Sun Catchers

I had no clue what to write about this week, and my mom came to the rescue.  Have you seen this?  My mom sent me a link to it, and I thought I'd try it.

I'll be honest, I had looked at similar projects before and my initial reaction was, 'plastic melting in my oven....That's gonna smell horrible.'  But this time I gave it a try (I really needed something to write about).

I told the girls to make some pretty designs and fill up the pan.

This is what they did.  Let me just say there was zero interest in make pretty circles or lines or anything.  They (age 6, and almost 4) had a lot of trouble keeping the beads in place and quickly gave up on trying to make designs.  

So, after 5 minutes of trying to make a pattern, and then giving up hope, and just dumping beads in the pan, it went into the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  We vacated the house, because like I suspected it smelled horrible.  Words can not describe it.  Melting plastic in your house is a horrible idea.  Yuck!  After it was done, I let the beads cool for a few minutes and the melted pony beads slid right out of the pan. 

After we finished the Pony beads, I thought there had to be a better way to do make these sun catchers.  I went to the craft tote and pulled out Perler beads.  These are supposed to be melted, so I had high expectations.  We went through the same process.  Again, the girls had no interest in making patterns.  I have no idea how the people who posted about this originally sat still long enough to carefully place all those beads.  This time I set the oven to 350, and 10 minutes later the beads were melted.  No smell.  Thank Goodness!  I let the beads cool (ok, truth be told I forgot about them for about an hour when I got side tracked doing chores).  I went back to the pan, and tried to get the beads out.  

This was the tricky part.  The beads were pretty much stuck in the pan.  I popped the pan in the freezer for about ten minutes hoping that would do something.  It did.  It was still a little tricky to get the melted Perler beads out, but in my opinion it was worth not smelling the Pony beads.

I feel like the end result of both of the sun catchers was pretty similar.  If you want minimal work getting the beads out, go with the Pony beads.  If you prefer to not make your house smell like burnt plastic and can use a little elbow grease go with the Perler beads.

Have you made sun catchers with your kids before?  What materials did you use?


  1. Do you know the difference between pony and perler beads? And can they both be found at walmart?

    1. Rachel, you may already have the beads at your house :)
      Pony beads are beads you make bracelets with (
      Perler beads are the beads you place on the trays and then use an iron to make magnets (
      I hope that helps explain it! :)

  2. I tried this too and didn't get the affect that the original FB pin had (more clear looking). I believe I used the Pony Beads (which I got them at Walmart). Just be sure your pan that you use isn't "worn" like mine. All the "stuff" came off with the beads.

    1. I am glad I am not the only one who didn't get the same results :)


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