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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Melted Bead Chimes and Pendants

My mother showed me a great project that she saw in one of the preschools that she works in, they melted beads in plastic Dixie cups to make pins.
I loved the idea, but never got around to doing it.  Then on pinterest I saw sun catchers made from the melted beads, and I was reminded of my mother's project, and well, I just had to do it!

We took the idea of a sun catcher, but added string and attached them to a ring and made chimes.
They have a nice sound and are beautiful in the sunlight.

It is simple to make these.  We took transparent colored pony beads, and made a thin layer in the bottom of a muffin pan.  My daughter decided to separate hers out for a couple solid colored pieces, but most the kids mixed their beads.
It works best if they lay them flat with holes up.
Place them in the oven at 400 degrees and cook for 20 minutes or so.  Take the kids outside to play during this time because of the smell of melting plastic.  When they are done, remove from the oven and continue playing outside until they are cooled off and the smell dissipates.

I have a dremel tool, which the children used with my assistance to drill holes in the melted chime pieces. 

They loved these so much that we decided to do it again making pendants, this time using the process my mother told me about.  Instead of melting the beads right in a pan, use plastic dixie cups or plastic shot glasses.  Place a thin layer of beads in the bottom. 
I then put the cups in the cupcake holders, but you can put them on a cookie sheet.
The fun thing about the cups is that they melt down around the beads making a cool pendant or pin shape.

Again, we worked together to drill the holes with the dremel tool.

I attached a jump ring, and the children beaded a necklace to add to the pendant.
We also did a slip know on the end so that the necklace could be adjusted.

This shirt couldn't have matched better!