Do you need some great perler bead ideas to finally get the kids using that giant tub of melty beads you have in the cupboard? Then you’ve come to the right place!
Once, long go, I bought a tube of fusible ‘Perler’ beads from Ikea. We gave them a try, but none of the kids were very interested. So they went back into the cupboard where they sat, unused and unloved for years, and years.
Now fast forward seven years. One day, after weeks of summer holidays, when I was about to give up and just plug them into the playstation permanently if only it would stop the fighting, one of the kids spotted the tub and said ‘can we use those?’ and that was the beginning of the school holidays perler bead miracle!
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After years of turning up their nose at perler beads, suddenly my kids were were obsessively searching for new perler bead ideas to try.
I counted my blessings after one quiet afternoon of contented patterning and ironing. I wasn’t sure what to think when they got them out again the next day, and the next. And by the fifth day I was hailing it as a full blown miracle.
All four kids happily creating, sharing, and helping each other! It was awesome!
What are these miracle Perler beads?
The are tiny (and I mean tiny) colourful beads that you arrange of a spikey mat into various patterns and designs, then you cover them with baking paper and iron them until they melt a little a fuse together. Perler is a brand name, you can also find them called Hama beads, and there are also lots of ‘generic’ fusible/melty beads like the big tub we got from Ikea.
Not all fusible beads are created equal. We’ve found the Ikea ones are great, and good value, but other cheaper generic ones we tried were not as good. So it’s worth buying brand name beads or just buying a small amount and testing them out first.
Check out this site for a good beginners guide to Perler beads.
What can you make with Perler beads?
There are endless ideas and patterns for perler beads online. If you are searching online, look for ones that have a graphic representation of the beads on the board, or a good, clear, photo of the design before it is ironed. Trying to work out the pattern from a finished product can be difficult.
If you want to design your own perler bead creations these printable templates are really useful, and there is also an ipad app that might help.
For younger kids, start with a smaller, simple pattern until they get the hang of things. Older kids have the patience for bigger more elaborate patterns and will love some of the 3D designs.
40 Perler Bead Ideas
Here are a few of our favourite perler bead ideas, including perler bead patterns that we’ve tried out and a few that are on our wish list.
Three Minion designs from Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls
Fun fruit keyrings from My Poppet Makes
Minecraft designs from Minieco (these are great for beginners)
3D minecraft characters from Twin Dragonfly Designs
Perler bead bracelets from Red Ted Art
Easy headphone case from My Frugal Adventures
Paper clip bookmarks from the Perler site.
Perler bead Christmas ornaments from Karen Kavett – we made the 3D snitch and it is awesome!
Angry birds and piggies from Doces Pontos.
Rainbow keychain from My Frugal Adventures.
Star Wars, and more Star Wars patterns from Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls.
Cool spinning tops from Babble Dabble Do.
Perler bead bookmarks from Creative Me Inspired You
Mini robots from Twin Dragonfly Designs
3D star from the Perler site.
Emoji keychain from Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls.
Perler bead notebook covers from Eighteen25
Perler bead bubble wands video from Make Play Film
Day of the Dead perler bead skulls from Gathering Beauty
Rainbow spinner from the Perler site.
Perler bead headband from Eighteen25.
Hamer bead bunting from Paper and Pin.
Perler bead crown from DIY Candy.
Disney princess perler bead patterns via U Create.
Quick cards using Hama Beads from A Spoonful of Sugar.
Inside Out perler bead patterns from I Can Teach My Child.
Llama pendant from Hooray Today.
Perler bead picture frame from Crafts Unleashed.
DIY bike licence plates from Willowday.
Tic tac toe and dimonios from Karen Klarbaeks Verden.
Bead owls from Origami Tutorials.
Perler bead rainbow from Schooling A Monkey.
Easy mermaid perler bead patterns from Cutesy Crafts.
Pirate perler bead patterns from Brain Power Boy.
Perler bead snowflakes from Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls.
Perler bead unicorn (and other great designs kids can make) from A Subtle Revelry.
Fruit perler bead magnets from Frugal Mom Eh!
Perler bead fruit bowl from Vikalpah.
Cactus hama bead jewellery from Red Ted Art.
Perler bead dream catcher from The Art Kit.
Fusible Bead Cookie Cutter Christmas Decorations from Picklebums.
Try one of these fun perler bead ideas, or simple search ‘perler beads’ + your favourite character, book or movie!
Clever Perler bead tips.
- Using a tray or large shallow container to sort your beads is helpful.
- We also found using long handled tweezers with a pointed ends (we found some in our first aid kit) really helpful for picking up and placing the beads.
- We tried out this cool tool made from a straw to pick up and sort beads into colours.
- This video is useful for learning various ironing techniques – though the masking tape technique is way too fiddly!
- A heated skewer melts holes into finished designs so you can add strings or jump rings for necklaces or bag tags.
- You’ll also find hot glue useful for putting 3d designs together.
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
My daughter was OBSESSED with doing these at her after school program. I bought her some and she hasn’t touched it! DOH. I’m sure these ideas will be great inspiration for her. Thank you Kate
Well ours sat in the cupboard for years… so maybe you’ll have to wait a bit longer for here to get into it at home! LOL
L. J. says
Just started working with these beads and have a couple of questions. The first item I tried was not melted together enough so when handled a bit it came apart along one of the bead seams. I tried to reheat and melt it back together and only broke it into several more pieces. I ironed the next item for several minutes more to really melt the beads better. It seems to hold together better, but I also melted and warped the little pattern board so I can not use it again (can’t put beads on some tips). Do you have any suggestions? What am I doing so wrong? I want to make several Christmas ornaments and need any help you can offer. Thanks so much for any help you can give.
We had similar problems with the lower quality beads we have, could it be the beads you have? You need to get the heat setting just right on the iron, and heat them for a while but without pushing down too hard. Hope that helps!
Elisa Allen says
Thank you for including our Perler bead wand!
Niki Hart says
I’ve made so many thing, mostly flat, and they have just sat in a box for years. I would like to know if you have any ideas as to what I can do with them, or sell them as. No one really just wants a flat design. Is there something I can make them into?
My kids like making them into bag tags and giving them to friends. You can melt a hole (carefully) with a hot skewer and add a string or jump rings.
Ebony Foley says
This site is awesome!!! I got so many awesome ideas from it! :)