Intro to Perler / Fuse Beads
So you have been raving for a minute and maybe you have made some sick kandi bracelets and necklaces and now you want to start adding perlers to them. How do you go about doing that?
Well you came to the right place, I will walk you through everything you need to know about making perler / Artkal fuse bead creations.
There are a few things you are going to need before you can get started.
- Fuse Beads - I'd recommend the brand Artkal as they are high quality and work with perler brand beads as well. They also have the biggest selection of color.
- Peg Boards - This is the plastic board that holds your beads.
- Tweezers - These will save your life when you start putting the beads on the board since they are small and hard to pick up with just your fingers.
- Design Blue Print - You can freehand your way into a beautiful creation, but if you don't feel like being artsy take a logo or make a pattern on KandiPatterns.com
- Ironing Film - Artkal makes some awesome clear film that makes your creation shiny or you can use parchment paper.
- Small Craft Iron - We have tried alternatives but our easy bake oven didn't do so well. You can use a regular clothing iron, just make sure the steam is NOT on when you use it. You also don't want the heat cranked all the way up because that can over-melt your perler.
Don't worry, we have built a collection of most of these items to buy in our shop.
Creating your Design
First, print or have your design ready. I'm using a design I found for EDC. I will be changing the colors, but this is a good starting point.
Pattern source: https://kandipatterns.com/patterns/misc/edc-fire-perler-17088
Using the Artkal 48 Color Set - Buy Here
Notice I'm using a book to create a flat surface. A flat surface ensures that the beads keep flat after ironing.
I like to outline the art first. As you can see above, I counted each bead from the pattern so they would match perfectly with the artwork. Outlining it first makes it really easy to just fill in the color after. I've decided on a blue and purple scheme.
Now I am finished filling in the design and ready for melting. I added "2018" to the bottom of the design, since I plan on trading it this year.
Now in order to not warp my pegboard from the heat, I will use masking tape to carefully press onto my perler so I can flip it over. This can get tricky with bigger pieces. Anything that fits on one board I would recommend taping it and flipping it over before ironing.
Now its time to iron either using parchment paper or Artkal ironing film. I love the Artkal ironing film because it adds a nice sine to the art piece and is clear which helps me see how melted my beads are.
Make sure the back is melted together enough before flipping. Once you finish ironing the back, flip it over carefully and melt the front to your liking. You can melt your beads completely together or leave a "pixel" look to it by just melting them enough with the bead holes still showing. Once you have the front melted your done! You can make this into a necklace or attach it to a cuff.
Thanks for reading! Happy Melting :)