This morning before Cub Scout Day Camp, Nicholas and I were scrambling to make some more swaps to trade with other scouts. He really has fun with the Perler Beads so I thought I write a little more about them.
I just happened to find these at Michaels craft store this weekend. I've never heard of them but the packaging showed a lot of cute designs that you could make with them so I thought we'd try to make some space-themed designs for his swaps. (And don't forget that Michaels and most other craft stores offer 40% off coupons if you join their mailing lists!)
I got a basic package that had some shaped pegboards and lots of different colors of Perler beads just to get us started.
They also sell lots of individual packages of beads if you want a lot of one color.
There are also boxes of just assorted colors of beads without pegboards.
And of course, several more kits including this giant kit that shows you how to make 3-D creations.
We used the shaped pegboards that came with my kit but didn't make the animal designs. We just used them for the pegs and created our space designs on them. However, the shaped pegboards don't have equal spacing between the pegs and are really best to use when creating that particular shape.
So I picked up some basic square pegboards that have perfect spacing between the pegs.
There are patterns you can find online to make certain shapes but we had fun just coming up with them on our own. Here Nicholas is working on an alien spaceship.
You just put the beads on the pegs in any pattern you'd like but the beads must be touching another bead for the design to work.
On my second trip to Michaels I decided to try these specially designed Perler tongs. They are a must have for when you need to pick out beads in the middle of your design and replace them with a different color. Trust me, even little fingers can't move some of these beads around without knocking out lots of other perfectly placed beads.
I also got a generic bead organizer to keep all the colors separate to make it quicker to grab the bead you want.
So now you have all of these beads on a pegboard, what do you do with them? You'll need the special ironing paper that is included with the kit or you can buy some individually. You drag out your iron (yes, there is a bit of work for Mommy on this project). Place the pegboard gently on the ironing board. I say gently because those little boogers of beads will hop off the pegboard if you bump it too hard. Place the ironing paper on top of the design and iron it for 10-15 seconds. The iron will just barely melt the Perler beads enough that they stick together. Once one side is melted together, remove the design from the pegboard, flip it over, put down the ironing paper, and iron the other side the same way. This will create firm designs that you can do just about anything with.
Here are our alien creations for today.
I picked up some pin backings and used a hot glue gun to attach the pins to the alien creations so that Nicholas could pin them to his hat.
His alien swaps were a big hit. His friends were running up to check them out before he even got out of the van.
He had several pinned to his hat and more in his backpack.
Off to day 2 of Cub Scout Day Camp!