Teacher’s Gifts

It’s the end of the year and it’s time to show our appreciation of our teachers. They have taken our children and work with them all year. Through frustrating challenges and easy successes.

This year is especially bittersweet as we will be moving away from all these school friends for a year and a half. E and I decided we would contribute to the monetary gift for his teacher and that we all – H, E, and I – would hand make some suncatchers for the teachers.

I found a great idea about making melted bead suncatchers. Melting plastic is a bit scary, but this was SO EASY. I am going to do it with the boys again this summer as one of our crafts. All you need is some cupcake tins or metal cookie cutters and plastic pony beads.

 

I always wondered what people did with these.
I always wondered what people did with these. And why are they called Pony Beads? They don’t seem to be made from ponies.

I had the kids fill their cookie cutters and muffin tins with the beads in whatever form they wanted. I’d seen people do designs and patterns, but my guys seemed to like the random approach.

More beads fit in there than you think.
More beads fit in there than you think.

Then we put them in a 400F oven and baked them for 25-30 minutes. You can do this in a toaster oven outside if you are worried about fumes. I’ve even heard of people do this on a gas grill and it’s worked well.

One muffin tin, all filled.
They already look cool.
Two hearts! In cookie cutters!
Two hearts! In cookie cutters!

What is really neat is that they just pop right out!!  They leave no residue and do not harm your pans or cutters in anyway.

They next step was to drill holes into the plastic in order to thread our string and get them to be hanging suncatchers. I found something called Baker’s Twine to use. It was a fun multi-colored and lightweight twine that added some wonderful fun to the design.  Here they are!!

A set of three to hang down from a porch eave or a long window.
A set of three to hang down from a porch eave or a long window.
Two hearts for the teacher that finds the gem in all her students.
Two hearts for the teacher that finds the gem in all her students.
A close up of what happens when you fill the muffin tin too full.  But still awesome!
A close up of what happens when you fill the muffin tin too full. But still awesome!

 

I have a few ideas of neat things to do with this technique. I might get a few more of these made in the coming weeks.


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