I had seen this craft on Pinterest many months ago and knew that I really wanted to try it out.  The original Pin I saw was for an autumn craft, but I decided that it would make a marvellous Christmas tree decoration; a sort of mini stained glass window to catch the fairy lights.  I did have some reservations about this craft when we were doing it, which were mainly me worrying about braking the oven, destroying the baking tray and even setting alight to the kitchen.  DON’T worry, these concerns were totally baseless and this was a very easy and fun craft to do with my charges.

To make your own melted bead decoration you will need:

  • Acrylic beads (readily available on amazon.co.uk) – they need to be around 6mm+ or they will be too small to fit on the pipe cleaner.
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Baking tray
  • Baking paper
  • Thread

1) Thread the beads onto the pipe cleaner – we made mini baubles so cut the pipe cleaner in half and added about 12 beads to it.

2) Make your pipe cleaner into 2D shape and lay it on the baking tray covered with baking paper.

3) Fill the space of your shape with lose beads.

4) Place it into a cold oven and then put it onto 175c.  When it reaches the right temperature put the timer on for 10 minutes.

5) When the timer goes off, turn the oven off but leave the baking tray inside until everything has cooled down.

6) When it is all cool use some tread to make a loop to hang it with.  Be very careful when doing this, as the fused beads will be very delicate.

When we started doing this activity my charges had a little trouble getting the beads on, but they got there in the end and then there was no stopping them.

This craft may help development of:

  • Fine motor skills
  • Counting (if you are putting a specific number of beads onto the pipe cleaner)