I’m what I like to call a “casual crafter”. I love to make things, but I don’t have too much time or talent, so I don’t get really involved in big projects. I leave those to mom. But there are a bunch of different DIY’s and crafty things that I can get a handle on – and perler beads are one of them.
I’m sure you’ve seen these before: little pixelated Links, Pokeballs and Mega Mans melted all together at cons, craft fairs and online. But did you know that A) they are super easy to do yourself and B) cost like, next to nothing?
If I can do it – you can! And I’ll tell you how you can get started really quick : )
You need only three things: beads, a board, and an iron. You probably have an iron already (or you should – it’s like, a good thing to have!) and both the beads and boards are available at your local craft store. I got mine at Michael’s. Make sure you get a couple boards – that way if you want to make a project bigger than one, you can clip a few together!
If you need specialty colours they are also available online: I use EK Success and they are really awesome!
2. Pick a pattern
You can buy them, or you can go rogue and make your own. However, and this is both awful and wayyyyy easier, I look for them online, then just count the beads with my eyeballs to copy the design. I know, I know, but look: where in a store are you going to be able to find Cowboy Bebop perler bead patterns? Nowhere, that’s where.
3. Beads, Assemble!
Now, create! You really can’t go wrong here – follow your pattern, make something up, do your thing! You can just move them around, so mess around! One word of advice – work from top to bottom or side to side. If you fill in the outside and work your way in, you can end up bumping a lot of beads out of place with your hands.
Or that just might be me.
Once you’re finished, put a little parchment paper over them (should be some in your big bead box) and give them an iron! A little for a pixelated look; a lot for something smoother! I usually do both sides, one smooth and one not, and then stick them under a heavy textbook to keep them from curling. That’s it!
Here’s some of the ones that I’ve made (some are images I used as patterns :))
4. Make your own
If there’s something that you really wanna create but just can’t find a pattern for, you can always make your own. Some people have used existing patterns and edited them (I’ve seen Mega Man-inspired Altair) OR you can start from scratch, with a little help from an app!
I tried BeadIt HD, and it works really well: take a picture of what you want, set it to a certain size, and it does the work for you! gives you the outline as well as what colors to use!
Have you made any cool perler bead projects in the past? Share them with me, I’d love to see them!
I totally won’t steal them for my own purposes ……
Until next time!