Enamel dots are all the rage right now. Stampin’Up sells some in co-coordinating colors but they are just so costly for what you get, am I right? Below you can see the ‘candy dots‘ in the ‘brights’ colors – pretty!
So, when I stumbled upon a tutorial for making my own dots, you -know- I jumped all over it. (You can see the original [that I first found] here.) The gist is this – pick up a set of your own Perler beads and melt them down. THAT EASY.
So, I went on over to Amazon and found a couple of sets that I liked – one even has a pearly sheen! The sets are around $10, but if the count on the package is right you will get around 4k dots after all is said and done.
And then I experimented. The original tutorial says to put them in at 450* for 15 minutes, but i found that to be way too hot and i ended up making my entire house all plastic-y smokey icky. After some trial and error (and my husband inquiring as to what the heck I was up to…) I found that 350 for 20 minutes worked for me. She also says to use parchment paper to prevent sticking, but i didn’t find that to be all that helpful; they continued to glue to the paper like crazy. There I was, frustrated and tired and about to give up when the a-fore-mentioned husband suggested those silicone baking sheets. LIGHTBULB!! Yes, I -must- try that!
Silicone sheets were then acquired for around $15 for a set of two. A bit costly for a crafty thing, but they will come in handy for other purposes as well. (Craft sheet, perhaps… Oh, and possibly, y’know… baking.) I’ll tell you what – they work like a charm. No more sticking dots!
Here’s the short version:
Place your beads on your baking sheet in a cookie tray. This part is rather time consuming, but you don’t have to be as OCD about their placement as it turned out I was. Just make sure they are standing up on their ends.
Place your tray gently in the oven, making sure not to knock any of the beads over. They don’t melt in a perfect circle if you do; they turn into a rounded rectangle. But hey, if you want that shape instead, go for it! Then bake them at 350 for 20-25 minutes. It may seem like a long time, but that’s what it took for mine.
They melt up with little divets in the center, but that is part of the charm! With the silicone baking sheets, all you have to do is pop them right off and voila, you have your own dots to use on your projects. Just stick’em with a glue dot and BAMF. Away you go!