Making Sun-catchers

So Abby and I have a new favorite craft... making sun-catchers by melting translucent pony beads into neat designs and patterns.  I saw a few different people making them on Pinterest, and they looked simple enough, so we tried and we loved it!

All you need are translucent pony beads (or any plastic bead, so I've read) and metal baking tins and/or cookie cutters.  I pulled out my old and cruddy tins... and since I'm not sure if any chemical residue is left behind in the tins, I will only use them for craft projects from now on.

 It helps to have a bag of mixed colors and an entire bag of clear... you'll probably use a lot of clear as filler.

 Start by planning out your design and laying it out in a single layer in your pan of choice.

Abby chose a pan on the smaller side, which worked out well for her attention span.

 Intricate patterns/designs in large pans do take a significant amount of time... but it turned out cute.
After your designs are complete, put them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

These things WILL smell up your house (with possibly toxic fumes?) so make sure to have windows open and maybe play outside while they are cooking.  The smell goes away quickly as soon as they start to cool.

If we stick with this craft I may have to buy new tins to use exclusively for these projects because, as you can see, it picked up all of the scratches from the pan.  Still looks nice though!

We have done this a couple times now and stick them to our windows with double sided tape.  You can also drill holes in them and hang them with fishing wire, or I've even considered placing a single metal bead at the top to see if that holds it shape after heating.  Yes... they do look MUCH better when actual SUNSHINE is coming through the windows, but we're lacking in that area right now.
My next goal is to make something elaborate using an entire cookie sheet.

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