Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

May 18, 2012

Kids: Don't Try This At Home!

I read another cool craft project idea online:  Melting plastic beads.  This one hearkened back to my youth, when I did those old Make-It Bake-It craft kits.  Back then, I would use the leftover plastic pellets and melt them into shapes on a cookie sheet in the oven.  Sometimes my parents would have empty, clear plastic pill bottles (remember those? Before they made the bottles amber?), and I'd fill them part way with plastic beads and melt the whole thing down.  The results were always really cool.  

So how hard can it be, right?  OK, I didn't want noxious fumes in my kitchen so I decided to use an old toaster oven, outside on the deck.  I used some grungy cookie cutters that I knew I'd never use on food. Do you have any idea how much time it took to do the blue and purple inside that star?!?!?!

Instructions said bake at 425* for 25 minutes.  That seemed high to me; I thought when I did them in the 70's it was closer to 250*. 

I went inside to check my Facebook, and one of my friends made a crack about making sure I had the fire extinguisher "just in case".  She didn't want to read about "the raging fire in Bourne caused by some woman trying to melt beads".  Something clicked in my head when I read that and I went outside to check on them. It had only been 10 minutes.  

Yep, those suckers were on fire alright.  It wasn't too bad.  Yet.  Another minute or two?  I don't even wanna think about that.  I got it unplugged and the garden hose was next to me so I soaked the entire oven down, listening to my project sizzling and watching black stinky smoke pour out the front.



  1. Enlighten me. What is a toaster oven please? Being an ignorant Brit, it just means something you can buy for skint Sims.

    So, are you going to test drive bead-melting again?

  2. HAHA sorry it didn't go according to plan - I did bead melts with Girl Guides before they were 'special beads' and we just used an iron to melt them

  3. oops - looks like my early attempts at cake baking.

  4. Amanda, a toaster oven is a small appliance that can both toast stuff and reheat or cook small meals as an oven.

    Baygirl32, next time I will buy the correct beads!!!

    David, fortunately this has never happened with my baking!!! lol The toaster oven is 'toast' however. lol

  5. I wonder if the confusion is about what type of degrees - Fahrenheit or Celsius?

    I wondered about the toaster oven, too. The only time I ever heard the term before was in Star Trek 3, when the garbage guys in the park are just about to witness the touchdown of the cloaked Klingon ship with Kirk and co. inside!

  6. Oh noes! Have you tried the candle-effect? Well, I used candles for melting crayons, so not sure if it has the same effect on those beads on a spoon.

    A Ladybug's Life


  7. If at first you don't succeed.....well, I'd give up, but I'm sure you'll try again ;0)

  8. Haha awww :( And after all of that hard work with the purple and blue! Are you going to try it again? I've never done anything like that before, but it sounds fun! The version you tried before, anyways :)

  9. JoJo

    I have a toaster oven I dedicated to use for crafts. I did that when I started getting into polymer clay and read it was better to bake the clay separate from any place food would bake, to keep it from contaminating the food. So the aging one we kept in the kitchen for ...toast...became a craft tool.

    Did you ever figure out what went wrong, the temperature being too high or maybe a chemical change in the beads? I have never done this. If you do it again, I hope you will post how it turns out.

  10. What a bummer! I can't wait to see the results of attempt #2, though.

    Some Dark Romantic

  11. The smell must have been terrible. Sorry it didn't work out, I'm sure next time (at a lower temp) will work out perfectly.
    Everyday Inspired