Monday, March 3, 2014

Making Enamel Dots

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's back to work for me!


  1. Well, who'd have thunk it? Amazing! Thanks for sharing. Good idea to do this outside, though.

  2. thanks for the tips! good to know the oven doesn't have to be so hot.

  3. Those look so pro, Sparks! Glad it turned out.

  4. Awesome! Glad they turned out so well for you. :) If you're interested, I would reccommend using parchment paper instead of wax paper, since it's specially designed to go in the oven, and it's also nonstick. :)

  5. Those turned out fantastic! I really want to try this now, because I've been wanting to buy enamel dots. But they are kinda pricey. Now, I'll just need a toaster oven and some dry weather.

  6. awesome...thanks for this. I was wondering about the odor. They look awesome.


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