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Hama Beads

Updated on March 21, 2012

An Introduction to Hama Beads

There aren't many better Arts & Crafts creative toys than Hama Beads - a simple system that allows you to make stunning mosaic designs. Using a pegboard, Hama beads are layed out in patterns, before being joined together by ironing. Pegboards are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and there are dozens of colours of Hama Beads to pick from. Hama Beading can be enjoyed by children as young as 5 through to adults.

This page explains the basics of Hama Beading and provides links to a great many online Hama Resources, including Youtube "How to" guides, pictures of other people's Hama creations for inspiration, deisngs posted in blogs and much more. Finally, if you're a Hama Bead fan, make sure you say 'Hi' on the guestbook at the bottom of the page and vote in our poll. Enjoy!

A Brief History of Hama Beads

Malte Haaning Plastic A/S was founded by Malte Haaning in 1961, originally as a manufacturer of plastic drinking straws. Gradually they diversfied into a whole host of other plastic products. In 1971, Malte Haaning turned his attention to the huge demand for beads, and Hama Midi beads were born. Midi Beads are still the number one selling Hama line to this day.

Later on, Hama Maxi Beads, aimed at younger enthusiasts saw the light of day, as well as Mini Beads for the serious fan. In 1984 the Hama trademark was registered, the word 'Hama' being made up from the first two letters of the company founder's last and first names. The Hama brand has continued to grow in popularity to this day, now being sold in more than 60 countries.

Which Brand is Most Common Where You Are?

Simply click to vote. You don't need to register or give any details to take part. It's just for fun.

Perler or Hama

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Hama Disney Princess Box Set
Hama Disney Princess Box Set

Buying Hama Beads in the United Kingdom

There are a great many Hama Bead products out there. If you're just starting out, the best way to get your first experience of Hama Beading is to purchase a boxed set. In a boxed set, you'll generally find everything you need - beads, a pegboard, templates, instructions and ironing paper.

Once you've done a few kits, it's time to strike out on your own. Purchase individual bags of beads (they're not expensive), different pegboard shapes, and perhaps one of the Inspiration books, which are packed with ideas, and you'll be well on your way to becoming a Hama master.

Bus Stop Toy Shop (amongst many fine retailers) stocks a huge range of Hama Beads products. Have a browse around by visiting the Hama Bead Section of our website.

Hama Beading Videos

Still in need of ideas? Here's some great 'how to' videos and superb Hama designs to get the creative juice flowing...

Buying Hama Beads in The US

From the US? Need to top the Bead supplies up? Look no further...

Hama Maxi Beads
Hama Maxi Beads

Hama Maxi Beads for Younger Fans

Did you know that there are Hama Maxi Beads available for children as young as 3? Hama Maxi Beads are chunkier for little fingers, and are a perfect pre-school arts and crafts activity.

To view Bus Stop Toy Shop's Hama Maxi Bead selection, go here

What's your favourite Hama range?

Have your say in our vote below. You don't need to login or provide any details to vote - it's just for fun. Just click to vote...

What's the best Hama range

See results

Bus Stop Toy and Hobby Hall of Fame

Hama Beads were inducted into the Bus Stop Toy and Hobby Hall of Fame for 2006. To find out more or vote on the 2010 nominees, visit our Toy Hall of Fame page.

Hama Bargains in the US...

Hunting for a bargain? Here's what's on offer right now...

A Few of My Favourite Hama Gifts

If you know someone who wants to try Hama for the first time, here's a few of my favourite gift sets that make a fabulous first introduction to Hama.

Love Hama? Got an interesting idea for Hama patterns? Want us to include your favourite Hama resources? Let us know all about it...

Hey, Hama Fans!

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    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I have used these in my craft projects. Love them!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm Indonesian but there is not any hama beads seller at my regency. Do your company have company branch on Semarang?

    • bead at home mom profile image

      Teri Hansen 

      7 years ago

      These are fun projects to share with children. My daughter enjoys these very much. I've feature this lens on my lens 'discover beading'. Thanks for sharing.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I have seen these and know that the kids really enjoy Hama Beads.

    • MisterJeremy profile image


      7 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      My kids play with these a lot on rainy days. They have fun and get some good fine motor skills work in the process.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My children enjoyed these and made Christmas decorations for everyone years ago and they are still as good as new.

    • cuteordeath profile image


      7 years ago

      I've always wanted to play with those! They look like so much fun. I want to use them to create real-life versions of my pixel art creations!

    • UKGhostwriter profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice niche lens - well done!

    • sorana lm profile image

      sorana lm 

      8 years ago

      Very interesting lens. These beads look like a lot of fun.

    • LouisaDembul profile image


      8 years ago

      We use these a lot, not only for making patterns, but also for necklaces. They are great, even for small fingers!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 

      8 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      wonderful presentation. yes, beginning to love hema.

    • sheriangell profile image


      8 years ago

      I've seen these before but didn't know them by name. My youngest daughter would love would my vacuum cleaner!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This looks like a great creative art using Hama beads.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image


      8 years ago

      Looks like fun

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I've seen these but didn't know what they were called...I want a set! looks like fun!...thanks for sharing...and thank you for visiting my Zazzle Ornaments lens...I appreciate your comments.

    • MisterJeremy profile image


      8 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Hama beads, pearler beads. In Japan they're called iron beads. My daughter really likes them. I'll have to show her your collection of videos. Blessed.

    • EditPhotos profile image

      Edit Photos 

      8 years ago from Earth

      In the colonies across the pond they are more commonly called Perler beads - I hope ou use that in your lens tags. Great lens! I have hundreds of these that my kids did over the years.

    • SpellOutloud profile image


      8 years ago

      We haven't done these in awhile. My older kids love them!

    • Bus Stop Toy Shop profile imageAUTHOR

      Bus Stop Toy Shop 

      8 years ago

      @remanon: Absolutely not - I'm never sure whether it's me or my kids that enjoy Hama Beading more - I also know plenty of adults who buy them for themselves.

    • Bus Stop Toy Shop profile imageAUTHOR

      Bus Stop Toy Shop 

      8 years ago

      @CherylsArt: Yep, in the US, Perler Beads are the more common brand - the two are as good as each other and can be used together on the same design if you wind up with both.

    • remanon profile image


      8 years ago

      These are always a favourite. Do I need an excuse to buy some for myself?

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 

      8 years ago from West Virginia

      My daughter loved doing designs with these beads when she was young. The kind she used were called Perler Beads.

    • hlkljgk profile image


      8 years ago from Western Mass

      my daughter was creating a cute craft with these not long ago. a lot of fun. :)

    • profile image

      CofCJenny LM 

      8 years ago

      Cute lens. Forgot all about these!

    • norma-holt profile image


      8 years ago

      Great fun. Nicely presented lens,. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Sprinkled with Staedusr and also on Kids Comics

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 

      8 years ago from Croatia

      I like these. Waiting for my girl to get a little bit older before we play with them. Yes, I meant to say we. ;)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      nice article, let me show yuo my microblog about perler beads

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 

      8 years ago from Scotland

      I love Hamma beads, not only are they fun but they also help out with Fine motor Skills - keeping old and young nimble fingered!

      Children of all ages love it!


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