson Nolan
    April 16, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Someone posted this today and I though “no way, this is one of those Pinterest projects that ends up nothing like the picture”. So I popped open Rs beads, grabbed a disposable, aluminum, star shaped cupcake holder and powered up the grill. Yes I said grill, I did two of these on our gas grill outside and I think they turned out great. I have even drilled a hole in the star to verify that would work without cracking. We can’t wait to get some more beads (it uses a lot, but maybe you need to get rid of them), and find a large round pan (I am still not willing to try this in anything I plan to eat out of). So give this one a try and enjoy!

  • Reply
    Brooke Melko
    April 20, 2013 at 10:30 am

    This is a great tutorial!!
    I found a melted bead sun catcher project on Pinterest and was planning on giving it a try today with my boys. I decided to do a little more research before we tried it and came across your blog via Google. So glad I did!
    I bought opaque Pony beads and need to get transparent for this project instead (thanks to your note).
    I am very wary of the toxic fumes and will do this project outside. I was going to use my toaster oven, BUT after reading other comments – YIKES – I will try the gas grill. I also bought new trays for cooking and will use the old ones for this and other art projects.
    I am a jewelry artist and will also play with some designs using this technique (most likely using the opaque beads).
    OOOOH the possibilities!
    Thanks so much!
    I am looking forward to checking out the rest of your blog now as well!

  • Reply
    April 21, 2013 at 12:24 am

    I did this today with a dollar store cake pan and a toaster oven. They came out GREAT!! I baked them for 10 minutes or so and they popped right out of the tin as they cooled. Going to make more!

  • Reply
    April 21, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I have done several of the sun catchers in the oven then was told by a couple people, that it is toxic and you may never be able to put food in your oven again and it could be explosive, any thoughts?? Im going to get a toaster oven and do it outside but in the meantime I need to know if I should use my oven for cooking or are there toxins in there now!

  • Reply
    April 24, 2013 at 12:30 am

    I loved making these but instead of drilling a hole in it, I used a knife and made a small hole in it right when I took it out of the oven before it had a chance to cool down

  • Reply
    April 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Agreeing with El on this one- I believe melting plastic is toxic. So, on that note, I used my stoneware pans as a mold and lined them with foil while we were making our beading designs and then ever so carefully lifted the foil out of my stoneware pan and placed it on my grill for the melting process. I had real concerns over melting plastic on dishes that would have food touching them. If you double up the foil, it makes it very thick & holds the shape of the pan mold quite well. For the smaller shapes, I used a canning lid and made a mold for that, too. Worked fabulously, and because we did them outside on the grill, there was no smell in my house. Beautiful project! Can’t wait to hang mine up!

  • Reply
    April 25, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Love this idea! Thankyou

  • Reply
    Anna F.
    April 27, 2013 at 12:43 am

    Thank you! My girls (ages 6 and 3) are making these for their grandmother’s for Mother’s Day this year and my Kindergartner wants to make one for her teacher. They look amazing and the designs they come up with are beautiful. The possibilities are endless for sure.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Can I get packs of beads that have deeper colors at Wal- Mart? Got mine at Dollar Tree.

  • Reply
    April 28, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I will have to look at Wal-Mart.I am unable to drive. A trip to either of those stores is not a part of my routine travels

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    April 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    I imagine so, June, but am not sure. I know you can get the translucent beads in a variety of colors and tints at craft stores such as Michaels and AC Moore (where I got mine).

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    April 28, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    I bet Walmart has a variety. If not, you can order them online through Discount School Supply:
    Good luck finding what you want!

  • Reply
    Heather Stillufsen
    April 29, 2013 at 11:06 am

    LOVE this idea!

  • Reply
    April 29, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    I did a virtual run this year and the medal was made from Mardi Gras beads that were melted. Apparently this is commonly done in the New Orleans area. It was so pretty and reminds me of the ones you made. The woman who made them wrote the name of the race and date on it in gold permanent marker.

  • Reply
    April 30, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    I used this idea and made a rainbow. GREAT! I used a pizza pan for the shape and just kept making my 7 rows of colors. Could do 2 rows of the same color to make a big rainbow.

  • Reply
    May 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I also used cookie cutters (metal ones) on a cake pan to get different shapes. Worked great! I bought the wrong beads, and will be picking up translucent ones tomorrow. Mix with the shapes and other colors. Love the idea!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Do you think a heat gun would work? That way I would do it outside and not have to worry about smoke.
    If anyone has tried it let me know.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    May 2, 2013 at 11:08 am

    We’ve done that too (with the cookie cutters) and loved the result!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    May 2, 2013 at 11:09 am

    I wish I knew, Debbie! I’ve never used a heat gun. Let me know if you try it, though. Except for the first time, we’ve done ours outside on the grill. Others have said they’ve plugged their toaster oven in outside and done it there. Good luck!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Thanks for such wonderful and engaging activities. I just got your book and can’t wait to go through it with my girls – aged 4 and 18 months. The melted bead sun catchers are beautiful. Our project for tomorrow.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    May 7, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Just made some on the grill for daycare mother’s day project. Turned out great!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    tried this wonderful craft. Instead of drilling a hole I used a gromet and worked like a charm.

  • Reply
    May 9, 2013 at 11:49 am

    I tried the grill last night. Waited for the temp to reach 500. Opened the lid and my beads were on fire!? Is 500 to hot?

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Diehl
    May 13, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I was wondering if you had tried the silicone pans? We made sun catchers for a wonderful Sunday School gift for Moms. They were very well liked. Kids had a blast. Thanks for such great ideas.

  • Reply
    May 13, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Would this work the same if you didnt use transparent pony beads?

  • Reply
    Joan Karr
    May 18, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    I evidently did something wrong because my melted beads will NOT come out of my baking pans, so I wind up with no suncatchers and have ruined two good baking pans. Is there a specific type of bead I need to use? I bought FunFusion (Perler) beads from Hobby Lobby (the kind you use an iron to melt them in a design). Do I need to use non-stick pans?
    I love the idea of the suncatchers!

  • Reply
    Marcia Lessard
    May 26, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Thankyou so much just finished trying one used large crystal beads waiting to see how it falls out of the pan Didn;t leave to much of a smell will try more if they turn out

  • Reply
    May 26, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    r u sure they wont ruin my pan???????

  • Reply
    May 27, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Well we just tried this project on the gas grill when after 4 min at 400 degrees the pan burst into flames! Glad my husband was at the grill and not me! Won’t be trying this again. Glad we didn’t do this inside our house!

  • Reply
    Fortune Weeks
    June 1, 2013 at 11:39 am

    We tried it on our gas grill and it worked GREAT! Thanks so much for posting this great tutorial. Where can I follow your blog?

  • Reply
    Fairy Girl
    June 6, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Can we do it in a microwave ? I was just wondering that for your Suncatchers:D
    Ps . l love your blog ! : )

  • Reply
    Z J
    June 13, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Made these in the oven. The second batch we did, we put a glass bead at the top. The glass bead doesn’t melt & you have a hole with almost no effort. Just be sure there are no plastic beads in the hole of the glass bead.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    i was wondering how to tell if they r the right kind of beads…i kno that makes me sound dumb…but i have so many different kinds of beads from projects…i have this smaller thin plastic ones i was wonderin if those would work too..i wanna do it for the hubby for fathers day…have u tried with words in it… i wonder if that would melt right

  • Reply
    June 21, 2013 at 10:43 am

    I saw another one that used clear contract paper at the bottom so the beads wouldn’t move and then you peel it off after

  • Reply
    Amada (pronounced:
    June 21, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    I’m so glad I read your comment Beth. I was already planning on not using pans and things for food, but I was concerned about using my grill for these beads and then using it for food. It’s recommended with polymer clay to not cook food in the oven you cook the clay in because of the oils in the clay, and I wasn’t sure if it was the same for these beads. Have you had any issues with using your grill for food?

  • Reply
    Amada (pronounced:
    June 21, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    I’m SO glad I read this! :) I am planning on doing this on the grill and I’m so glad I know to keep a close eye on them! :) Thank!
    Sincerely, ASC

  • Reply
    June 24, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful art idea! My kids and their cousin made these yesterday and they all loved the craft. We used the grill and it worked great. We appreciate you sharing your inspiration with us!

  • Reply
    June 27, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Love the idea for gifts!!! Question tho. Do all the beads used need to have contact with each other, in order for them to melt together before placing in oven? Or can some spacing be allowed in between? Just Curious, thanks so much! Have a great day ! :)

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    July 6, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    I makes these all the time I make wind chimes n Sun catchers with the beads I have mini ones wring ones medium ones n a one I used from a extra pie pan I have the smell doesn’t bother me anymore I open one window n have my fan that’s above my stove on high I don’t think the smells biggie lol

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    July 8, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    How safe is it to use your oven or BBQ grill to cook food after doing this?
    Just concerned. Would love to do this project.

  • Reply
    Kare Rae
    July 9, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Do you still use your oven for food? Concerned about that.

  • Reply
    Donna w
    July 12, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    I just made and so easy.
    The smell was minimal. Just opened the windows and took them outside right after
    I like the combo of clear and solid beads

  • Reply
    July 13, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Thank you for your inspiration. I was sitting at home BORED out of my mind. Saw this sight, got dressed and headed out to the nearest craft store. Bought a bunch of pony beads and got busy! In the over right now. can’t wait to see what I created!!! Thank You!!

  • Reply
    July 15, 2013 at 11:36 am

    I am thinking of getting a toaster oven too…they are cheap at the thrift store too….love thrift stores.

  • Reply
    July 16, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    My beads didn’t melt. Any ideas why?

  • Reply
    nichole durden
    July 25, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Can you use glass beads?

  • Reply
    July 29, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    That’s exactly what I thought when I read about the smell. So glad she included that detail. We are making some this afternoon.

  • Reply
    July 30, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    I didn’t read all the comments but – We made these and aside from all the other tips – if you use ONE wooden bead ( I used a fairly large one) the plastic wont stick AND you don’t have to drill a hole. I think a a bolt ( or nut? i always forget which is which) would prob do the trick as well.
    good luck

  • Reply
    Marsha Yasin
    August 1, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    I made the suncatcher today and I don’t know what happened. Is it possible I didn’t leave it long enough because it will not come out of the pan. I was afraid it was going to burn. Also I may not have made it thick enough. Can I add more and try it again?

  • Reply
    August 5, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I tried this and they stuck to the pan and I could not get them out and now I am left with pans that are no good. I let them completely cool first and when that did not work I put them back in oven to see if they would pop out when they were hot, no such luck. How can I do this, would spraying a non stick such as Pam do the trick. Thanks

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      June 5, 2014 at 11:02 am

      Wow, I’m sorry about that, Dorothy! What kind of metal was the pan made of? I’ve made so very many melted bead suncatchers at this point and haven’t had that problem. I haven’t used pam but it would probably work. I have lined some of my pans with foil first and that works great. Good luck!

  • Reply
    August 19, 2013 at 10:14 am

    FIY – I set my whole grill on fire using it for this project (at someone’s suggestion), and had to bust out the fire extinguisher. I’d strongly suggest using the oven.

  • Reply
    Art Mom
    August 24, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    This is such a creative idea – I never would have thought of it. Can’t wait to try it out.

  • Reply
    September 21, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    I just made the suncatcher with my granddaughter. We used a muffin tin and did them out on the grill. Worked fine but we can’t get them out of the tin. Ruined the pan and no suncatchers

  • Reply
    September 22, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Use disposable foil baking cake pans, they work great, and can be reused!

  • Reply
    October 12, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    They were too hot on the grill. I lowered my temp in my toaster oven to 350 and baked for 15-20 minutes. Let them cool for 20 minutes and tapped with one knuckle on the back. They fell right out, no problem. Some left bead stain shapes on the aluminum. If at 400, they came out yellowed and burned. Even the pan burned inside. I bought a cheap toaster oven at WalMart and put it outside on a table. The smell inside the oven lingers, so you don’t want to cook food after you melt beads.

  • Reply
    Yanic Arsenault
    October 14, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Great idea. Having fun making these right now!
    I didn’t find the smell to be that bad. I just opened a few windows prior and had the oven fan on while they were melting. Yeah, there was a bit of a smell, but nothing that bad!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    I love this idea! Has anyone thought about doing in this with metal cookie cutters? I think that would be really neat looking too! I think I’ll be making some Christmas presents with ginger man, snow man and star shaped metal cookie cutters!

  • Reply
    October 22, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I love making these! I even made one with me and my hubby’s names with a heart in the middle. I use old metal cookie cutters to make different shapes on a cookie sheet and I made all our Christmas tree ornaments this year. I love the pearl finish beads for ornaments, they come out so shiny and pretty and the translucent bead ornaments look like candy. I’ve made sun catchers for every window in our apt and to send to my kids in Calif. I can get pounds of beads wholesale, so my next project is a Steelers logo for hubby. Thanks for such a great idea.

  • Reply
    CL Reed
    October 31, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    I can’t thank you enough for this project. I was looking for something else and stumbled upon your page.
    Through experimentation, I have also learned that I can use ‘jump rings’ from my jewelry projects to make the hole for the string (instead of my drill).
    Thank you for my new hobby – guess what every is getting for Christmas?! LOL

  • Reply
    January 1, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I like possibilities of this process. Are they holding up over time? I don’t remember where you are in the country, but are you bringing them in for winter?

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    January 20, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    I tried making these outside in a toaster oven.The toaster oven was set at 400 and soon after I put the beads in I started to smell a really bad smell and black smoke was coming from the oven. Basically, it all caught on fire! Maybe temp was too high for the toaster oven? Just beware. So very bummed though..these look so pretty!

  • Reply
    Antony Simonetti
    October 30, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    It is very fun making the suncatcher.

  • Reply
    Lisa C.
    March 10, 2018 at 11:48 am

    I found a use for my old beads. Glad I didn’t throw or give them away. I don’t know if this has been answered already. Can you use toothpicks or something similar to make holes like you do for cookies? Similar to when you hang them up for ornaments? Has anyone tried this or have other suggestions? I’m not opposed to using power tools but I have arthritis and drilling through the discs seemed a pretty delicate task. Thank you for sharing .

  • Reply
    March 18, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    The fumes from melting plastic can be extremely toxic and dangerous to breath. I would not do this activity, especially not with children, unless I consulted with a chemist beforehand.

    • Reply
      Melissa Garrett
      March 20, 2018 at 3:40 pm

      Hi Melissa. I’m the project manager here at The Artful Parent and I wanted to say thanks for bringing up this concern. You may have noticed that Jean added an update about doing this activity outside on the gas grill. You can also move a toaster oven outside for this activity, but you definitely want to make it an outdoor activity. Thanks for reading!

  • Reply
    Aidan Leysath
    December 21, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Do not use any other type of beads besides pony!!! I used Perler beads and they got stuck and ruined the pan.

  • Reply
    December 21, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    I tried this and I could not believe how well it turned out. I’m not really a crafty person so if I could do it, anyone can. My 4 year old had so much fun putting the beads in the baking dishes, my younger kid was more interested in eating the beads (might be a little too young yet).
    I used muffin tins as well as a foil pie baking dish and when the beads melted (I did it on the BBQ) it left no residue even on the foil one I could still use it again.
    Thanks for this I may make some more! X

  • Reply
    April 25, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    What temp did you use in the oven?

  • Reply
    June 1, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    How do you get them out of the pan?

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      June 2, 2019 at 4:24 am

      They contract a bit as they cool and generally just pop right out!

  • Reply
    Sarah Stuart
    October 9, 2019 at 7:14 am

    Ok so just a few questions
    We are making these Friday (a mobile type one like you did for a baby) Do you need to have the foil in n the bottom of the baking tray if You do it with metal cookie cutters ? Or can I just sit the cookie cutters in a cake pan? Is the foil for a reason ? Does it help them come out better? I would have thought the foil sticks to the plastic once it dries? And will the shapes get stuck to the bottom of the pan or come straight off and just need to pop them out of the moulds?

    I am super excited but also nervous to do this as crafts have never gone my way unfortunately

    How hot should I have the bbq and for how long will they need to bake for ?

  • Reply
    Steve Jefferson
    June 3, 2020 at 5:43 am

    Amazing idea for kids – melted Bead Suncatchers. I made it with my son and he was happy to make such an interesting project!

  • Reply
    Donald P Fouts
    October 25, 2020 at 1:46 am

    Amazing idea for kids – melted Bead Suncatchers. I made it with my son and he was happy to make such an interesting project!

  • Reply
    May 9, 2021 at 12:29 pm

    I am going to try this and then use the cake pan shape as a piece of “art” on my outside table or put a plant on top of it, etc. or even a dish of food. It will look beautiful like a plate charger.

  • Reply
    July 9, 2021 at 8:31 am

    Can I ask you the ideal temperature you used in oven please?

  • Reply
    July 9, 2021 at 8:33 am

    It’s fun making the suncatcher!

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