Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Perler Bead Projects

My camera has pictures trapped inside it that I have to deal with, so that has slowed down my blogging. I have a delicious pile of newly dyed yarn soaking in my sink right now. It's to make up some new wool crochet flowers for my Etsy shop. Wool flowers will be better sellers for me in the fall, but it turns out that in Australia, they are just now getting ready for winter, so several of my flowers have sold down under!

I went into my project archive at Flickr. Have you all ever played around with Perler Beads? We also call them melty beads at my house. Another brand is Hama Beads. They are really fun and easy. Here I was going to do the whole Simpson family, but I didn't have enough blue to do Marge's hair and the pixelized images I had of the Simpson kids weren't as good as this one. My son uses this as a coaster next to his bed.
Perler Homer Simpson

I made these goofy video game coasters as a silly gift for a friend. I think he was a bit baffled by them, but they were only for a laugh.

My very first swap on Craftster was a perler bead swap and I made this Chococat for my partner:
She also liked lotus flowers so I designed this little container with perler beads. The lid is attached and opens and closes.
PerlerBox Open about a year later she wrote to me and said she was engaged and kept her ring in the box for safekeeping at night,.

I made an elephant to spiff up a notepad. These beads shrink up when you iron them, so if you plan to try this, make it larger than you think you need for the notepad.
Finally, they always have little holes in them from the beads, so I used that to make a little patch for a pouch.
PerlerTurtle Bag

We used these beads as a party activity at my daughter's birthday a few years ago. Be careful with the hot iron around enthusiastic little children! Don't ask me how I know this.


HollyLynne said...

your projects look great! i've never tried using perler beads . . . they look like fun! that box is awesome, who knew you could use the beads that way?!

lily boot said...

Brilliant! We have used Hama beads before - never as productively as you, ours just got ironed up and then disappeared into an old cigar box. But disappointingly, the last packet we got - and it was a huge one - we ironed and ironed and ironed and they would NOT melt. Mmm.... So - my question is where are Perler beads from and where do I buy them - this is definitely something Abby and I love doing and now that I see how to use them ... :-)

IamSusie said...

Lily- I get them in these kits they sell at craft stores here. I think ours are the Perler brand, but I don't have any packaging anymore. I've never seen the Hama teeny tiny ones or the jumbo ones here at our stores, but I know they are available on the internet.

Maybe try putting the beads that wouldn't melt in a closely watched oven for a few minutes? I''ve heard that works too.

Glenda said...

I discovered perler beads by way of Craftster and have since, along with my son, made quite a few perler bead goodies for birthdays. They've been a hit with everyone we've made them for.

That lotus flower container is beautiful. I haven't tried doing a container yet, but I just signed up for my first Craftster swap so I'm storing the idea of a perler bead container in the back of my mind =).

jenny said...

Wow, these are great...I'm totally impressed.

Inspiration to branch out from the multi-colored hearts that I am prone to making :)

Glenda said...

Susie, I would like to make a perler-bead box for a craftster swap in which I'm currently participating. I've read on the perler bead site how to make a heart shaped box and the instructions are seemingly easy ("seemingly" being the key word LOL). We tend to iron our perler bead stuff until the beads are quite melted, but I'm guessing that wouldn't be a good move for assembling a box -- what do you think? Also, do you have any other tips or suggestions for making a box, especially one with a working lid?

IamSusie said...

Glenda- What's your Craftster username? I'll PM you over there. I sewed the whole thing together and you can just use a sharp needle to get the sturdy thread (I think I used dental floss) through the holes that may be more melted.

IamSusie said...

Glenda- I forgot to say that I am also IamSusie at Craftster-

These pictures may be helpful. This is how I did it:

Try to iron everything level and keep the holes in the center instead of getting them really flat.

I'd give you a link to the page where I got the tutorial, but it just bumps you to the beginning perler bead home page.

Glenda said...

Susie, I'm "~Glenda" on Craftster. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

how hot does the iron need to get? I purchased a small craft iron that gets up to 356 dF. and it doesn't seem to be melting them. I was thinking maybe the iron is defected and it's not hot enough.

IamSusie said...

Anonymous- I'm not sure how hot the iron needs to be. I suspect that your craft iron is probably not hot enough. Mine melt right away with my regular iron. Some people have carefully let them melt in the oven. I don't think you can use the little pegboards in the oven though. They watch the oven closely!

It may be time for you to get a regular iron! They come in handy even if you don't regularly iron your clothes.

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Leah said...

Love that box!
Regarding the ones that didn't melt.
I tried some once and didn't have the paper, so just used a sheet of regular paper. I ironed them practically forever with no melting. There must be something in the paper that they react to.
BTW: I use my iron on medium, hot actually scorched them.

Chelskii;;*09 said...

for not melting; use baking paper. the brown stuff. it works a treat! :)