Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Makit & Bakit-Inspired Halloween Luminaries with Tutorial!

Remember Makit & Bakit suncatchers?  If you don't, I'll remind you.  They were suncatcher kits that had a metal frame that you filled in with plastic crystals, then melted the plastic in the oven.  When you were done, you had a suncatcher that looked a lot like stained glass and which would inevitably end up in your grandma's kitchen window. Well, I decided to apply that idea to my submission.

The luminaries are made out of plastic "crystals" that you melt in the oven.  I'm using an LED pushlight (per my brother Gavin's suggestion) to light them.  I wish they photographed better with the light behind them.  They light up nicely and will provide a great glowy presence to my door step when the trick-or-treaters come.

The cat luminary is about 10 inches high so these are quite large.  They are stable and durable.  I think these would last many Halloweens.

I used a brand of plastic crystals called Crafts-Maid which are made by St. Louis Crafts (, but I got mine from Goodwill (score!).  I understand that pony beads can be used for for this, too, but I haven't tried it.  Here's a quick tutorial.  

Crafts-Maid Plastic Crystals
Step 1:  Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Trace your design onto foil with a marker.

Step 2: Fill in design with crystals.

Step 3:  Fill in background and bake in the oven at 375-400 degrees.  It will take from 20-45 minutes.  I recommend setting the timer for 20 minutes, checking the progress, then adding 5 minute increments as needed.

Step 4:  When it's ready, take it out, lift the aluminum foil and wrap it around a coffee can to form the shape.  It will be very hot when you take it out, but you must shape it while it's hot or it will crack.  Use oven mitts!

If the aluminum foil sticks to the front, don't worry, it will peel off easily once the piece has cooled.  If the piece starts to harden before you can bend it over the coffee can, don't force it as it will crack (I learned this the hard way).  Instead, lay it back on the cookie sheet as flat as you can, and stick it back in the oven.  It will melt right back into shape.  Once it has melted flat, take it out of the oven and try to shape it again.

Warning:  Once cooled, the plastic is flammable.  I would recommend using an LED light or a low wattage light bulb, not a candle.

There you have it!  Be sure to vote!

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1 comment:

The Angry Jackalope said...

Those are so awesome! I knew I saved my extra "crystals" from the kid's last project for a reason! Thanks!

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