You Melt My Heart: Gift Ideas from Perler Fuse Beads
1 February 2010
Author: Kara Ward
Creating with Perler Fuse Beads beads isn’t just for the kids. Crafters of all ages and all sizes have discovered the fun and the value of creating with fuse beads. They are inexpensive to purchase, the pegboards are reusable, and they allow for hours of creativity and pure enjoyment by all who use them.
If you have never used this type of bead, it is made of plastic and in the form of a cylinder. The bead sits on the plastic pegboard, and then it is heated with an iron. The beads “fuse” together from the heat of the iron, which is where the term fuse bead comes from.
Here are the four basic steps recommended by fuse bead manufacturer Perler Beads. Perler Beads are manufactured in California and made of an LDPE food-grade plastic. There are no harmful chemicals in these beads. Not all fusion beads are created equally.
- Work on a flat surface. Create a design by placing the beads on the pegboard. There are tons of patterns available at the Perler website and all across the Internet. There are even idea books available. Take the risk and create something on your own. If you have trouble picking up the beads due to their small size, tweezers are also available at Perler.
- An adult needs to pre-heat a household iron to medium heat. I prefer a small travel iron to keep near my work station versus a large household iron. It seems like most accidents happen when carrying your design over to the ironing station. Cover the beads with ironing paper. Wax paper isn’t the best choice because it tends to produce an oily substance when heated. It takes approximately 10 seconds for the heat of the iron to fuse your design. Make sure you are moving the iron in a circular motion so you don’t melt the pegboard form.
- Once the design has fused and cooled, peel off the ironing paper and remove it from the pegboard.
- Turn the design over and iron the back side after first covering with the ironing paper.
Perler Fuse Beads allow you to design brightly colored, inexpensive, and creative gifts for family and friends. Here are a few ideas to get you started designing. Let your imagination soar and your projects!
- Using Perler Fuse Beads, you can create a gift basket. Fill it with Easter candies and eggs. Attach a bright colored ribbon to the handle with a tag on it for a personal message. To create this basket, you will need to use the hexagon pegboard. You will only use the outer line of pegs for placing your fusion beads. Create as many layers as you desire, but at least six. The bottom layer of the basket needs to be completely filled in on the hexagon pegboard or in a fancy design without many holes in it so your jelly beans don’t slip through. Use a pipe cleaner in each corner of the hexagon to connect the hexagon frames together. Perler recommends placing a pony bead between the frame layers to add depth to the basket. You may create a handle from the hexagon pegboard or utilize a wide ribbon. Gift baskets are great for any special occasion, from a baby shower to a birthday party. The ideas are endless. You could create a square basket or rectangular basket by using the same method as the hexagon basket. Make this basket look like an old fashioned popcorn container. Add movie tickets, microwave popcorn, or a few candy bars. It is sure to be the hit of the party.
- Did you know fuse beads float? Add fuse beads that haven’t been ironed into a home-made liquid soap dispenser and fill it up. The beads will disperse in the container and create a fun, colorful bottle of soap gift for Mother’s Day or for a girlfriend’s birthday. Create a flower fuse bead charm necklace to dangle from the soap bottle. Just run a ribbon through the ironed fuse bead flower and tie it around the bottle. Complete the present with a gift card to the spa or a cross-stitched hand towel. You may decide to use the floating fusion beads in a snow globe instead of the traditional glitter.
- Etsy is full of Perler bead earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. They are often in the shape of food like ice cream or flowers. You can create a personal necklace with the alphabet pegboard. Design your initial, iron it to fuse, and then add a jump ring, ribbon, or a ball and chain for wearing. If you are on a soccer team, make ribbon soccer ball necklaces for everyone to wear. Create crown necklaces for a princess party. The ideas are endless for creative jewelry.
- How about a fuse bead party invitation. Create the cover for the invitation from the beads. You can create any design from cars to castles. Utilizing a jump ring or small ribbon, attach a card with the who, what, why, where, and when information to the design. Place a magnet on the back, and it is ready to hang on the refrigerator. No party participant will forget to come with this cool reminder!
- Father’s Day is the perfect opportunity for a family craft project. Bring out the Perler Fuse Beads and create a memorable photo frame for Dad. Personalize it with his favorite sporting team, hobby, or #1 DAD sign. Let each member of the family make his or her own frame. Add a photo to the inside or a painted hand print. Dad will treasure this keepsake for years. Key chain frames are also good fusion bead projects and nice for Dads too.
- Create a Valentine’s gift that is made with love. Have each family member design their own heart using the fusion beads. Add a personal note to the hearts with little office tags. Tie the hearts to a store purchased tree or one that is made from a tree branch with paint on it. Give this to your extra special “valentines” to tell them all the reasons you love them.
- Design fuse bead lollipops from the circle pegboard. Tie or adhere sucker sticks or white painted dowel rods to the back of the circle designs. Place the lollipops into a candy bouquet. It will be the sweetest gift ever!
- Create fuse bead ornaments and tie them to a package as a unique gift tag. Personalize the ornaments by leaving a few pegs out from the center of the design for placing a photo. Create a Santa Claus with your face on it or a snowflake design with a place left for a photo. This gift is wrapped with extra care and can be hung on the tree after the gift is opened.
- Personalized gifts are always a favorite to receive. Perler Fuse Beads allow you to create everything from room signs to drink coasters bearing the family’s last name initial.
- Mother’s Day is when the thought of flowers comes to the mind of many. Consider creating a flower display that will outlast the flowers from the florist. Perler Beads makes a kit for creating flowers and a 3-D vase. In the center of the flowers add a photo of each family member. Mom will love displaying this year around in the home.
From coasters to key chains, Perler Fuse Beads pave the way to easy, affordable crafts that the entire family can enjoy together. Fusion beads allow one to be creative and the ability to personalize the gifts they give. Unlock the magical world of fusion beads and get creating. You will love the end results.