If you were a kid in the 80’s or had kids in the 80’s than you almost certainly remember Makit & Bakit Sun Catchers! These are the sun catchers that you pour the baking crystals into the metal frames and then watch as the crystals melt in the oven to make a sparkling sun catcher for any window. Although we have sold these kits for years, we thought it may be helpful to provide a few tips along with step-by-step instructions to help you make these kits with less frustration and more success!
Before we share our tip suggestions and the instructions, we should point out that although these kits are extremely popular and have been around for years they are not necessarily an easy craft make. Makit & Bakit Sun Catchers and Kits are marketed for kids 8 years old and up. However, kids without a steady hand and a lot of patience will find assembling these quite frustrating! Our experience has taught us that usually the adult or parent ends up finishing the project:)
That being said, here are a few tips that will help to minimize frustration and make these crafts more enjoyable to create with kids!
Pour Baking Crystals into small bowls/tins & use a Mini Spoon to fill metal frame.
We find it very helpful to pour all the baking crystals (by color) into small bowls or tins. Once the baking crystals are in tins, they can be scooped and poured with a tiny spoon into the metal frame. This also helps prevent spills and having to pick up thousands of tiny baking crystals!
Use a flat cookie sheet lined with a smooth piece of foil.
Fill the Makit & Bakit Frame on a flat aluminum cookie sheet lined with a smooth piece of foil. The flatter the surface the easier it will be to fill the frame with baking crystals and keep them all in place. Before you begin to fill the frame make sure the frame doesn’t wobble or rock on the cookie sheet. If it does, adjust the frame until it is completely flat. One tiny baking crystal under the frame and you will have to start all over!
Use a Mini Spoon, Toothpick, and a pair of Tweezers to place the Baking Crystals into each part of the metal frame.
A mini spoon works perfect for filling in the larger part of the metal frame with crystals. Tweezers and a toothpick help a lot with all the smaller areas of the sun catcher frame. Below the Eye Glass Frame and Eyes were filled by using tweezers and a toothpick.
Add Baking Crystals to the smallest part of the frame first!
Start by filling in the smallest areas on the sun catcher first! After much practice, we found this can save hours of starting over! If you fill in the larger parts of the sun catcher frame, then fill in the small parts and accidentally bump the frame at all, you risk messing up the entire creation and having to start over. Therefore, get the hard part done 1st before moving on to the larger areas. For the glasses on this Owl Sun Catcher, we had to place the baking crystals into the frame 1 at a time and then move them around with the toothpick until the frames was filled. The larger areas are much easier to fill with the tiny spoon. FYI: You don’t want to be able to see the foil below. If you can see the foil, make sure you add more crystals to the frame!
Don’t bump or move the frame at all while filling in the baking crystals!
Make sure to never lift the frame from the cookie sheet while you are filling it with baking crystals. If any baking crystals get under the metal frame, it will cause the frame to lift which will mess up all the baking crystals and you will have to start over! This is the last thing you will want to do after you have spent so much time carefully filling in the colors you want in each part of the frame! Not to mention it isn’t much fun separating all the tiny baking crystals back into their matching tins!
Fill the Makit & Bakit Frame close to the oven you will cooking it in.
The closer you are to the oven, the less likely you are to bump or ruin the sun catcher while transferring it! One little bump or any movement at all can cause the baking crystals to shift and ruin all the hard work you have just done. We have mentioned this already, but seriously all it takes is 1 tiny baking crystal under the frame to lift the entire thing and you will have to start over from the beginning.
Additional Helpful Tips:
- Use a standard kitchen oven. Do NOT Microwave or attempt to use a toaster oven.
- AIR BAKE cookie sheets are not recommended (they will add time to the baking process).
- Unbaked baking crystals and frame can not be transported to another location (yes we have actually been asked this) to bake. The closer the oven is, the better! Moving an unbaked sun catcher kit can cause the baking crystals to shift under the frame and then you will have to start over.
Makit & Bakit Instructions:
1) Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Use a standard oven. Do NOT attempt to microwave the metal frame and baking crystals or use a toaster oven.
2) Cover a flat cookie sheet with a smooth piece of aluminum foil.
3) Place the flat side of the metal frame down on the aluminum foil. Make sure the frame doesn’t wobble or rock. It must be completely flat in order to fill it with crystals successfully.
4) Use a Tiny Spoon, Tweezers, and a toothpick to place the baking crystals in each area of the metal frame. Fill each section until you can’t see the foil underneath. If you can see the foil fill with more baking crystals. If you don’t fill these in completely, there will be a hole in the sun catcher after it bakes. ***Make sure to leave the hole empty for hanging the sun catcher when it is done.
5) Once all the areas of the sun catcher frame are filled with baking crystals, transfer the cookie sheet to the oven very carefully! Place it in the center of the oven.
6) Bake approximately, 15-25 minutes, until the crystals are melted and smooth. Keep the frame in the oven until all the crystals have melted. The darker color baking crystals may take longer to melt. ***If you notice areas of the frame that aren’t filled in with melted crystals, you can attempt to fill these areas in with additional crystals. However, use extreme caution as the frame and melted crystals are extremely HOT!
7) Once all the crystals have melted, remove the cookie sheet from the oven and allow to cool, approximately 5-10 before peeling off the foil.
8) Attach your own string or ribbon to the metal loop, hang in a window, and ENJOY all your hard work!
One of the great things about these sun catchers is that they last for years! Unlike most crafts that kids make and throw away not too long after they are done, Makit & Bakit Sun Catchers can be enjoyed in a window for years and make great gifts too!