Plastic Pony Bead Bowl

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Pony beads are something that almost every family with small
children have. They are handy for plastic necklaces and bracelets. However, not many people think about making other things, such as bowls, out of them.

Although this project is easy, it does take about an hour to complete in total. Also, it is a good idea to make the bowl when it is a nice sunny day so that the doors and windows can be opened. When the pony beads are melted, they really smell.

Disclaimer:

When the beads are melted, they create a smoke that could be hazardous to your health. PLEASE do not breathe in the smoke as it may be dangerous. Be sure to have a well ventilated area (ie - windows open and fans on) when melting the beads.

Although this bowl can be used for wrapped candies, do not use it for unwrapped candies or foods. Pony beads are not food grade plastic.

This bowl is NOT dishwasher safe. The beads may melt in the hot water. If necessary, wash the bowl in cold water with dish soap.

Step 1: Gather Materials

The materials for this project are everyday household-use items.

1. 8-inch round cake pan

2. Small oven-safe mixing bowl with an opening diameter of less than 8 inches

3. Two oven mitts

4. Toothpick

5. An assortment of 500 pony beads

Step 2: Design the Bowl

When creating the bowls, the designs are made by simply placing
the beads into the 8-inch round cake pan. Start placing the beads on the outer edge and work towards the middle. The holes of the beads need to face up. This is important so all the beads sit flat instead of rolling around.

The easiest way to get the beads into the pan and organized is by grabbing a handful of the desired color and gently placing the beads in the middle of the pan. Arrange the beads so all the holes are up. Then, slide the beads into the desired place on the pan.

The bowl design is finished when the pan’s bottom is full of beads.

Step 3: Baking the Beads

Preheat the oven to 400o and place the pan into
the oven without disturbing the design or shaking the beads around. Allow the beads to stay in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until the beads are melted.

This step creates a large odor. Make sure to open windows to allow fresh air into the room.

Step 4: Cooling

Once the beads are done melting, allow them to cool for 10
minutes. To check to make sure the beads are completely cooled, take a toothpick and tap it on the edge of the beads. If the beads are making a plastic sound when the toothpick touches them, then it is cooled enough.

When the beads start making crackly noises, the beads are ready to come out of the pan. (The noises are from the beads popping off the bottom of the pan.) In order to get the beads out of the pan, place the edge of the pan on an oven mitt and gently bang the back side of the pan. Make sure not to let the bead platter fall out of the pan and break!

At this point, the creation can be done. If it is desired, the beads can be left the way they are and stay as a platter. However, if the rest of the steps are completed, then the bowl can be made.

Step 5: Re-melting for the Bowl Shape

Grab the mixing bowl and place it upside-down in the
oven. (The oven should still be preheated to 400o.) Place the bead platter on top of the bowl with the middle of the platter centered on the bowl. Allow the beads to stay in the oven for about 2 minutes, checking every 30 seconds.

The beads should now be flopped around the bowl with a fluted edge. Take the metal bowl out of the oven with the beads on it.

Step 6: Cooling (Again)

Turn off the oven and let the beads cool for 10 minutes. Once it is all cooled, the beads should begin
to crackle once again. Try to take the beads off the bowl. This should happen really easily. If it is not popping off easily, let it cool for a few more minutes.

Step 7: Display

Now the cute little bowl is complete! The best use for this bowl is a dainty little candy dish for when company is over. It is a nice decoration for any time of year!

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    3 Discussions

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    Bsrlin

    2 months ago

    Very clever idea! However, I am concerned that the 'odor' you say comes from the melting plastic may be very hazardous -- perhaps edit the guide with stronger warnings about the danger of breathing those fumes.
    I voted for you in the contest (Plastics Contest).
    Also have a question: when the beads have melted, and are still flat in the first pan, do they get soft enough that it would be possible to swirl the colors a bit?
    Thank you for your time and assistance.

    1 reply
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    AdoodleBsrlin

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    Thanks for the vote in the Plastic Contest! Thank you for the concern about the fumes. I will edit my post.

    I think it might work (swirling the beads) if you take it out of the oven and swirl immediately with a wooden skewer. If it does not work right away, you could always put it back in the oven and try melting the beads more. BE CAREFUL not to burn the beads, however.
    I do not know for sure if this would work because I did not touch the beads at all when it came out of the oven. However, the beads do look extremely melted when they come out of the oven. Therefore, it may work if you start trying to swirl the colors in as soon as it comes out of the oven. Be careful not to touch the bottom of the pan, as it may cause the beads to stick.

    Let me know how it comes out by posting a picture in the "I Made It" section if you decide to try it .

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    tomatoskins

    3 months ago

    What a fun idea! I've never heard of melting beads like this.