Saturday, December 22, 2012

Suncatcher Ornaments - Sis 1

Every year, I like to let my kids make some ornaments and give one to their school teachers, along with some sort of goody for Christmas.

This year, we made suncatcher ornaments. They are SUPER easy and difficult to mess up. My 3-year old made several of these and they're nearly as good as the ones made by my 10-year old.

First buy some transparent plastic beads. I'm pretty sure that any style will work.

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees farenheit and turn on the fan.

Now let your kids put a single layer of beads in the metal container of their choice. The round one shown was done in a muffin tin. The heart was done in a metal cookie-cutter sitting on top of a cookie sheet. We also did star shapes, but they didn't come out as well because of all the corners. Maybe if we had put a few beads more than a single layer they'd have filled in better.

Bake your beads in their metal molds for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Pop your ornaments out of the cookie cutters or muffin tins. To get some of the ornaments out of the tins, I had to flip the tin upside down and give it a sharp tap with a butter knife. The rest came out easily.

Now for the holes to string them with: Use a power drill and your least favorite drill bit. Place a piece of scrap wood under the ornament and drill through the plastic. It really becomes more of a melting than a drilling, once the bit heats up. I found it helpful to let the plastic spin through the other side of the hole for a few seconds to remove extra plastic buildup from the drill bit. I also had to pull the plastic from the tip of the bit while it was still warm so that it would work on the next ornament. I broke all of the plastic off of the bit when I was finished, but it wasn't extremely easy.

We put the ornaments around the necks of sparkling juice for our teachers. I wrote "To Mrs. Blank from Child's Name 2012" on the backs (flat, unshiny side) of the ornaments in mirror letters with a very-fine tipped sharpie. You can read it better through the shiny side than from the side you wrote on.

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