7 New Ways to Make Homemade Suncatchers with Plastic Beads

7+ NEW Ways to Make Homemade Suncatchers with Plastic Beads

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Fun & unique ways to make homemade suncatchers with plastic beads. We use translucent pony beads and melt them on the grill for these melted bead suncatcher crafts.

7 New Ways to Make Homemade Suncatchers with Plastic Beads

So, my friends, I promised I’d share the rest of our melted bead 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… More fun homemade melted bead suncatcher ideas!

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7+ NEW Ways to Make Homemade Suncatchers with Plastic Beads

Homemade Suncatchers with Plastic Beads - Rainbow Melted Bead Suncatcher in a Wood Die Cut Frame

1. Rainbow Suncatcher in a Wood Frame

A friend of Maia’s made this rainbow melted bead suncatcher in a die cut wood frame (purchased at craft store) when she was over for a playdate. She carefully arranged the beads in rainbow order within the square wood frame.

Homemade Suncatchers with Plastic Beads - 3d Shapes

2. 3D Heart and Star Suncatchers

We LOVE these 3-Dimensional Heart and Star Suncatchers that we’ve started making in metal gelatin molds.  I picked up a couple of old metal gelatin molds at a thrift store recently to experiment with and they worked great for the melted bead suncatchers!

Homemade Suncatchers with Plastic Beads - 3d Shapes Collage

A Few Notes About the 3D Suncatcher Shapes

  • We’ve made the homemade 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.

Homemade Suncatchers with Plastic Beads - Shapes within Melted Bead Suncatchers

3. Shapes within Plastic Bead Suncatchers

We made shapes within the melted bead suncatchers using cookie cutters.

Homemade Suncatchers with Plastic Beads - Heart and Star Suncatchers in Embroidery Hoop Frames

Here’s how to make the shapes within the homemade suncatchers:

  • 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.
  • This is much quicker and easier than trying to create shapes bead by bead as when we’ve made jack-o-lantern suncatchers.
  • We’ve created shapes within melted bead suncatchers in both wood embroidery hoop frames and just in metal cake pans (without a frame)
  • 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)

Melted Beads Suncatchers in Embroidery Hoop Frame

4. Spirals within Bead Suncatchers

This is another favorite! We’ve been making spirals, circles, hearts, and words within suncatchers using beads strung on embroidery thread.

Homemade Suncatchers with Plastic Beads - Spirals and Words within Melted Bead Suncatchers

These suncatchers are created much like the melted bead words except that they have additional beads around them. We string beads 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.

Homemade Suncatchers with Plastic Beads - Beaded Star Ornaments

5. Beaded Suncatcher Ornaments

I thought that smaller versions of many of these homemade suncatchers with plastic beads would work well as Christmas ornaments, so we bought a die cut wood ornament from Michael’s. Then we added the plastic pony beads to the empty spaces and melted them.

Homemade Suncatchers with Melted Beads - Sugar Skulls

6. A Sugar Skull Suncatcher

We love this Day of the Dead sugar skull suncatcher! As with the star ornament above, we melted pony beads in a die cut wood frame purchased at Michael’s. A couple 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 disintegrates in the heat).

Homemade Suncatchers with Plastic Beads - Spiral Suncatcher 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.

Want more ways to make homemade suncatchers with plastic beads? Here are our original 7 Ways to Make Melted Pony Bead Suncatchers.

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Fun & unique ways to make homemade suncatchers with plastic beads. We use translucent pony beads and melt them on the grill for these suncatcher crafts. #suncatchers #bead #craftsforkids #artsandcrafts #crafting

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Cindy
    September 27, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Brilliant! Thanks for all of these ideas!

  • Reply
    katie
    September 27, 2013 at 11:15 am

    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?

  • Reply
    shelley davidson
    September 27, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    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!!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    September 30, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    You’re welcome, Cindy!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    September 30, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    September 30, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    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? :)

  • Reply
    jwgmom
    October 3, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    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?

  • Reply
    Ailar
    October 16, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    plus.google.com/103293197351303166503
    November 2, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    I love these suncatcher ideas!! I tried them out today with the cookie cutters (not to detailed ones) and the beads did not melt to the corners…got any ideas? I did notice that they come in different sizes, does that make a difference?

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    January 5, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    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

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    January 5, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    January 5, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Hmm, maybe you didn’t put enough beads inside the cookie cutter?

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    January 5, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    January 5, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Yes to the toaster oven! No idea how they would do in a microwave.

    • Reply
      teri wynne
      March 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm

      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

  • Reply
    Holly
    April 22, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    jessica
    July 9, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    oh my goodness! how creative and awesome all of these sun catchers are! now I wish i had picked up some of the skulls last fall. love it! thank you for sharing! so much happy color.

  • Reply
    jessica
    July 9, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    eeeps! i just realized (i’m quick, i am) that the skull shapes are not simply skull shapes but sugar skulls. how did i miss these from Michaels? my store only had regular old skulls. Sigh. these are just too cool!

  • Reply
    Colleen
    July 30, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Can you use the Perler beads to make suncatchers??? I have a bunch of them. Tried using them with the iron to make the different shapes that they are intended for without such luck.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    April 13, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Try soaking the wood next time before baking. That might help prevent scorching.

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