While I was reading this post from the Paper Craft's blog, I knew instantly I would have to try this for myself. If you know me well, I love embellishments. Since I buy and use a lot of enamel dots on my cards, I thought this could be really handy. This post is about melting plastic pony beads to make enamel dots.
I went to Michael's first and the smallest pony beads I could find were 7mm (regular pony beads are 9mm). Then I went across the street to Joann's and I was able to find 5mm beads. When I came home, I also found 3mm beads on Amazon. Since I have to wait for them to ship to me, I don't have the 3mm beads yet. I figured the smaller the beads, the better, since I tend to always use the smallest pearls and rhinestones first.
In all the posts I could find on this, melting plastic smells bad. I didn't think Brent would appreciate our house smelling like burnt plastic (plus I'm pregnant), so I went to Walmart and bought a cheap toaster oven. It was only $20. I've spent more on other disastrous projects, so I didn't think I would be out too much if this was a fail.
I took most of these pictures with my phone, so sorry they're not the greatest. I took an extension cord and plugged the toaster oven outside. I wouldn't recommend doing this in your oven or in your house, the smell is really bad!
I lined up rows of beads and then followed the directions from the
post. Well, I'm not sure if its because I used a toaster oven instead,
but melting these at 450 degrees was too hot. I burnt this first
batch to a crisp! I had to do a couple more batches to get the
temperature and timing right.
After trial and error, 340 degrees and 4 minutes was all I needed to get these melted. I used regular wax paper and though it seems to scorch it a bit, the dots peel off just fine. Another thing I noticed was that the beads on the ends didn't melt as much, so I started doing smaller batches with the beads more in the middle of the tray. I also noticed that the black beads take longer to melt. Not sure why, but made a mental note to melt those separately next time.
It wasn't until after I took my pictures that I realized I didn't make any red, purple, or white ones. I did go back and make a few other batches. I also wanted to store these in a nicer way and have them ready to use for when I'm crafting. So, I peeled the backs off of glue dot sheets and made little sheets of enamel dots.
Overall, I'm really happy with how these turned out. Once I get my 3mm beads in from Amazon, I'll probably do another batch. I've already been using them on some of my cards and I will share those soon! I hope you all have a wonderful Monday...it's back to work for me!