Saturday, July 10, 2010

Art 103: Perler Beads

Perler beads may have been designed for kids with a penchant for arts and crafts, but that doesn't mean us older folk can't enjoy them too! These ironed creations are especially good for necklaces.

  • Perler beads (any color)
  • small pegboard
  • wax paper
  • an iron
To ensure you have all the proper materials, you may want to buy a Perler bead kit. They are available online and at a local craft store for a reasonable price.

Next, you're going to have to decide what kind of design you want. Pegboards come in all shapes and sizes so do not be afraid to let your creativity show. However, the first one you make doesn't have to be very complicated (see right) and in fact it may be better to produce a simple sample. This way you can get a feel for how it works.

With your pegboard selected, carefully place the various colored beads into your desired pattern. If you have trouble being precise with your fingers, I recommend using a pair of tweezers to aid you.

Afterwords, carefully place two sheets of wax paper on top of your beaded design on the pegboard. You can obviously cut the wax paper down to an appropriate size that while is still able to cover the design, is not obnoxiously huge.

Now move the pegboard to an area where it is safe to iron, preferably an ironing board. Preheat a dry iron to a medium setting, and slowly run it in a circular motion on the beads and pegboard for about 10 to 15 seconds, or until the beads have stuck together. Remember when you check this it will be hot!

Remove the wax paper and gently flip the pegboard on its back ad then slowly take it off. Replace the wax paper and repeat the ironing for the other side. If you want to be able to use this as a pendant or charm, be sure to leave a few beads not fully fused together at the top of the design.

After you've gotten used to working with perler beads perhaps you'll make themed designs! Here someone was clearly inspired by Nintendo video game characters.


  1. I love those beads! They're awesome :D

  2. yayyyy i remember those from my childhood! awww, that brings back so many memories... (: and those mario bros ones are awesome!!

  3. haha I made a Hello Kitty necklace out of perler beads. Love it!