How to Make a Suncatcher with Melted Beads

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Here is a fun and easy-to-make suncatcher you can create in about two hours. It’s not made with sea glass, but it’s made with plastic melted beads that resemble sea glass. If you collect sea glass you can make the same suncatcher with sea glass.

Things You’ll Need

  • Translucent beads. These can be bought inexpensively at craft stores like Michaels. You should also be able to find bulk plastic beads at Walmart.
  • Jewelry string or some kind of string that will hold up well outside in the wind, rain and sun.
  • Old metal cupcake pan that you do not want to use for baking food anymore.
  • Drill

suncatcher made with melted beads


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place plastic beads in one layer in cupcake pan holes. The beads should fit snugly, so when they melt together there are no holes between any of the beads. You can mix and match colors for different effects. For example, you can put put just blue and green beads in one cupcake pan hole and red and yellow in another hole.
  3. Before placing the plastic beads in the oven, be sure to open all your windows and turn on fans. It’s important to have a good amount of ventilation. The smell of plastic melting is unpleasant, and the fumes may also be toxic.¬†
  4. Place cupcake pan with beads in your oven for twenty to twenty-five minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven when the beads have melted together.
  6. Let cool for at least twenty-five minutes.
  7. When the beads are completely cooled, flip the cupcake pan over, and tap the back. The rounded melted beads should easily fall out of the pan. If they don’t, gently tap the back of the pan with a mallet.
  8. Drill holes in each of the plastic pieces.
  9. Use string to tie the pieces, and hang them from a piece of driftwood or anything else such as a decorated coat hanger.
  10. Hang suncatcher outside or by a window and enjoy.
Things needed for melted bead suncatcher

Use an old metal cupcake pan, string and translucent beads to make a suncatcher.

Plastic beads

Place beads snugly in one layer inside cupcake compartments in the pan.

Young girl making melted bead suncatcher

Children love to help make suncatchers with beads, especially sorting them and placing them in a pan.

Melted plastic beads

Beads should look like this when you take them out of the oven. After they cool, they should easily fall out of the pan.

You Can Also Make Different Shapes

You can use any shaped pan to melt beads and make different size suncatchers. You can even get more creative by using cookie cutters to make different shapes like seahorses, starfish and seashells.



  • Karenduch

    I did mine in disposable shaped cupcake tins. Then cooked on the barbeque on the hot dog rack. Done in 15 minutes and the house didn’t get stinky!!!

    • evelyn

      The hot dog rack? Do you mean the little shelf that is above the regular rack you bbq on? Charcoal Grill? that’s what I have…I’d like to do this outside…please write me back and let me know Karenduch….my facebook page is dragonladyevelyn

  • Brian

    I posted a couple of questions on YouTube, but this is probably better because I can ask another that’s come to mind.

    1. I’d like to create different shapes – for instance, a star or a fish. Can you offer any suggestions?

    2. Do you know of any sources for purchasing the beads in larger quantities – sort of wholesale?

    3. Have you tried embedding anything else in the plastic once it’s melted (before cooling) – for instance, I have some small metal charms (a lock, a key, a heart, a scotty dog, etc) that I could embed if the plastic were deep enough.


    • Cathy

      Hi Brian, Those are good questions. 1. I’ve created smaller shapes by using smaller pans, but you can probably create shapes by using cookie cutters that have the design you’re looking for. 2. You can purchase larger quantities of beads inexpensively from Walmart and eBay. However, I’ve found the beads are better quality from JoAnn’s, so they come out better. 3. Yes, I’ve embedded the plastic around pieces of glass, but there were small sections where the plastic didn’t touch the glass, so be sure to pack the beads tight around the charms but also make sure the plastic doesn’t melt over it while it’s melting in the oven. I hope this info helps. Let me know how it turns out. Best, Cathy

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