Sunday, December 1, 2013
Christmas Tree Sun Catcher Ornaments ~ Easy & Fun!
I bought a pack of 1500 Pony beads from Walmart earlier this year for about 6.00, they are the opaque ones so I figured these would work better for ornaments instead of sun catchers since they are not really a translucent / see through like we would need for sun catchers. I have since found the "clear" pony beads online and have those on order for the sun catchers.
It warmed up just enough to be able to open the windows for a little fresh air, which turned out to be REALLY important. The one thing I do not recall seeing in any of the instructions for making these was the fact that they put off a LOT of smoke when melting in the oven. You will need to run your exhaust fan and an open window is REALLY advised. All of the instructions I have found call for the oven to be set at 400 for 15-20 minutes. After they melted I made the mistake of pulling out both "muffin" pans and the 2nd one cooled to fast to allow me to poke the holes in them. I had to put them back in the oven to soften them back up, this time I only put the oven on 350 and it did not smoke. I am not certain if this was because they were all smoked out, but I do feel that 400 degrees is just TOO hot. 350 degrees worked and it did not smoke so I will use that on my next attempt to see if this stops the excessive smoking and judge the melting time.
Here is what you will need
Pony Beads - Clear or Opaque
Muffin pans - I used 2
Oil spray or rubbed into each muffin tin
Penny Nail, knitting needle or other pointed metal object to poke holes.
Prepare the muffin tins with oil. Insert the pony beads of your color choice in each one. You can add them in a design or pattern, make letters in them or just dump a mix of colors in them to melt freestyle. Only make them about 1 bead deep and fill all the spaces. The children enjoyed this part A LOT!
Bake in oven ~ originally 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, if they are not melted keep checking every 5 minutes to until all are melted. Pull out of oven and immediatley poke the holes in them while they are hot. You will have to work quickly as they cool off quickly. I used a small steak knife but NEXT time I will use some of my husbands nails and let them sit in the hole while I work the others. There was about 4 of the ornaments that the holes filled back in.
After they have cooled off, tip over the muffin pan and hit the bottom of each one to get the ornament to come out.
I washed ours in some hot soapy water to get the oil off the bottom of them. As they dried I cut the fishing line into about 6" lengths. Put the line through the hole and tie into double knots. You are ready to hang them now!
Here are a few pictures of the finished product :)
Next project we are going to use cookie cutters & baked dough for some more variations to homemade ornaments and gifts.
Have fun & remember what you teach them today is what they will remember when they are old!