Melted Bead Stained Glass in Frames — Mondrian-Style!

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Melted Bead Stained Glass -- Mondrian Style! A fun craft project for kids using plastic pony beadsAs you know, we've continued to experiment with melted bead suncatchers and stained glass. I don't know why I didn't think of all these possibilities last year when I first fell in love with melting pony beads. But it's like a world of ideas has opened up!

We've started adding frames to our stained glass. But rather than adding them afterward, we melt the beads in the frames (the better to hold it all together, my dear). We've done some simple frames and then decided to try something a little more elaborate. By sectioning off areas and filling them with different colored beads, we were able to create a Mondrian-style stained glass.

(Art history 101 refresher: Piet Mondrian is famous for his geometric abstract art.)

Here's how we did it:

MATERIALS

  • Electric grill or toaster oven (preferably outside)

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INSTRUCTIONS

1. Use scissors to cut balsa wood into pieces to create the outside frame and place in a foil-covered baking dish.

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2. Section off the interior area of the frame into squares, rectangles, and triangles as desired using smaller sections of the balsa wood and/or wood craft sticks with the rounded ends cut off.

Note: The lightweight balsa wood and the craft sticks cut easily with scissors, but it's a job for adults (and maybe older children), not for little kids. 

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3. Add translucent plastic pony beads into each section.

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Try one color per section…

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…or mix colors if you like. It's okay if there are tiny spaces, as the melting beads will spread a bit, but fill each section as completely as possible.


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4. Cook for 5-15 minutes at 400-450 degrees F. I use an electric grill but a toaster oven outside works well also. The time depends on the size of the stained glass and the temperature. I set my timer for 5 minutes and then check it frequently after that. You want to take it off when the beads are completely melted and flat (ideally) but don't let it get too hot and start to bubble.

Note: The fumes from melting plastic are not good to breathe, which is why we do the melting on the grill outside. If you decide to do it inside, make sure to ventilate well.

5. Remove from heat and let cool completely.


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6. This step is probably optional, but I used a hot glue gun to add a dab of glue at each intersection of wood to help hold it together. The melted plastic seems to hold the entire thing together, but I wanted to make sure.

7. Peel the foil off the back of the stained glass.

While you have the hot glue gun out, you can glue a loop of ribbon at the top to hang it if you like.


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8. Hang in a window and enjoy your new Mondrian-style stained glass with the light shining through! 

If you're looking for more melted bead suncatcher ideas, here are my melted bead suncatcher posts so far:

    This post contains affiliate links.

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    15 Comments

    • Reply
      Jenn Baker in SC
      August 22, 2013 at 11:25 am

      Sweet! I love all these ideas!

    • Reply
      Agnes
      August 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      This is beautiful! I love it.

    • Reply
      Nichole
      August 22, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      That is awesome.

    • Reply
      Sarah m
      August 22, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      I love this! I love kids art projects based off of artists’ pieces. Do you think popsicle sticks could work instead of the specific wood you used? I’ve never bought balsa wood before.
      Sarah M

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      August 23, 2013 at 7:41 am

      Sarah, yes, we used popsicle sticks for the interior sections. I think they would work fine for the outer frame as well.

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      August 23, 2013 at 7:41 am

      Thanks, Nichole!

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      August 23, 2013 at 7:42 am

      Thanks!

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      August 23, 2013 at 7:42 am

      :)

    • Reply
      Kasey Hope
      August 24, 2013 at 10:40 pm

      Do you think something like this would work for a regular mosaic using the beads? Or would the beads melt together in a way that the design would get lost? I own a children’s art studio and I know my little artists would love this!

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      August 26, 2013 at 6:01 am

      Yes, definitely, Kasey. You can make a mosaic with the beads and the design will be retained as the beads melt. You can see an example in this post: https://artfulparent.com/2012/06/making-melted-bead-suncatchers.html
      Also, I’m finishing up another melted bead suncatcher post to publish today that has a good example.

    • Reply
      patty
      January 9, 2014 at 10:56 am

      I am looking for classes to take in this feel of carft are you in Tampa please let me knowI would really appreciate a response Thank You patty

    • Reply
      adidas ราคา
      April 24, 2014 at 11:20 am

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    • Reply
      sandy blue
      May 7, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      When you bake it, does the wood turn darker? It looks like it does

    • Reply
      Shannon
      June 10, 2014 at 9:28 pm

      How about a metal hanger instead of wood

    • Reply
      laurie
      June 17, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      The mentioning or using a grill but I read el;electric so a gas one is out of the question because of the flame?

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