perler beads

Getting Started with Perler Beads

9/19/2013 House of Geekiness 0 Comments

What are Perler Beads?

Perler beads are a versatile crafting material, their uses are limited only by your imagination. Usually used in pixel-style type arts and crafts, they can be used by children and adults alike.

The beads are small plastic cylinders that can be placed on a special pegboards to form a design or pattern, then melted (or fused) together with a household iron to form one single, solid piece.

What You Need to Get Started

There are a few basic things you'll need before you start your first project:

Beads - Obviously...

Pegboard(s) - Specially made for perler/hama/fuse/melty/pyssla bead crafts, these hold the beads in place so they can be melted together. Pegboards come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Clear boards allow you to place a pattern beneath the board and see it while you craft. Different shaped boards are important for a variety of patters because the pegs are arranged differently by board. For example, the pegs on a square board are arranged in a square-grid pattern, while the pegs on a round board are arranged in a circular pattern. There are also inter-locking, small boards that can form a larger board when locked together.

Tweezer-type Tool - This tool is specially made to allow you to pick up individual beads, so you can place or remove them delicately. Another great feature: the opposite end is a small shovel that lets you scoop up piles of beads easily. *When I first started bead crafts, I didn't buy one right away, when I finally did, it changed my life! Sounds corny, but it's amazing what a difference such a small, inexpensive, weird looking set of plastic tweezers can be!

Ironing Paper - (or regular parchment paper) - The paper is as essential as the beads themselves and can make or break any project (more details in the step by step crafting instructions). The paper is used to keep the melting beads from sticking to the hot iron. *I forgot to use this one time, and believe me, it wasn't pretty! Thankfully, the beads came off pretty easily once they were cooled, but my creation was destroyed...

Small Craft Iron or Household Iron - While small craft irons can be easier to work with, regular old clothing irons work too!

Patterns or Design - You can either create designs yourself, buy them, or find free designs that others have share. Some bead kits come with designs! 

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