As you know, we've continued to experiment with melted bead suncatchers and stained glass. I don't know why I didn't think of all these possibilities last year when I first fell in love with melting pony beads. But it's like a world of ideas has opened up!
We've started adding frames to our stained glass. But rather than adding them afterward, we melt the beads in the frames (the better to hold it all together, my dear). We've done some simple frames and then decided to try something a little more elaborate. By sectioning off areas and filling them with different colored beads, we were able to create a Mondrian-style stained glass.
(Art history 101 refresher: Piet Mondrian is famous for his geometric abstract art.)
Here's how we did it:
- Metal baking dish, rectangular
- Aluminum foil
- Thin balsa wood (from the craft store)
- Wood craft sticks (optional)
- Translucent pony beads
- Electric grill or toaster oven (preferably outside)
- Hot glue gun (optional)
1. Use scissors to cut balsa wood into pieces to create the outside frame and place in a foil-covered baking dish.
2. Section off the interior area of the frame into squares, rectangles, and triangles as desired using smaller sections of the balsa wood and/or wood craft sticks with the rounded ends cut off.
Note: The lightweight balsa wood and the craft sticks cut easily with scissors, but it's a job for adults (and maybe older children), not for little kids.
3. Add translucent plastic pony beads into each section.
Try one color per section...
...or mix colors if you like. It's okay if there are tiny spaces, as the melting beads will spread a bit, but fill each section as completely as possible.
4. Cook for 5-15 minutes at 400-450 degrees F. I use an electric grill but a toaster oven outside works well also. The time depends on the size of the stained glass and the temperature. I set my timer for 5 minutes and then check it frequently after that. You want to take it off when the beads are completely melted and flat (ideally) but don't let it get too hot and start to bubble.
Note: The fumes from melting plastic are not good to breathe, which is why we do the melting on the grill outside. If you decide to do it inside, make sure to ventilate well.
5. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
6. This step is probably optional, but I used a hot glue gun to add a dab of glue at each intersection of wood to help hold it together. The melted plastic seems to hold the entire thing together, but I wanted to make sure.
7. Peel the foil off the back of the stained glass.
While you have the hot glue gun out, you can glue a loop of ribbon at the top to hang it if you like.
8. Hang in a window and enjoy your new Mondrian-style stained glass with the light shining through!
If you're looking for more melted bead suncatcher ideas, here are my melted bead suncatcher posts so far:
- Making Melted Bead Suncatchers (Basic info for getting started)
- A Melted Bead Suncatcher Mobile (And how to make shapes)
- A Melted Bead Suncatcher Spiral (The beginning of our freeform experimentation)
- More Melted Bead Suncatchers :: Free Form Experiments
- Melted Bead Suncatchers :: Beautiful Free Form Hearts
- Melted Bead Stained Glass in Frames -- Mondrian Style!
- Melted Bead Suncatcher in an Embroidery Hoop Frame
- A Melted Bead Jack-O-Lantern Suncatcher
- Melted Bead Words
- Melted Bead Fairy Wands
- Melted Bead Suncatchers 7+ NEW Ways (Includes ornaments, die-cut wood frames, spiral mobiles, and shapes within suncatchers)
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