- Arts and Design
How to Make Things with Perler Beads
Get into a Really Fun and Addictive Craft with Fused Beads - Something for Kids and Adults to Enjoy
I enjoy lots of crafts but perler beads has definitely become one of my firm favorites because it is fast, fun, easy and inexpensive to do. You don't require all that many materials or much of an investment in purchases to get started. It's a craft that you can enjoy while watching the TV or listening to music and it can be enjoyed for a spare half hour or many hours as you wish.
Perler beads are often aimed at kids but it soon became a huge hit with adults when they realized what a great craft it is with all the cool things that you can actually make with these tiny plastic beads. Take a look and see what you can create below.
All Personal Images belong to the author of this article: Marie Williams Johnstone
Just Some of the Items You Can Make
Earrings | Necklaces | Magnets
Coasters | Keychains | Boxes
Cupcake Toppers | 3D models
Hanging Ornaments | Suncatchers
Picture Frames | Hair Clips
Rings | Pins and More!
Save Money and Make Your Own Cute Gifts
Keychains are fun to make and easy as bulk gifts and favors for parties. See how to turn your completed projects into Perler Bead Keychains.
What are Perler Beads?
When people hear beads being mentioned, the first thought is often that these are like beads that you place onto string, elastic or thin wire to make jewelry. While that is indeed possible, they are actually shaped like little tubes all cut to the same height so that you place them onto special pegboards. The intention is to create a pattern or design using different colors which, once completed, you iron to fuse or melt the beads together so they stick into place.
There are many varieties of these special fusible beads and the main ones are Perler, Hama, Nabbi and Pyssla. Many people in America use the brand called Perler while the Hama variety is widely used in the UK (here's where to get UK ones) and Europe. Hama and Perler work in exactly the same way. I would recommending sticking to one of these quality brands which have a great reputation.
Everything You Need to Start in One Bucket - Save for an Iron which You Need to Bind Completed Patterns Together
This is an ideal starter kit because it has a very good range of basic colors that are great for beginner patterns and projects, it has 6000 beads which is plenty to be getting on with but not too many to be overwhelming, 5 little pegboards in basic shapes which are the ones you will most likely use as you progress with the craft as well as the special ironing paper and instructions on how to iron your completed patterns. My first set was almost identical to this top one.
Ideas for First Patterns and Projects
For your first projects with these beads, I'd recommend sticking to something that is really simple and fast to make so you can worry less on the design and more on quickly getting the hang of positioning these beads onto the pegboard and then learning how to iron them together when complete.
Easy Starter Projects for You to Try
Combine These Beads with Loom Bands! - You Can Make Beaded Bracelets, Necklaces, Keychains and Headbands
Perler beads work beautifully with Rainbow loom bands as me and my daughter discovered. You can just pop a rubber band through the hole in the bead and use it to create some beautiful beaded designs.
A First Perler Project - How to Make a Little Gift Magnet
You can turn pretty much any perler bead pattern into a little magnet so it's a great starter how to that you can follow. Lots of people collect magnets (my Mom sure does) and they are kept on freezers and refrigerators as well as magnetic boards. The cost is minimal after you've invested in the initial materials which can be used over and over to make many more magnets. Gift these as party favors, stocking fillers and as little extras for birthdays and just because.
Time required: 20 minutes approx
- 2 Colors of Fused Beads
- Small Piece from a Self Adhesive Magnetic Sheet
- A Small Craft Brad for Decoration (Optional)
- A Square Pegboard
1. You can use a small or a large square pegboard to complete this pattern which is particularly easy to follow. When you've made one, you probably won't need instructions again! First you need to lay out four 3x3 squares of beads as shown in the image here. So start near the bottom left of your board and build up one 3x3 square of beads. Next skip one column to the right of this square and build the next one. Skip a row up from the first two completed squares and repeat the pattern.
2. Choose a contrasting color that works well with the first shade of beads that you choose and simply fill in the gaps in the middle of the four little squares. It makes the shape of a plus sign.
3. Use just five more beads in the same color as step 2 to add a tiny bow design to the top of your gift. You can do this by adding one bead to the top of your plus sign shape and then 2 beads on either side going upwards.
4. Iron the finished pattern according to the manufacturer instructions - usually provided in each kit you buy. When cool, cut a small piece from your self-adhesive magnetic sheet and stick it to the back of your little gift. If you have a craft brad, you can push it through and fix at the back as additional decoration. Have fun making more!
Useful Add-On Items for This Craft
Most of the time, I stick to the small pegboards which come in the bucket set I recommended above. That's because I love making small and cute projects. But bigger boards open up a whole new set of projects to try plus they're more useful for making bulk items to as I've done for gifts and favors.
I've been doing this bead craft for over 6 years after someone made a personalized magnet for me which got me interested - I just wish I'd known about it much sooner. Think of all the items I could have made. But now I want to have fun showing you how to make lots of cool things with fused beads so you can enjoy this craft too.
Most of the bucket sets come with cute or bright color selections and don't tend to contain many neutral shades - especially browns and grays. You will really need this one for skin tones and many animal or pet patterns. If you want to progress in this craft, it's useful to build up more colors.
On Pinterest? - Follow My Fused Bead Pinboard for Ideas
No need to buy a pattern or ideas book, you'll get all the ideas you need from my Pinterest board where I share my favorite findings for fused beads. I hope you've enjoyed reading my lens or article today, thanks for your visit. Do come and visit my board for lots of inspiration: Fused Bead Patterns Pinboard
What Would You Like to Make with These Beads?
Have I inspired you to have a go at this fun and easy fusible plastic bead craft? Do you like the idea of being able to create your own pixel jewelry, small home décor items and gifts?
© 2014 Marie