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!
This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something via one of these links I get a small commission at no extra cost to you.
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.
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!
Rainbow keychain from My Frugal Adventures.
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.
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.