Melt pony beads to fuse them together into colorful craft creations such as sun catchers, wind chimes or tiny flower embellishments for paper clips or hair clips. Melting them in an oven or toaster oven requires ventilation, so open the windows and turn on the fans to avoid breathing in the fumes. The beads can also be melted outdoors on a gas grill.
Get the Beads Ready
The way you arrange the beads ahead of time impacts how they'll look once they're melted and hardened.
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- Individual beads, spaced apart on parchment paper atop a cookie sheet, turn into round drops.
- Arrange seven beads against one another in a hexagon shape to create a flower, using all the same color bead for the design other than the bead in the center.
- Add a layer of beads to the bottom of a muffin tin or mini muffin tin to create discs suitable for wind chimes or sun catchers. Use translucent beads if you want your creations to look a bit like stained glass.
- To create a bowl shape out of pony beads, use a glass oven-safe bowl and line the inside with a thin layer of cooking spray or a lightweight oil such as coconut oil. Make a single layer of beads over the bottom of the bowl and partially up the sides. Once melted and cooled, the bead creation takes on the bowl shape and can be used to store loose change, keys or decor items. Do not use it for foods.
Oven or Toaster Oven
Step 1: Preheat the Oven
Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. If you'd like the beads to melt a little slower, set the oven to 400 degrees instead.
Step 2: Preparing the Tray or Tin
Line a cookie sheet or bottom of a pie tin with parchment paper. If you prefer to melt the beads in muffin tins, apply a small amount of coconut oil or cooking spray to each muffin area that you plan to fill with beads.
Step 3: Arrange the Design
Arrange the beads in a single layer in the desired pattern, such as a sun design or rows of rainbow colors.
Step 4: Open the Windows
Open all the windows and turn on a ceiling fan for ventilation. If you do not have a ceiling fan, a box fan in a window, drawing air out of the room, helps.
Step 5: Bake the Beads
Place the tray or tin of beads into the oven, checking them after approximately 7 minutes if you're baking them at 425 degrees F. If you're baking them at 400 degrees F, check them after 10 minutes or so. The beads are ready to remove from the oven once they look more like one blob of color than they do their original bead shapes.
Step 6: Cool the Beads
Remove the tray or tin from the oven, turn off the oven and set the tray on a heat-proof surface to cool for at least 10 minutes before handling. If you still feel warmth emanating from the tray or tin, wait longer before handling the plastic.
- Avoid breathing in the plastic fumes during and after melting the beads. Do not melt them if you are unable to open windows for ventilation.
- Do not use your everyday bakeware to melt plastic. Purchase disposable tins or use thrift-store pans, designating them solely for craft projects.
To melt the beads outdoors using a gas grill, select a medium flame level, and set the cookie sheet containing the beads atop the grill grates. Check the beads frequently and remove the cookie sheet from the heat as soon as the beads melt.
Melting the beads with a regular iron requires a bead board that holds the beads in your designed shape as you iron them. Place a sheet of ironing paper on top of the bead design; then iron the paper with an iron preheated to a medium-heat setting without steam. Run the iron in circles over the paper for 10 seconds or so; then allow the plastic to cool. Once it is cool, peel the paper away; flip the design over onto a heat proof surface; then iron the exposed side after first covering it with ironing paper.