I recently wrote about creating Christmas tree decorations from melted crayons to give as teacher gifts. Another teacher gift we’ve done are melted bead Christmas tree decorations. While the process to make these if fairly similar the results look totally different.
Equipment You’ll Need to Make Melted Bead Christmas Tree Decorations
First you’ll need some pony beads (had no idea they were called that until I made these). I had a selection of solid colour, opaque and glitter but you might prefer to stick to a theme. Next you need some cookie cutters. I was a bit wary about using my favourite Christmas ones but they all survived the process unscathed. You’ll need some kind of flat baking tray to cook them on and a functioning oven (something we seem to be struggling with in my house lately). To hang the melted bead Christmas tree decorations you’ll also need some string/ribbon/thread/dental floss at a push and either a glue gun or a drill (and the ability to use it).
How to Prepare the Melted Bead Christmas Tree Decorations
I decided to very lightly oil my baking tray before I started. I had visions of them becoming stuck to the tray and I didn’t think the tray would look so good hanging off the tree. I’ve no idea if it had any effect but they didn’t stick so I’m standing by it.
Once the kids have finished arguing about who gets which cutter and you’ve lost the will to live, place your cookie cutters on the tray. You then need to place a single layer of beads inside each cutter. If small children are doing this with you they will of course be utterly random (like mine). If you’re alone/have older kids, you might be able to create some kind of pattern. A tree might be mostly green beads with a few coloured ones for baubles. A stocking might have a different colour ring at the top.
Once you’re happy with your patterns/the mess your children have made, pop them in the oven at 200c for about 20 minutes. When you take them out the beads will be burning hot liquid plastic so be very careful (perhaps lock the kids in another room for 10 minutes). Leave the melted bead Christmas Tree Decorations to cool completely, screaming “Don’t Touch” at your kids roughly every 20 seconds. When they are completely cool you can pop them out of the cookie cutters.
Stringing the Melted Bead Christmas Tree Decorations
I was a bit worried they would shattered when we drilled the holes but they were actually fine. Chris used a very small drill bit to make a hole near the top of the decoration (I could have done this myself but I’m not really to be trusted Chris’s stuff since I broke his DVD player 10 Year’s ago).
If you don’t have a drill (or are not allowed to use it) you can attach string to the back with a glue gun but it won’t hang quite so well.
And there you have it, cheap Christmas gifts for teachers that they may or may not treasure for years to come (depending on how well behaved your little darlings are at school).