How to melt plastic beads as an art project

Written by kaitlin baker
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How to melt plastic beads as an art project
Melt plastic beads for use in a variety of art projects. (coloured beads image by Gina Smith from

Plastic beads are used for a variety of everyday art projects, from jewellery to decorations. With the help of your oven -- melting different colour beads in a variety of shapes and patterns -- the possibilities of what you can make are endless. You can create coasters, centrepiece bowls, sun catchers, pictures or wall hangings, jewellery, pendents and pins and even chains of melted bead projects to hang from a doorway. All it requires is a visit to your local craft store and some basic kitchen tools.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Oven
  • Oven gloves
  • Plastic beads
  • Aluminium foil
  • Baking tray
  • Disposable tart pans
  • Knitting needle or wire

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  1. 1

    Purchase loose plastic beads in a variety of colours that are appropriate for the project you would like to make.

  2. 2

    Preheat your oven to 260 degrees Celsius.

  3. 3

    Line a disposable tart pan with aluminium foil, and place the loose beads inside. You can arrange the beads in a specific pattern or scatter them randomly, depending on the effect or design you desire.

  4. 4

    Place the tart pan onto a baking tray and put it in the oven. Let it bake for 10 minutes. If the beads have not melted, continue heating and check every five minutes until the beads are completely melted. Exact time will vary based on oven temperatures, pan size and the amount of beads you are using.

  5. 5

    Remove the beads from the oven once melted. They should now form one multicoloured disk that you can mould into your desired shape or size. You also could poke a hole into at the top of the disc with a knitting needle or wire if you will be hanging the finished product.

  6. 6

    Allow the beads to completely cool and remove from the foil-lined tin.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a variety of different sized pans or tins for different types of projects.
  • Use clear and translucent beads to make sun catchers to hang from a sunny window.
  • Once you remove your melted beads from the oven and they are still warm, you can add glitter for some extra shine or use a rolling pin or metal spoons to adjust the texture.
  • Add felt to the back of the cooled beads to make coasters.
  • While your beads are melting, they will have a slight odour; open the windows or turn on a fan for ventilation.
  • Do not touch the melted beads with bare hands after removing them from the oven. Always wear oven gloves to prevent burning when moulding or moving the warm beads and pans.

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