Perler Beads in a nutshell

Perler Beads are small, evenly sized, cylindrical shaped, colored pieces of plastic. You take them and arrange them on reusable peg boards of various shapes and sizes to make different designs. Then you take the reusable ironing paper that comes with pert near every Perler Bead anything you buy (bead sets, pegboards, kits), place it over the design, and iron (in a circular motion) for 10-20 seconds; it helps me to hold the iron flat on the design for about 5 seconds before moving circular, or I wind up having to put my beads back where they belong on the pegboard because I’ve accidentally knocked some askew…. Peel the paper off, let the design cool (on or off the pegboard – for me, it depends on if I need to reuse the peg board immediately or not), then iron the other side for 10-20 seconds. Discovered today it IS important to peel the paper off right away and not let the design cool with the ironing paper on it; if you do that, the design doesn’t lay flat when finished. Why? I have no idea. So I re-ironed for about 5 seconds (enough to make it go flat), immediately peeled the paper off, and Viola! my angel wasn’t bendy anymore  when she cooled back down 🙂

I got most of my patterns from the Perler Bead website; they have lots of patterns you can choose from. Some, like the piano below, are 3-D which makes them freestanding.  Others are flat and can just be left laying around, or (more frequently, at least in our household) have magnets glued to the back. Note on magnets: even though I buy the little peel-and-stick magnet strips (18 per pack,  1/2 a strip is just the right size for the small board designs), the stick-em isn’t sticky enough. I still have to hot glue the magnets on. Also, the website says to use craft glue and shows a bottle of what looks suspiciously like Elmer’s, but I haven’t tried good ol’ school glue. I kinda like knowing that with my low-temp glue gun, I can use the design immediately 😉

BIG NOTE!!!! DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT buy the Melty Bead brand found at Wallie-World on the Crayola aisle. I bought these first as we don’t have a local Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, or Joann’s (not that Wallie’s is all that local, either, but still…). The directions state (just like with Perler Beads) to iron for 10-20 seconds per side. But, the designs don’t stay stuck together unless you totally fuse the beads top AND bottom, no nice pretty little holes you can still see through, and it takes forever to iron. If I even come close to 30 seconds on the Perler Beads, they are totally fused together with no visible hole, and just about flat! We have ONE design I managed to salvage from the Melty Bead brand and it’s because I ironed it like crazy, at least 5 minutes on each side. It was Teddy’s first design – cute little fishies in a bowl – and I didn’t want to give up on it. So, just fair warning if you decide to try this fun and wonderful craft to NOT buy the Melty Bead brand!

3-D Grand Piano

The piano pictured above is to be a gift (shhhh – hope she’s not reading this; doubt very seriously she is…) I’m going to use it as a Gift Tag on the package, but also include a note stating it can be left sitting out as a decoration or used as a Christmas Tree ornament.

Angel

The angel I created the pattern for myself 😀 It’s loosely based on the one offered at the above-mentioned website; it’s intended for a small square pegboard and the pattern is from the religious bead bucket. I started by just up-sizing it, and then really played around with it. I really like her. I’d love to order some of the gold beads they sell on the website and use those for her halo. The 3 pictures of the angel are the one on the pegboard before ironing to show the pattern, just after ironing, and then I held it up to the light so the translucent/glitter beads would show 😉 (I know, I’m such a girl!) I plan to make myself a garland of angels, large and small, in a variety of colors. And I did try to give her a face, but she actually looked kinda creepy with one; if I get more of the interlocking pegboards and up-size her some more, I might, but there’s just not enough room for a face yet, IMO.

“Liz”

“Liz” is what Teddy has decided to name the very colorful lizard. He received the “Swamp Things” pack as part of his birthday from his other grandparents – in addition to more beads, it included a lizard, frog, and turtle shaped peg board. The lizard (at least as shown just upon completion of ironing) is exactly as one of the patterns shows that came with the set. The additional 2 pics show where I made it 3-D by just making more feet (2 more sets) and hot-gluing them on to the original feet, plus 4 magnet pieces to the new feet bottom, and now she stands proudly off the ‘frig! (Mama’s refrigerator is shiny; that’s why you can see the flash in one pic and Liz’s reflection in the other.)

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