We've seen it all over the internet on many different blogs, for many different purposes. So, I decided why not try it out for myself. Almost every crafter has pony beads or acrylic beads, and unless you want to make jewelry for youngsters there's really not much use for them. Melting them allows for much more possibilities with shape, look and overall use.
I warn you now, this project is dangerous. I personally would not endorse doing this project with a child anywhere near by. The toxins from melting acrylic beads are toxic. Many people resort to doing this project outdoors in a BBQ or a toaster oven. Personally I would suggest if you ever want to use your toaster oven, oven, or BBQ again you would need to wash it well afterwards then let the heat run for a few minutes at high heat. A lot of people use their old toaster ovens exclusively for the melting of plastics. If you do decide to do this indoors, please keep your windows open, oven fan on and ensure you do not breathe in these chemicals.
What you need:
*Acrylic Beads (Pony beads are great for this)
*Oven or Toaster oven or BBQ
*Mold (I used an old muffin tin) (I would not suggest using this item for food afterwards.)
If your beads are old or reused, Soak in warm water and soap to clean them before beginning the process. (We don't want unnecessary oils)
Preheat the oven
Begin to organize them into your tray.
Placing them and not overlapping in the tray will allow for a flat piece of art. The more beads you put in the tray the longer it will take to melt them.
Cover molds with tinfoil.
I used the tinfoil to prevent most toxins from sticking to the walls of my oven.
I heated mine for 30 minutes, but it really depends on the shapes, sizes and looks that you want.
Be cautious, when taking off the tinfoil a large cloud (That I could actually see) came out and the smell was unbelievable. Moving into the other room, opening the windows, ventilator fan, Febreze... none of it worked for me. A lot of the toxins stayed inside the tinfoil and made the tinfoil stink as well. Even placing the tinfoil in the garbage was not enough.
Let the molds cool.
Pop your new larger beads out of the molds. (Mine popped out very easily)
Drill a hole in them. You can choose to wire wrap them if you do not have a drill. Or perhaps you can make smaller melted molds and create stud earrings. Or glue it to a surface.
For this project just use your imagination. Muffin tins are only step one, if you have shaped tins you can create many different shapes and sizes. Also if you have more time, you can create thicker creations.
These can be made into many neat objects, some of which are jewelry or sun catchers.
Here's what I made: