How to Make Pony Bead Suncatchers
We spent a little time this week making these famtastic suncatchers. They turned out amazing!
So much so, that the kids have already decided they want to do Halloween and Christmas ones too..
We have tried various crafts over the last 11 years, but I can honestly say this one is my favourite.
The kids spent a few hours lazing around the garden making their designs with a big box of pony beads
and a cocktail stick.
This craft is super easy and can be adapted to the age an capabilities of your kids.
You could just toss the beads in the dish if you’re not looking for a specific design or sit for hours getting your design just right.
We decided to make one each and I filled a fairy cake tray with extra beads to make smaller circles for underneath.
How To Make
Melted Pony Beads.
- Metal non stick baking dishes in various sizes. I used an old cake pan, mini oval tart dishes and a 12 hole fairy cake tray.
You could also line a baking sheet with tin foil and place metal cookie cutters on the top. Fill these with the beads and your finished result will come out in the shape of your chosen cookie cutter.
We are going to use Christmas cookie cutters to make some festive pony bead decorations for our Christmas tree.
So, what else do you need?
- Cocktail sticks to help you place your beads.
- 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)
1. Take your pony beads and a cocktail stick if using and make your pattern or shape inside your chosen dish.
I made a flower design in mine and the kids made an Emoji face, and a rainbow design.
2.Place the beads in a few at a time and arrange them where you need them.
3. Make sure you fill the whole shape with beads. Insert extra beads into any spaces you see and don’t leave any gaps.
The beads melt to fill the space, so you need a single even layer of beads and then a few extra, so the suncatcher is the same thickness all over.
The plastic melts and fills the holes as it levels out.
As it cools it contracts a little and pull away from the sides. You dont need any grease-proof paper or oil as the metal pans are non stick.
Heat your stained glass sun catchers carefully
4. Once you have placed your beads, It’s recommended to bake these for 5-15 minutes at 400-450 degrees F(200°C)
I used my electric oven in the kitchen when everyone was out and I had extra ventilation with the extractor fan on and the doors open as the melting plastic does produce fumes you don’t want to breath in.
If you’re concerned, you can also do these outdoors with a BBQ. Just keep an eye out as they will melt so much quicker on the fierce heat of a BBQ.
5. The melting time of your beads will vary depending on the size of the stained glass and the temperature you heat them at.
I set my timer for 10 minutes but it actually needed nearer 20 in my oven at 200°c
Note: The fumes from melting plastic are not good to breathe, which is why you can do the melting on the BBQ outside or with really good ventilation.
Cool Down Your Melted Pony Beads
6. After the pony beads have melted, remove them carefully from the heat.
I was worried the plastic would be runny and we would lose the patterns but the mix was still quite thick and stable.
I removed the melted pony beads from the oven and put them on the path outdoors away from everyone to cool.
7. Let them cool completely. 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 Stained Glass Suncatchers Look Amazing!
Who Knew These Could Be Made From Simple Pony Beads!
8. Hold your suncatcher up to the light and admire!
We used a small drill bit to drill a small hole in each piece and wired them together.
The kids want to add strings of beads too but this will be another days project.
We hung our plastic bead suncatchers in the garden using short lengths of garden wire but you could use pipe cleaners, string or thread too.
If you enjoyed this garden project why not try some others from poats like,
So there you go, the effect is stunning and you can bet this isn’t the last time we make these.
Give it a go and let us know how you get on by leaving a comment below.