So I bought this pack of beads from the Dollar Tree to make a super cute beaded something or others with the kiddos, but then I learned that beads can be melted! So of course we had to try it, because who doesn’t like melting plastic. Right…?!?! I would like some Melty beads in my life! When I was a kid I remember sitting behind a friends shed with some plastic and a lighter, dripping plastic fire-balls onto sticks and rocks… I mean melting plastic into beautiful designs. We were plastic rebels, and must have been really smart about our dripping plastic fireball art, because we never caused a real fire… I don’t plan on letting my kiddos know about my dripping plastic fire-ball days, but I will start them off with melting plastic beads, in a controlled environment, with their mother, in the toaster oven… outside! Lol.
MATERIALS NEEDED TO MAKE COOKIE CUTTER MELTY BEADS
- Colorful Acrylic Round Plastic Beads (more common bead to use for this project are called Pony Beads or Perler Beads)
- Cool Cookie Cutters! We used Heart, Dinosaur, and Unicorn Cookie Cutters!
- Tin Foil
- Flat baking pan
- Portable Toaster Oven (So that you can do this outside – melting plastic is stinky!!)
- Cool Kids… to help you place all the beads into the cookie cutters (I mean throw them all over the floor). FACEPLAM!
METHOD TO MAKE COOKIE CUTTER MELTY BEADS
Step 1: Collect your supplies! Beads can be found very inexpensively at the dollar store. I bought my cookie cutters from Michaels, but one side note about using coloured cookie cutters is that the colour will leach into your melty beads. So unless you don’t mind that happening, I would suggest using the regular old cookie cutters. I’m glad I remembered to tell you that! (happy face)
Step 2: Line a flat baking pan with tin foil (you can also use parchment paper). and place your cookie cutters on it.
Step 3: Get your super cool kiddos to place the beads into the cookie cutter. We used this opportunity to learn our colours. Ivy is 2 and is in the midst of learning all of her colours. To her everything is BLUE! We had an hour of being concerned that she could possibly be colour blind, but don’t worry, we googled the early symptoms of colour blindness and the symptoms do not fit our Ivy. She is just blue crazed! She is starting to get some colours right! GO IVY!
Step 4: Take photos of your cute kids with the bead because they are the biggest photo bombers ever! Corbin just likes to stick his smiling face into every one of my shots and…
Ivy just sat on the table and refused to get off…
Real Step 4: Place your toaster oven outside, plug it in! Turn it to 450 degrees and put your cookie cutter melty beads into the oven. Melt for about 10 minutes. To tell you the truth, I made this first melty beads heart with the toaster oven inside the house. I know, I know… I’m a melty plastic rebel! And I learned my lesson! IT STINKS BAD! Probably not good for you to breathe in either… So, the next 2 melty beads were made outside!
Step 5: Let your melty bead creation cool for about 10 minutes. It’s winter here right now so it cooled down fast when left outside. But you can also stick your melty beads in your fridge to cool.
Step 6: Very carefully remove your solidified melty beads from the cookie cutter. We may or may not have an amputee unicorn but I just super glued her leg back on. Can’t even tell!
Also Miss unicorn is more of a horse. The melty beads were a little big to fit in the small horn crevasse. We still think she is beautiful though. Ivy calls the amputee half horned unicorn her “little pony”.
You can really see how much the red on the cookie cutter bled into the melty beads of the heart. Wowzas!
Also… The pan that came with my toaster over was not completely flat so a bit of the melty beads leaked under in a few parts of the Dino and Unicorn. That would not have happened if they had been on a completely flat pan surface. Learn from my mistakes. You’re welcome!
Step 7: Use a drill and a small drill bit to make a small hole where you would like to hang your super cute melty beads creation. This step was traumatizing for Miss Ivy! It almost didn’t happen.
Step 8: String up your creations with fishing line (I used it because its clear but you can really use any string). I was searching the basement for something to hang my melty bead creations on, and I came across this little painted stick! So I just hung the Heart, Dino, and Unicorn, from the stick with fishing line.
So now that the melty bead creations are hanging on the wall the kids are loosing their minds. Corbin really, really wants to play with his dinosaur and Ivy pretty much needs to hold her unicorn to be able to breathe. So… I guess its coming down and becoming super awesome melty beads toys! For now till they get sick of them or more probably destroy them. I’ll just have to make some more.
I was thinking that there are lots of different ways to show off your melty beads creations.
- Glue a magnet to the back and use them as magnets
- Use clear coloured beads and use them as sun catchers in the window
- You could make a few little holes around the edge and sew them to a cute fabric pennant! (I’m Loving this idea)
I might be transforming these melty beads creations into that last idea. Once the kiddos are sick of playing with them that is… Stay tuned for that!
Well, I hope this little tutorial inspires you to melt some plastic into some super cute shapes. The kiddos loved this craft. Everything from sorting the beads to having the creations become part of their little souls. Silly kids… Don’t they know that it’s just a piece of plastic! If your kids are anything like mine and fall in love with flat plastic creatures, you might just want to stop at step 6. LOL. Until next time, enjoy making creations with your kiddos, and creating beautiful things everyday!
Check out some more of my fun kids crafts here!