I’ve been using Perler beads for a while now, and I have been getting the hang of them fairly well. I feel that I’m experienced enough to let the internets know my little secrets on getting them somewhat perfect every time. (Note: I’m not experienced with hama beads, so this may not apply to them)
1.) The most important thing to get your perler creations perfect is… DON’T MIX BRANDS! I always strictly stick with Perler brand. You can order them off of their website or you can pick them up at a craft store, typically. I tried buying them from Wal-Mart once… huge mistake. The beads were horrible looking… they looked like mutant beads. Perler brand are typically identical and flawless every time. Also, when you mix beads. They melt really weird…they like sink into the project almost. For example:
2.) Make sure your boards are even. If you’re doing a larger project that requires you to connect multiple boards together, make sure that they are all lying flat and even. Doing this helps prevent the lines where the boards connect melting into your project. Ironing on a flat surface helps as well. I’ve tried ironing on the carpet before, and they melt unevenly!
3.) Experiment with your iron. Different irons have different settings. I think my projects look best when one side is completely melted and the other is left alone. To completely melt one side, I have to turn my iron up all the way and I iron until there aren’t any holes showing.
4.) Don’t press down on your iron! If you need more heat, turn your iron up. I know the instructions that come with most perler sets say to turn it up about halfway, but I never listen to that. Pressing down causes your bead colors to blend together.
5.) Put something heavy on your project! Whenever you are done ironing, leave the paper on and place a heavy object on your project. Whenever your project cools, it will bend. Placing a heavy object on your project will make sure it stays flat and looks awesome! I like to use my organic chemistry book because I hate that thing. :p
6.) Don’t peel your ironing paper off too soon! Your project needs a lot of time to cool, especially if you have a heavy object on it. If you peel your paper off too soon, odds are, your paper will rip and you may burn yourself. Let your project cool for at least a good 10 minutes.
7.) Try to not lift up on your iron too soon. It may just be me, but whenever I lift my iron up too soon, beads like to come up with it.
8.) As I said before, I like my projects to be completely melted on one side and left alone on the other side. They always turn out really even that way. To do this, you will have to find a photo online and flip it in either Microsoft paint or another photo editing software. That way you can iron that side and the other side that’s not ironed will be pointing out.
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