Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pinterest Project #8 - Let's Melt Some Plastic Beads!

Melted Inexpensive Pony Beads = Suncatcher!

This idea was pinned to my "Gotta Try" board. You place a single layer of plastic beads into a metal pan and heat them at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Here's the original pin -->

So here's what I did ---
I grabbed a couple of pans. I thought this heart pan would work nice and I had some small fluted pans (honestly don't know where these came from!) I put a small nut into the heart pan - thinking that it would leave a hole for hanging. I placed both of these on a cookie sheet to make it easier to handle.

 Then I just started filling the heart with beads I thought would work well together. It was taking quite awhile to pick out these colors and get them into a single layer, so I enlisted the help of Shawn to make it go faster (and to give him something different to do). I asked him if he wanted to help me with an experiment. "Are we going to blow something up?" He asked with a smile. "No, not today...we're going to melt something."

When I told Shawn I was going to melt the plastic beads in the oven he asked, "Isn't that kind of toxical?" Gotta love him!  I turned the exhaust fan onto high just make sure it didn't smell too "toxical", lol.

The little pan took about 20 minutes. The larger heart took about 25 minutes.

I had Shawn put some blue opaque beads into the little one because I wanted to see if these would look as good as the transparent ones. They came out interesting -but not for a suncatcher. They would look good as a melted bowl perhaps.

Isn't this heart-shaped one pretty right out of the oven?
 I did a second run of these using a round cake pan that was smaller than the heart one. I noticed from my first trial that the nut worked -but wasn't really needed. To create a hole just leave beads out of a small area. So that is what I did on the round one. I also put the beads into a design on my second try. I think I like it better randomly placed.

I strung the heart and the round shape together and placed them into the garden. The sun bounced off them as the spun around with the breeze.

 Here's the little guys from the fluted pan. It's better to use a smooth-sided pan. These have sharp edges.


  1. So cool! Was their a bad smell when it was melting? It looks fantastic and I love the heart shape.

    1. There was a slight smell when I would open the oven...but not bad at all with the exhaust fan running on the oven.

  2. Hello Theresa, How long did you let them sit in the pans till you removed them? Was the pan ok, after baking in them this way?

    1. I just let them stay in there until cool enough - I don't remember exactly how long, but not long. They pop right out when cool and didn't harm the pans at all.

  3. Hi Theresa! I'm Jennifer from Mulit-Tasking Mama, I LOVE this project and it looks like something my 2yr old would be totally amazed with. I have a quick question. Do you think this would work in the silicone pans or do they need to be metal to get hot enough and let the beads melt properly? The reason I'm asking is I have a Mickey Mouse shape pan but it's silicone. I thought it would be a fun shape.

    1. I've never tried the silicone pans with the plastic beads - have used them with crayons a lot. I bet they would work just fine. Might take a bit longer to melt. Give it a try and let us know how it worked!