Saturday, May 26, 2012

DIY Sun Catcher

This is an experiment and work in progress so please bear with me on this. Several people on Craftster have posted about making things out of melted plastic beads. I decided to make a sun catcher for my mom's new sun room.

What you need:
large bag of translucent plastic beads
oven safe pan, bowl, etc

These are the beads I picked up at JoAnn's. They were $6.99, and I had a 50% off coupon I used on it.

I decided to make one large piece, and hang some smaller circles under it. So I used a pie pan, and cupcake pan. 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Put the beads in a single layer of the bottom of your pan. Make sure they go all the way to the sides and there are no gaps. This will give the most effective look. 
Place the pans in the oven. I did both at once to save time.
WARNING! This WILL smell bad. Be sure to turn on a fan and crack a window.
I let mine bake about 20 minutes. Times will vary depending on the oven and the beads. Just keep a close eye on them. Ideally you want to top to be very smooth and not bumpy, but if you have some bumps, it could look neat too.
When the beads have melted, removed the pans and let cool. About 10 minutes should be fine. Pieces should just pop or fall out. 

As you can see on the large one, the edges are a little bumpy. If you don't like this, add a little more beads around the edge from what I did. As you can see I did some small ones in single colors and rainbow.
I even melted a couple separately in a pan to see how far they'd go on their own. I don't know what I can can do with them, but they're cute.
Here is a closeup of one small piece. Please note the little bubbles. This will happen, and adds to the effect.

My next step will be to file off a few excess pointy parts and drill small holes in the pieces so I can tie them together so they hang. I will post photos when I'm all don't with my pieces.

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