Pony Bead Suncatchers

The past few weeks have been tough with both girls. My youngest has required a bit more attention than normal which has been leaving my oldest with some jealous feelings. I’ve been setting aside some activities for her and I to do together so she doesn’t feel left behind. She loves crafting and science so this little project was right up her alley. It’s a bonus they turned out so beautiful.

I had my daughter separate out the beads by color as a small secondary activity. This is a great tactical activity for little ones because they have to use the muscles in their hands that need development to hold a pen – as well as practice for counting or matching colors. This helps stimulate their brains and keep them engaged through the whole activity.

We used disposable pie plates as our mold. I wouldn’t recommend melting these beads in anything that you plan to use for food – just ensure it is oven safe. I preheated my oven to 400°F while my daughter arranged the beads in the pie plates. She decided to do a mix of three colors in each one and they turned out gorgeous. It took about 500 pony beads to fill each pie plate.

This is the part of the process where you need some patience. The beads will need about 30 minutes to really melt down. I kept checking every five minutes after the 15 minute mark – but it really does take a good half hour. One of ours ended up smooth and glassy; the other was still a bit bumpy in places. They both are beautiful, though. After pulling from the oven I put them on a cooling rack for an hour.

While cooling you might hear a crackling sound – do not be alarmed. This is just the suncatcher cooling and separating away from the mold. Once completely cooled you can use a drill to make a small hole in each one for hanging. We used silk ribbons because I hung these in my cherry tree and I didn’t want the fishing line to destroy the branch. Hang your suncatcher inside or outside and enjoy!

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