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4/14/12

Perler Bead Night


The mister has been wanting to make video game characters out of perler beads (also known as fuse beads). So I decided to make a craft night out of it and join in on the fun! I started with that big owl. You can find the pattern here. I was soon addicted and couldn't stop thinking of the possibilities. We also have glitter and glow-in-the-dark beads that I haven't played with yet.


It wasn't long before I was making up my own designs. I made the cats, owls and mushroom myself. The keyboard pattern is here. I knew right away that I wanted to make brooches! I love the way they look like pixel art and that you can customize the colors to your fancy. Do you recognize these kitties?


Marie (white), Wednesday (black) and Sandy (tortoise shell)


Now I can wear all of our kitties proudly! I also made a few more other kitties.


Anakin (orange), Cricket (nude) and Farva (black and white)


Once I made kitties, the owls were a piece of cake.


I am pretty proud of the little mushroom I designed too!


The mister feverishly worked on his Ghostbuster. It is huge! He is really glad that I embraced this hobby with him and that we got to spend a night creating together.


How to make perler bead brooches:
1. Buy your supplies at your local craft store (boards, tweezers, beads, parchment paper, pin backs)
2. Looks for small patterns, make up your own or use mine!
3. Arrange as many as you can fit on your board, not touching each other. Remember, beads can't be completely diagonal, there has to be a vertically or horizontally placed bead there too. Like a crossword puzzle.
4. Carefully cover your beaded boards with parchment paper. Use a preheated iron on the wool setting to gently rub in a circular motion. You should start seeing the beads through the paper. Keep melting for about 15 seconds or until you notice them start to fuse together. I like them to still look round or you can melt them until they are square and don't look like beads anymore. Let them cool for about 5 minutes.
5. Take fused beads off the board and flip over to the other side. Repeat, step 4, except heat for longer so that there is less holes and fused more. Cool again!
6. Glue a brooch back to the second, more flat side. I used hot glue.

Wear them with pride!


Some things I would have done differently:
- Used higher contrast orange for Sandy's eyes. The orange I used wasn't as bright once it melted. A lot of the colors change.
- Not pressed as hard on the big owl. I made some lines but all the ones I did after that came out fine. Lesson learned!
- Paid attention to the direction I was gluing on the brooch backs. And put them up higher on the cats so they don't lean forward.
- Don't try to blow out cat hair from your board. Beads went flying and I had to start over!

- Rachele
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