Last year was the summer of the Rainbow Loom. This year, it has been Perler beads! Well, at our house anyway. They’re not any kind of fad that I know of! If you haven’t tried this classic craft, they really are a lot of fun. Simply build your project on a plastic base and then use your iron to melt the beads together! The beads are tiny, so these projects are best for kids age 6+. Perler also makes “Biggie Beads” that are better suited for kids age 4+ (that’s what the package says, but my 3 year old can do them).
This week, we have been making Star Wars characters with Perler beads! (or Hama beads, depending on where you live!)
- If it’s your first time doing Perler beads, iron something small first to get a feel for it. Or you might just ruin your son’s impressive creation! (Ahem.)
- The bigger the object, the more difficult it is to iron. Basically if the creation is larger than the iron, it gets a little tricky to get it evenly melted, although practice does help some. For this reason, all of the projects except Darth Vader fit on one pegboard, or overlap only slightly onto another pegboard.
- Lay a piece of ironing paper (comes with the base plates) over your creation and iron. Let it cool a few seconds, and then carefully flip it over. It should come off the pegboard easily. Place another piece of ironing paper over it and iron the other side.
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R2-D2: We found this design on DeviantArt.
Yoda: Aidan’s design! This took at least three tries to get it right. I’m glad he stuck with it.
Luke Skywalker: Dad designed this one. He simplified it from a few that we found on Pinterest to make it more kid friendly.
Han Solo: My design. 🙂
Darth Vader: This one was also Aidan’s design. He looked at his LEGO Darth Vader for a pattern, and worked really, really hard on it!
Darth Vader was the hardest to iron – I think I melted him too much in a couple of spots.
The lightsaber is a great project to start with for younger kids. It’s also easy to iron since it’s smaller.
If you’re just getting started, this large tub of beads is a great way to go. This price is comparable for buying them at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby with a coupon. The 11,000 bead tub was $14.99 at both craft stores. This tub has 22,000 beads and is currently $14.65 on Amazon.
You will also need base plates (pegboards) – we used these square pegboards. The pegboards come with the waxed paper that you will need for ironing.
Michael’s carries single color bags of perler beads in their stores, but Hobby Lobby does not. Or you can order single color bags on Amazon. Darth Vader takes a LOT of black – you will definitely need a bag of black to make that one!