Funny, Runny Sun Catcher

melted bead sun catcher

Just look at these beaded beauties, shining in the sun! Pictured here is a collection of¬†melted bead sun catchers, as found on, and you can have one (or fifty) hanging on your front porch, too. All you need to do is melt some cheap plastic beads in a metal or ceramic dish, let your melted disc cool, and drill a hole in it. BAM! You’ll be catching rays in no time.

Or will you? Reader Lisa wrote in to let us know that some sun catchers should probably be hidden from the light of day.

sun catcher fail

Ack, my eyes! It’s worse than looking directly into the sun itself! Okay, maybe not that bad, but they do remind me of the petri dishes we used to grow mold on in high school science class. What went wrong, Lisa?

First of all the silver beads didn’t melt…then even when I tried it without the silver beads the black beads ran into the clear beads so it still looked like crap and my house stunk for 2 days!!

I see… although part of me wishes I didn’t.

sun catcher nailed it

For more laughs, visit Robyn on her blog, Hollow Tree Ventures, where you won’t catch any rays of sunshine, but you probably won’t catch whatever fungus this poor craft fail has, either.

13 Responses to Funny, Runny Sun Catcher

  1. Regina W says:

    I’m glad to know that the silver ones don’t melt and the black ones are awful! I made some of these with regularly colored pony beads and they worked well–though the house did stink for days! Where I ran into trouble was drilling the holes. My drill bit warmed up and started getting gunked up with melted plastic. It was a nightmare to clean off. I did manage to drill all of my suncatchers and they look great, but if I do this project again, I’m going to do something else for hanging them up!

  2. F Saunders says:

    I tried making these too, with pony beads. I put an old toaster oven outside because I figured that melting plastic indoors was going to stink up the house.
    They turned out OK… but one side is quite spiky while the other is nice and smooth. I tried to use a BBQ skewer to press holes into the softened plastic, but it got stuck before I could pull it out of the first one. I don’t have a drill so no holes for me.

    I made mine quite small and I think if I were to do this again I would make them much larger.

  3. Marguerite says:

    Maybe put a silver bead in – it won’t melt, and you can use its hole for hanging?

  4. CanadianDot says:

    The silver ones are probably metallicized plastic, and the metal coating would prevent the beads from melting like the rest.

  5. Kimberly says:

    I did this craft a few weeks back with my 2 year old. Because I take everything I find on Pinterest with a grain of salt, we made 3 small ones using a muffin tin. Because I didn’t want the smell of melting plastic in my house, I did them outside on the BBQ and it worked perfectly. We used the translucent pony beads and they melted together really nicely. I had no problems drilling a hole through ours. I think the trick to this craft is to only put down a single layer of beads. If there are too many it doesn’t melt into a smooth surface and makes it too thick to try and drill through. My daughter was so pleased with them, we’ll definitely be doing this one again with a bigger tin.

  6. nanabobana says:

    The best thing I found to help drill the holes was an overturned clay flower pot. Place the spot you want the hole in the sun catcher over the drain hole in the pot and the drill bit goes down thru the hole while the rest of the pot supports the sun catcher. I found the regular pony beads with glitter DID melt at the same speed as the regular ones, it’s just the heavy metalicized ones that don’t. Happy Melting, lol!

  7. Dani says:

    You did better than me! The only photo I could upload is of my toaster over after my husband put out the fire! Had to throw away the whole dang thing!

  8. Tiffany says:

    I did these with my then 2 year old and they turned out great, they’re hanging in her bedroom window. I used smaller glow-in-the-dark beads not pony beads. I didn’t use pony beads because 1.) I didn’t have any on-hand and 2.) I had a hard time deciding if I believed pony beads would melt well. Also I waited for the beads to re-harden completely while in the pan and used the smallest drill bit I could find to make the hole and had no problems with it at all. Maybe the transparent pony beads work better than the non-transparent beads? I watched mine the entire time they were in the oven in the event of a fire as I’ve caught plastic on fire before and it blazes fast. It’s something I’d do again in the future for sure.

  9. Judy says:

    I have melted ornaments with great success and my first thought was to use an old toaster oven OUTSIDE. Thank God for my thinking ahead a little. They worked very well and I am sure if you use a toaster oven outside you will be very pleased. I am not sure if the fumes are toxic or not that was why I decided to head out for this project. Most any plastic bead can be melted. It is a trial and error or success story at any rate. Next project is to do one of these sun catchers. Thanks for the idea.

  10. Tam McElyea says:

    FYI…if you put your drill bit (pah-leaze NOT the whole drill) in the freezer for about 15 minutes before drilling the holes in the sun-catcher, it should not melt the beads or get sticky. You may want to make sure you have a galvanized bit so the moisture from the freezer doesn’t rust your bit, but it really shouldn’t matter. You may have to “re-freeze” a few times if you have a lot of catchers to drill but that’s better than ruining your bit or your artwork :)

  11. Joy Greene says:

    Tam, thanks so much for the freezer tip! I went through 3 drill bits tonight. I think mine are a little thick and that’s one reason, but the plastic is melting around the bit and making it sticky and dull. I’m going to get a few more bits tomorrow, but I’ll definitely try the freezer thing first!

  12. Christina says:

    My daughter’s daycare did this with the kids. It turned out great! I’m not sure where you went wrong though.

  13. grace lovell says:

    There are NO silver or black beads in the examples for a reason. If people just sorta, kinda followed along, then we wouldn’t have that many fails – oh wait, that’s what you want! LOL.

    If you poke a hole in them as SOON as they come out of the oven, with an ice pick, screwdriver, etc, there would be no problem

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