Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Melting Pony Beads

I tried something last night that I've been wanting to try for a while: melting pony beads. In hindsight, this wasn't the smartest thing that I could have tried this week. Perhaps the fumes from melting plastic are best dealt with when one isn't already nauseous from the post nasal drip caused by a recent bout of the flu. None the less, I did it anyway. No one ever said I was the sharpest crayon in the box.

If you try this on your own, please remember to have open windows and lots of fans going. Melting plastic creates toxic fumes that need to be vented and released immediately! I plan on getting a thrift store toaster oven to use on the back porch next time I try this. I will also avoid doing it while already sick. Learn from my mistakes folks. :)

This is a super easy project that can produce some stunning results. For some examples, head on over to Craftster and do a search on melting pony beads. Especially look at the Tiffany style lampshades some people have created.

Here's what you'll need:
Plastic beads, cylindrical object, cookie sheet, aluminum foil, oven

Also, don't forget your oven mitts. You really don't want to touch melted plastic with your bare skin, do you?

Set your oven to 400 degrees, then while it's heating up, make a lovely arrangement of beads on a tin foil covered cookie sheet:

I was planning on making a simple bangle for my first go. I have tiny wrists, so I only made it 6.5 inches long and two of these fruit loop looking beads wide.

Melt it in the oven for 20 minutes.

Then, carefully shape it around a cylindrical object. I chose a glass jar.

Now, before we go any further, please know that this project did not work out for the best, but it's really not my fault. Really! Because, immediately after the shaping of the bangle, the Youngest got hold of it.

The pretty bangle now looks like two sets of false teeth for clowns:

So, it didn't quite work out this time. There will be another time for this. Maybe next time I'll try for a pretty bowl or platter and make sure the Youngest is no where near me when I do it.