Weekend Whims- Suncatchers!

We are loving making these sun catchers from melted beads! I saw this project the other day on The Artful Parent and got really excited! Have you tried it yet???

The directions tell you to cook the beads in the oven on 400 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes. Those directions were updated to use a gas grill outside or a toaster over outside because of the smell of the melting beads. So I was excited about the project, but also a bit nervous about the project.

I don’t have a toaster or a gas grill, so we had to resort to the oven. But I do have an oven vent and doors and windows that open… So we decided to try it out inside in the oven. And luckily, and to my surprise, the smell wasn’t bad at all! It did smell a little, but honestly, not nearly as bad as my curry dish I cooked later that day. GROSS!!! I’m sure the melting plastic is worse for you to sniff than the curry, but it didn’t feel that way to me that day!!!!

We decided to make a wind chime with the big one. we had this froggy wind chime that we’ve had for quite some time and had fun with, but it’s been broken for a while, so we decided to repurpose it into our own wind chime! And I used my Dremel to drill holes in the melted bead sun catchers. I tried to do it with a toothpick as soon as I got it out of the oven, but that didn’t work for me.

And for the little ones, we painted a wooden dowel with our ice cube paints and tied them on the stick in groups of three! These are going to make cute little gifts!

I see these again in our near future! Think Olympics…. hmmmmm…..

Shared with these Link Parties!

Disclaimer: I am not a scientist and I didn’t come up with this project. I have never used a gas oven or a grille! I have only made these as I described above and don’t really know what other temperatures or times. Please be safe and do not cook around children! Please see blog disclaimer below!

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  1. Sheila Perl says:

    WOW! Those are beautiful suncatchers, I cannot wait to try this myself! Thank you!

  2. What a neat idea – I think I’ll have to do that this week with the kids!!
    Found your blog through Skip to My Lou linky party

  3. I need your email so I can send you some photographs of what I made last night! I cannot believe how FUN this craft project was and I was amazed on how the beads melted on the grill. (NOTE: If you leave me a comment on one of my blog posts, I will be able to get your email then) I cannot wait to show you what I made! This craft project has lots of possibilities and I am thinking about making some Christmas ornaments too! Please contact me today, as I want to share with you what I made from your tutorial! Have a great day! Valerie

  4. LOVE this idea and would love to try it with my kids BUT I am curious what type of beads you used.

    • I just used basic pony beads from the craft store. We also used pony beads rom the dollar store, too. both worked fine. I don’t know why they re called pony beads actually… Hopully this helps you find them. I know they are sold at most all craft stores.

  5. I saw these too and I’m hoping to make them, just need to get some clear beads. Yours look wonderful. I like alot.

  6. That is such a great idea. Something fun to do with the kids before the summer is over. thanks

  7. Do you have to use the clear-ish beads or can you use the solid color beads?

    • Nope! We used both. The clear ones are better for letting light through and sparkling in the sun, but you don’t have to use the clear ones. I used the solid ones when I did my Olympic Rings windchime I did, with clear in the middle. Have fun!

  8. oh hey, that’s really beautiful!!

    thanks for this tutorial.
    i shared it on my blog.

    best wishes to you, doro K.

  9. wow, this is a good idea!!

  10. Did you line the pan with anything or did they pop right out?

    • Nope! I didn’t line the pan. They do, they just pop right out. Not a bit of residue is left behind. I did actually go to Goodwill and pick up some old pans so that I wouldn’t be using my good ones, just in case there is anything unseen residue left behind. But I think if you clean them well, it’s probably fine to use your own. Have Fun!!

      • Would it be okay to line them with something like wax paper? Or would it not work as well? I’m just interested just in case–as a precaution.

      • I honestly have no idea! I’ve never tried the wax paper. Give it a shot! If you’re worried about the pan just grab a cheapie from your local thrift shop. Have fun!

    • Can you use a a table top grill ,like you would use for hotdogs and hambugers —THANKS Ron

  11. Saw you on Pinterest… how awesome is this craft?? I organize a children’s group and this would be such a fun group craft… they can all do their own desings! Thanks!!

  12. Hey I’m Feeling Crafty! I just out did myself with your inspiration and just created a night light cover from melting pony beads! Check it out on my blog: http://nikitaland.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/how-to-make-a-night-light-cover-from-melting-beads/

  13. WonkyWonderful says:

    Great project idea! I have been wanting to do a windchime/suncatcher type of craft – this is perfect :)

  14. That’s inspired

  15. Rachael Bratton says:

    Me and my girls just made these! They were so excited! The smell was more intense than i thought it would be, but we just opened a window and it was fine. They got alarmed when they heard them drying. They were poping in the pan. We cant wait for them to finish cooling!!!! :)

    • Oh, they did pop a little, but I don’t even remember noticing this very much! The smell for me was actually very slight. I don’t know how it’s turned out that way, but I’m glad it did! Glad you enjoyed it!

  16. We tried this last week. When the beads melted the didn’t melt together.. a few did but not many? I did this in the oven 350 for 30 min. Anyone else has this issue?

    • I haven’t heard of this! I’m curious myself why it wouldn’t melt together… hmmm… I’d try leaving it in a bit longer, maybe, if you can stand the smell. I’m sorry I don’t have a better answer for you!

      • Turn up the temp on the stove. I had mine @ 400 & still had to turn it up to 425 for them to melt good.

  17. Can you use non-stick pans or do they need to be bare metal? The photos all look like bare metal.

    • I think it can be either. I used the non-stick becuase those are my good pans, and for this I bought just plain metal ones at Goodwill, just in case!

    • Hey Stacie, I have made tons of these already and YES, you can use non-stick pans, and even those cheap throw away metal pans too to make these suncatchers. Also, did you know that you can even just place a design of the beads on a cookie sheet and melt them on the grill too! If you, for instance, make a flower on a cookie sheet, you can hot glue the flower to a hair clip for your kids! They will love it! Or, make some red hearts for Valentines Day too! Have fun!

  18. Such a Great idea I ll do it with My little one .
    I saw u on Pinterest

  19. I was wondering if you sprayed the pans with something to get to finished project out of them easier or just left them alone?

  20. Saw this in Pinterest, and I’m so glad I pinned it! Making these is so fun and easy, made a few tonight as Christmas gifts. The small ones are a good size for ornaments :)

  21. Jamie Conn says:

    What a great craft to do with the kids! Thanks for sharing! :)

  22. Reblogged this on lovelyseasonscomeandgo and commented:
    wow these are so cute and looks like a fun craft to make

  23. Deni Harris says:

    you don’t need to drill holes in the melted plastic, just take an ice pick, heat it over a candle, and stick it thru, works great!

  24. Beth Lowran says:

    I saw this craft on Pinterest yesterday. Surprisingly, I was just at Rite Aids (Shelby Twp., MI) and they had a craft item for sale. A tube about 7″ long full of while, clear and different tones of pink on clearance for $.64 a tube! I can’t wait to make this w/ my baby grands this weekend – also in honor of my mother and sister who died of breast cancer. Thank you for posting this idea! Happy New Year. Beth Lowran

  25. Heather Linde says:

    Has anyone tried this with silicone pans? Just curious if it would work because there are fun small shapes in those

  26. Lee Ann Waldo says:

    I’ve made a number of these over the past 2-3 years. I’ve also used other items along with the pony beads.You can use a glass bead or other item( button, shell, etc) instead of having to drill a hole. Just place the bead or whatever so that the hole in it can be used to hang with. I also use some solid colored beads, tiny seed beads, buttons, glitter, anything that won’t melt to add texture and make more interesting. The melted beads hold the non melted items in place. Happy crafting!

  27. I just made one of these on a pizza pan, so it’s 12″ of beautiful! Came right out of the pan too! I made it with bright pony beads and I am going to head to the Dollar Store and purchase a glass candle holder and glue it to the platter to make a CUPCAKE STAND! Check out my new platter on my blog when you get the chance! http://www.nikitaland.wordpress.com

  28. Thanks for the tips we are making some this wednesday :-D Can’t wait

  29. Love this craft!!! My sons and I put them in a buddy cake pan an it came out looking like a wreath. We will definitely be making a red and green one for Christmas time.

  30. Love these! We will definitely try them all the waaaay up here in Sequoia! Thanks for sharing the idea!

  31. Can you use any beads???

  32. waggore says:

    Great idea. We have so many of those beads and we can only wear so many bracelets and necklaces- so thanks for the idea!


  33. Crystal says:

    When do you take them out of the pan

  34. Shelley says:

    My oven only appears to go to the highest setting of 250 deg c would this temp work if I leaved them in for longer ?:)

  35. cheyenne Boyd-Shaw says:

    Saw on pintrest and ours are actually in oven. Been over 45min and still not melting together:/ wonder why? Will keep on till melts all the way I guess?!?

  36. is safe to do is gas ovens?

    • I don’t have one, so I don’t know! I’d assume it’s as safe as an electric oven! Like I have mentioned before, I just tried it the way I explained (with the doors open and kids outside)! Please read the other comments to get a better idea! Thanks!


  38. Hi! I saw your project a couple days ago on Pinterest and I thought it would be great to try it, but it didn’t turn out as expected. Everything went fine until the moment we had to take them off from the pan and they did not simply pop out. They suck so hard to the pan that we had to re-heat in and scrapp off the remains of the project. I really likes this idea so could you recommend any tips so this doesn’t happen again?

    • I’m not sure what to say! I’m not an expert, by any means! The few times we’ve done it, they have always popped right out. I’m sorry it didn’t work for you. If it was me, I’d experiment with either leaving in them less or more time. I’m sorry I’m not more help. I honestly haven’t perfected this project and I’ve only made it based on how I described It in the blog post.

  39. Melissa says:

    I have seen numerous Pinterest posts that use those cute silicone shaped pans.

  40. 400 degrees Farenheit for 25 minutes? How long do I wait to pop it out? How long does it take to cool?

    • Like I said, in the post, I’m not an expert! I’ve done it twice. I don’t remember how long it takes to cool. And I popped it out when the pan was cool enough to touch! It’s all a big experiment for me too!

  41. connie mann says:

    Tried making the suncatchers this afternoon, was very disappointed , couln not get them o0ut of the pans. What did i do wrong?

    • I’m sorry it didn’t work out! And I’m sorry I can’t tell you what you did wrong either! And I’m sorry you’re disappointed! Like my post says, I’m not a scientist, and don’t have all the answers to this craft. It luckily worked for me the few times I’ve made it, but I don’t have all the answers for it!

    • Angela Greene says:

      I’ve made the suncatchers before but I use metal cookie cutters instead of cupcake pans. They pop right out and all the different shapes they have the possibilities are endless.

  42. I took this a step further and tried using a metal cookie cutter inside a cake pan and put beads inside the cookie cutter this worked out wonderful with glow in the dark beads our shape we used was an airplane.

  43. These are beautiful and look really fun to make!

  44. I’m not sure if ours will come out but I have been looking for months for an idea my grandchildren can make for their parents for Christmas and finally thanks to you we now have a great project we can make! Thank you! I am very excited!

  45. How do you remove the baked beads from the pan?

  46. This is really cute I want to try it do you think a microwave would work I have an old one I could use outside I wonder how long it would take to melt them in a microwave :)

  47. I made these several months ago after seeing something similar on pinterest. I’m a teacher and had wanted to make one of the crayon wreaths for my room – when that didn’t come together as I hoped, I changed plans and projects. Using 9″ cake pans, I made one solid sun catcher and for the second one I place a metal star shaped cookie cutter in the center. Both came out great. I then used hot glue to put crayons sticking out around the outer edge of the solid catcher (crayons sort of look like rays of sun) and then hot glued the catcher with the star cut out on top of the crayons … like a sun catcher/crayon sandwich! It turned out super cute!! I’m not sure why others are having problems with the beads not melting or coming out of the pans — unless they are using the wrong kind of beads (i.e. Perler beads made for fuse boards would definitely not come out of a pan!). Mine were made in toaster oven at 425F for 15- 20 mins (or longer if needed) and always popped right out of the pan as they cooled.

  48. Awesome! Can you think of an idea to write something on them? Pre or post baking… Like the event, or a name? I know you’ll come up with a great idea… :-) thank you!

  49. christena says:

    I have made these using cookie cutters and it does leak a bit under them. I wonder if you could set a weight of some type on the cookie cutter to avoid this? Anyway it was only a tiny bit where the cookie cutter didn’t sit level and was no big deal. I believe it could be sanded off but it didn’t bother me. I made a hole for hanging with a metal skewer as soon as I took the beads out of the oven and it stayed open; I only made one so it was easy to do that, not sure if you could do it fast enough if you needed multiple holes. I also heated a skewer to push it through and that worked to make holes also; I actually liked it better as I could do it from the back as it leaves a rim around where you pull the skewer out and it looked better on the back, to me.


  1. [...] using the same technique we used to make the sun catchers, we made the Olympic Rings and medals. Put the beads in a muffin tin, cook at 400 degrees for 25 [...]

  2. [...] Kids Crafts, Melted Beads Sun Catchers, Photography, Pony Beads 0 I got my inspiration from I’m Feelin’ Crafty’s blog and just had to try this craft project for myself!  And, I am glad that I did!  This absolutely [...]

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