Things You'll Need
Mardi Gras beads are thrown out to the crowds of people who attend the Mardi Gras festival in New Orleans. The Mardi Gras festival began in the 1830s, and the tradition of tossing beaded necklaces to the masses began in the 1920s. Instead of hiding the Mardi Gras beads away in bags and boxes at the bottom of your closet or in the corner of your basement, you can melt them down and make a one-of-a-kind bowl to serve as a pretty reminder of Fat Tuesday.
Take apart the Mardi Gras bead necklaces, removing the strings from the holes. Place each bead color in a separate container to keep the colors organized and easier to find.
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Cover a cookie tin with foil and decide on the pattern that you want for your bowl. Trace the desired pattern onto the foil with a pen. This provides you with an impression to follow.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While the oven heats, place the Mardi Gras beads in the pattern that you made on the foil. Fit the beads tightly together, leaving no empty spaces between them.
Place the cookie sheet into the oven when you have the design you desire. Bake the beads for 10 minutes. Turn the cookie sheet around 180 degrees and bake an additional 5 minutes. Check the beads after the time has elapsed to see if the beads have all melted or if additional time is needed.
Put on leather gloves and remove the cookie sheet from the oven when the beads have melted together.
Place the melted beads over a heat-resistant bowl with the foil going down first. While the plastic is pliable, form or shape the bowl as desired. Work quickly because when the beads cool, they are harder to shape. Leave the melted Mardi Gras beads to cool for 12 hours or overnight.
Remove the bowl when the Mardi Gras beads have cooled. Carefully pull away the foil.
Work in a well-ventilated area because the vapors of the beads are very unpleasant. Open the windows and have an exhaust fan running if you are doing this indoors. Wear a respirator while the beads are melting and while working with them in the melted stage.