Perler Making for Beginners

Perler Making for Beginners
Authored By Ashley Ball 0 Comment(s)

Recently I’ve received lots and lots of questions about how I make my perlers - including everything from supplies to methods - so today I’m here to share it all. Whether you’re getting ready to make your first perler, or are more experienced making larger pieces, I’m sure you’ll find some helpful information below!


Supplies:


Before you can get started making your perler, there are a few different materials and supplies necessary, listed here:


  • Perler beads in lots of colors
  • Large pegboard(s)
  • Parchment paper
  • Iron

Optional (for turning the perler into wearable kandi):


  • String
  • Pony beads
  • Letter beads

Other important things (to make your life easier):


  • Tweezers
  • Towel
  • Bead organizer box

Where to Buy:


Just about everything listed above can be found on kandibeads.com under the section “Artkal Fuse Beads”. The prices are comparable to or even cheaper than your local craft stores, and everything can be bought and received in one bulk purchase!


If you are in much more of a rush to make a perler for a certain show or festival, and can’t wait a few days for shipping, I’ve also found these supplies at stores such as Wal-Mart, Michael’s Craft Store, JOANN Fabrics, and Hobby Lobby!

Most people have plenty of items already laying around the house too - Before purchasing, double check to see if you already have an iron, parchment paper, tweezers, and a towel!


My Method:


  • Choose your design.

  • If you’re just getting into making perlers, it may be easier to look to Pinterest for some inspiration, but feel free to create a unique design all of your own as well! Just be sure to have a plan in place before starting. Commonly, you’ll see logos of artists, phrases such as “PLUR”, and people’s favorite cartoon characters - but you truly can create anything!


    Some people will also choose to print out a picture of the design in the desired size, and lay it underneath a clear pegboard while placing the corresponding colored beads on top!


  • Throw a towel down on the table you’ll be working at.

  • This part is totally optional, but I always put a towel down on my coffee table to prevent loose beads from bouncing off the table. The towel will give them a lot less room to get away!


  • Set out all the materials you’ll use.

  • Double check that you have all the colors/supplies you need before you start! Nothing is more annoying than being SO close to finished and realizing you’re all out of a color or realizing the parchment paper is missing.


    Since most perlers come in bags, it can be handy to have a bead organizer to pour the beads into while keeping the colors separate.


    It is also important to have larger pegboards right from the beginning - mini perlers are fun for a while, but you’ll soon find yourself wanting to create larger and more elaborate pieces!


  • Create your design.

  • This is fairly straightforward, but also the most time consuming - go ahead and start bringing your design to life on the pegboard! Be patient though, the mini perlers may only take a few minutes, but my largest pieces have taken multiple hours! This is where (thin) tweezers come in handy, it is much easier to use those to pick up the beads than your fingers.

    Also be careful when standing up to take snack breaks - bumping into your half finished work and watching the beads spill all over is a different kind of pain...


  • Iron on both sides.

  • This part can be tricky, especially if you are doing a larger piece and want to keep your pegboards good for as long as possible.


    Lay a piece of parchment paper, large enough to cover both sides of your perler, over the piece and iron on high heat (this applies to my iron, but it may take some trial and error to figure out which setting works the best on your iron).


    Iron the piece just enough to see the beads start to melt, and support the piece as you peel it off the pegboard, still attached to the parchment paper (if a couple of beads fall out as you are peeling it off the pegboard you can usually place them back in the piece once it is flat on the table). Place it face down on the table and fold the parchment paper over the back side.


    Continue to iron the perler until the beads have completely melted together on one or both sides. I prefer to iron mine until you can’t see the holes of the individual beads, but some prefer a more pixelated look - it's up to your personal preference!


    IMPORTANT: Do NOT iron the perler completely on the pegboard. It can be safe with mini perlers, but the larger pegboards will warp and are almost impossible to rescue (a lesson I’ve learned the hard way).


  • Let the perler cool off completely.

  • This is SUPER important: large perlers WILL warp as they cool unless you set something on top of them.


    Place the perler face down, still wrapped in the parchment paper, and find something heavy (that won’t be affected by the heat) to place on top. I’ve used everything from a pony bead box to a small metal trash can. For the best results, leave it there until the perler is completely cool!


    I’ve rescued warped perlers by setting heavy books on top of it for a couple of days, but that doesn’t always work, so it's better to be safe in the beginning!


  • Turn it into a wearable piece of kandi!

  • This can look different depending on the size of the perler you made. I tend to tie mini perlers to singles or small cuffs, and turn the large pieces into necklaces! I have also seen people turn them into headbands, garters, belts, and even full-blown armor. It’s all up to your creativity!


    I hope this guide helps you on your kandi-making adventures and brings about some stunning perlers to share and trade! If there is anything I missed, feel free to ask questions in the comments below!


    With peace, love, unity, and respect,

              Ashley



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