Monday, July 3, 2017

DIY: Perler Bead Coasters

Sunnier days and Independence Day is right around the corner. We have been thinking about some fun projects for outdoor summer parties. On that note, we love perler beads: they are delightful and addictive, and fun for adults and kids alike. These perler bead coasters are great to jazz up a party, or to set your sweet summer treats on. The supplies are simple and available at all collage locations!

Adventure Time coasters and Powerpuff Girls coasters.
Read on to learn more and see our projects!

"Perler beads" is the name-brand for "fuse beads." They are also commonly known as "Hama beads," which is another name-brand. If you're not familiar with them, fuse beads are colorful plastic beads, which can be fused together with heat. They're usually laid out on a plastic board in a design, and fused together with an iron, although they can be strung along string too, like regular beads. Fuse beads come in mini and regular sizes.

collage carries the larger beads, so keep this in mind if you are looking at patterns online! (Sometimes you will see elaborate designs made into magnets, small charms, and other things, these are often created with the smaller sized beads.)

Supplies:

* Pegboard
* Perler beads
* Iron
* Parchment paper
* Tweezers (optional)
* E6000 (optional)
* Cork (optional)



Steps:

1. Gather your supplies.

2. Pick out your pattern, and map it out on your pegboard. Using tweezers will allow you to load up with at least two beads—or more—at a time, to go more quickly.

3. Place the non-stick parchment paper on top of your design, and iron. Try to iron evenly, and keep the iron moving—don't rest the iron in any one area.

4. Gently lift the parchment paper to look and check that all of the beads have been fused together. Carefully remove the ironed beads by flipping the perler bead tray upside down. Ironing both sides will make it stronger.

5. Enjoy!

6. Make more designs. If making coasters, you might want to glue your finished perler bead design to cork, with water-resistant e6000. This will make the design stronger.

We made colorful rainbow drink covers, and a pokeball drink cover. If you're feeling patriotic for Independence Day, you might make these drink covers. The drink covers are great because, if you make different patterns, they can serve as drink markers if you have a big group of people.
Powerpuff Girl pattern from Kandi Patterns, slightly modified and larger. 

Like cross-stitch, perler beads are awesome for recreating video game characters, 8 bit art, and cartoons: Mario, PacMan, Bob's Burgers, Steven Universe, and more. There's a crazy number of things you can do with fuse beads: You can clip multiple square boards together, and create largescale photographic art, like this portrait of Mohammed Ali. You can also build up layers of fuse beads, and create something like a dimensional sculpture (like these desserts). You can even weave the beads together with string (check out this blogpost on how to make a plant koozie). OR, you can melt them together to make things like bowls. You can of course also freestyle and create abstract, unique patterns too. So. many. options!

collage carries a large variety of fuse bead colors, multipacks, and kits to get you going. (We especially like the glow-in-the-dark beads.)

Scroll down for more pictures of our finished projects!
Gotta catch 'em all!



Adventure Time designs taken from the book "Adventure Time Crafts," by Chelsea Bloxom and Cartoon Network. We modified the designs a little bit, and used glow-in-the-dark beads for their faces.

Party time! Perler bead supplies and some finished coasters and drink covers.