This pumpkin themed suncatcher is a fantastic craft to make this autumn.
We do this craft outdoors but it can easily be done indoors.
The beads need heating up to melt them which we do on a disposible barbeque but this is also possible in your home oven as long as you make sure there’s a lot of ventilation as melting plastic shouldn’t be breathed in.
Right so lets get started!
This pony beads suncatcher craft is a perfect craft for all ages and abilities.
It’s wonderful to practise fine motor skills as well as our artistic side, just make sure there’s an adult on hand to help with the hot bits.
After we finished our sun-catchers, we decided our pumpkin suncatcher was so fab we made other types! Check them out here.
So, Here’s How To Make An Autumn Suncatcher With Melted Pony Beads.
- Cocktail Sticks to help you place your beads.
- A metal cake tin or baking tray -an old one preferably as the beads contain chemicals you wouldn’t want near food.
- Shaped metal pumpkin cookie cutters or a mini round cake tin. Ours was 10cm in diametre
- Pony beads in your desired colours.
- Wire or thread
- Gas or electric grill (preferably outside but you can do it indoors with very good ventilation)
- Some sand paper can be helpful too.
- A small electric drill with small drill bit
- Clear thread or ribbon of choice.
INSTRUCTIONS: To start your suncatcher.
- Firstly, lay out your cake tin or tray somewhere flat. Then lay your chosen cookie cutter or cake pan on the top of the tray.
- Take your pony beads and sort them into the colours you’d like to use. For us we used autumnal colours, red, orange, yellow, browns and the odd green and purple.
- Place the beads in a few at a time and arrange them where you need them or toss them in for a random design.
- Make sure you fill the whole shape with beads, especially in any narrow edges.
- Insert extra beads into any spaces you see and don’t leave any gaps but don’t over fill the shapes to high. The beads will melt to fill the spaces, so you need an even layer, plus about half as many in the gaps so the shape is the same thickness all over. (They will contract a little when they cool and pull away from the sides. You don’t need any grease-proof paper or oil as the metal pans are non stick)
Heat your stained-glass autumn suncatchers carefully
It’s recommended to bake these for 10 minutes at 200°C
We used an oven but you can use a barbeque outside.
I used an oven but a barbeque outside works too. If you use the oven, try to make sure everyone is out or have extra ventilation and your doors open.
Using a barbeque makes the plastic bubble slightly, so air bubbles are trapped inside but this is a nice effect too.
The melting time will vary depending on the size of the stained glass and the temperature. I set my timer for 10 minutes but the pumpkin actually needed 20 in my oven at 200°c
While your waiting, you could check out some of these other fantastic Autumn crafts and activities
Cool Down Your Melted Pony Beads
After the pony beads have melted and are smooth. CAREFULLY remove from the oven.
I was worried the plastic would be runny and we would lose the patterns but the mix was still quite thick and stable.
We remove the melted pony beads from the oven and put them on the path outdoors away from everyone to cool.
Let them cool completely which only takes around 5 minutes.
The bead shapes started making a popping cracking sound almost immediately, which was just the plastic condensing back into its solid shape and coming away from the metal tins.
Our Autumn Suncatcher Looks Amazing!
Who Knew These Could Be Made From Simple Pony Beads!
Once the shapes cooled, we removed the cookie cutter by gently pressing out the shapes. If your creations get stuck, gently tease the mould outwards and this should release the plastic shape. You can add other shapes like we did to make it longer.
Or why not try making some autumn leaves too??
We used a small drill bit to drill a hole in each piece and tie a length of thread to each one all different lengths.
Then the kids used rough sandpaper to take off any rough edges to the shapes
We then used a drill to make a hole before we hung our pumpkin. We decided to set it over the window.
The low Autumn sun shines through this window and fills kitchen with a wonderful orange glow.
This is a perfect craft to do in Autumn and the kids learned so much as well as having fun using their fine motor skills.
I hope you enjoy this craft. Please drop us a comment and let us know what you think of our autumn suncatcher? I’d love to know what other designs you come up with.
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It’s crammed with all sorts of activities to keep the family entertained. Check out our Facebook page for loads more ideas too!!