Wonder Oven tutorial

In 2011 I made a wonder oven and I LOVE it! I use it when ever I have large gatherings and need to keep something hot/cold for a length of time. Not to long ago I had a couple of friends over for dinner and they loved the idea of the wonder oven and asked if I could show them how to make one so I have put together this tutorial for them.
To start with you need about three yards of cotton fabric and between 19 to 20 gallons of polystyrene beads. The best fabric is cotton because it will allow the heat/cold to be retained by the beads and not cause a barrier prohibiting the exchange.
You will need a pattern so get out your yard stick, tape measure or what ever you have and measure out the dimensions below and then cut out your pattern.
Step 1 Make the pattern
This will be the bottom
This will be the top
You will need four sections for the top and four for the bottom. I have used two different colors to make it easier for you to see the way its put together. 
Step 2 Use the pattern to cut out the needed sections
Step 3 Sew two of the pieces right sides together, then repeat with the other two pieces. When sewing the pieces together follow the arrows below on each set
These are the two sections not sew together yet
Step 4 sew the double sections right sides together making sure that you leave a six inch hole to add the polystyrene beads and then just hand sew up the hole or if you do not care to much how the six inch seam looks just run it under the sewing machine. Below is the finished bottom
Now for the top part: take two of the four sections for the top and sew them right sides together just where the arrows are, then repeat for the second two sections. Now sew them all together making sure to keep right sides together and leave a six inch hole so that you can add the beads
Pictured below is the finished top. Now add the beads and sew the hole closed 
Filling the bags can be messy so I made a small tool to help and it didn't cost me anything (I love it when it's free) I took an empty 2 liter soda bottle and cut both the top and bottom off. Next I wiped the inside and outside with a dryer sheet coating it the best that I could... It helps with the static
Filling the bags can be tricky so that is why I used the dryer sheet. It keeps the static down because those beads will fly everywhere and I mean EVERWHERE! So make double sure to really coat everything the beads touch. 
Pictured above are the polystyrene beads they are small about the size of a "Nerd" the candy. Here is where you would wipe down the bag with the dryer sheet, before you start moving them little beads around... I'm telling you it works and saves you a lot of cleaning up at the end but be prepared to have a mess because although the dryer sheets help they still escape and get all over.
Next put your tool in the hole of the bag and start filling it

See... messy but not to bad. A word of caution if you have dogs or cats I recommend putting them away until you are all done. I didn't think about taking a picture of my dogs... they had beads on their face and paws it was funny to me but they did not think so
 Here is the finished wonder oven
Here is where the pan goes when placed inside. When I made baked potatoes for a party once I cooked them half done and then placed them in the oven where they finished cooking to perfection and stayed hot from 11am until 10pm that night. I had to use a pot holder to take them out wonder oven

When keeping food hot or cold keep the top piece on and make sure that the item inside is cradled well with all sides snuggled so that the beads will retain the temp... And that's it. I hope that this answers all your questions... If you have any please let me know and hopefully I have explained this well enough for you to understand


  1. This is pure genius...have never see one like it....I do though have a casserole carrier that my mum made...I use it for transporting hot food or even keeping my scones warm. Xxxx


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