Sunday, August 11, 2013

DIY Ponybead Suncatchers

This is such an easy way to make cute, surprisingly hardy little sun catchers. We made a couple of these last year and then made a couple more in our recent Kindergarten unit, "S is for Sun."

To make them yourself, you need some transparent pony beads, which look like this: 

Be sure they're transparent!

You'll also need a non-stick muffin pan that you will NOT be using for food ever again. I picked up a heart-shaped silicone pan for ten cents at a garage sale, and I got the small circle pans for a couple dollars each at Hobby Lobby.

Arrange the beads in the muffin cup. You can't be a control freak about it because you're not able to make a PERFECT design if that's what you're going for. But they look cute even if you just let your kids drop in multiple colors in no pattern at all.

To melt the beads you have two options:
  1. Crack the windows open and bake at 400 degrees until they're done. The instructions I found said 20-25 minutes but that was NOT enough. I kept checking it every few minutes or so until they were ready, so I'm not sure how long it would have taken if I'd left the oven door closed the whole time. My guess is 30-35 minutes. I think it varies widely though because we made them with a friend and ours was done WAY before hers was, so you just have to watch it. That may be due to our oven having uneven heat though.
  2. You could also stick them in the center of your heated grill for 10 minutes or so, just be sure to check progress every few minutes.

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