I got this idea from Jean at The Artful Parent. She helps me feel like such a creative mom because she's so innovative and resourceful with the projects she comes up with. It's mostly ideas for stuff that I have laying around the house anyway. My daughter has such a artistic side to her as most kids do her age, so I knew this project would be right up her alley.
I saw this idea for homemade suncatchers on Jean's site, and had to try it out. We have tons of these pony beads that the kids make necklaces with. On one such day, my li'l guy accidentally tipped over the organized beads and they were all instantly mixed together. So, I took those mixed beads and began with a creation.
Jean says she put her beads in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. What seemed to work better for me was 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Apparently, my stove is a wimp! Then, take them out of the oven and let them cook in the pan. Takes about one hour for them to cool. Then, you should be able to just tip them out of the pan. I had to gently pry the suncatchers I baked in glass or nonstick pans. The cheaper the pan, the easier it is removal!
Here's my video tutorial...stay tuned for the outtakes at the end -- my house is hectic, but my kids are quite the little hams!
- Use the cheap aluminum tins you can buy at the grocery store. My creations seemed to slip out of them so much easier than using my glass baking dishes or my non-stick baking dishes.
- Dumping a bunch of random beads into the dish seemed to make for prettier suncatchers. The more I tried to make a design or write letters, the more frustrated I became, and the end product wasn't all what I expected -- you can't really control the melting process.
- Cook in a toaster oven outside if you have one. Jean warned me that the house would smell pretty darn potent, and she was right. I don't have a toaster oven, so I had to cook these bad boys in my oven, and the house did smell like a plastic factory for about an hour or so, but the smell didn't stay. And, after lighting a few candles, the house's smell was back to normal (which on some days isn't so much a great thing).