Summer Craft Idea: Play with Perler Beads (hama beads)

Lovely June is here, and it’s time to do some summer crafting. The definition of summer craft is loosely: anything that feels light, airy, fun, colorful and can be done outdoors on the balcony or in the garden, at the summer house or maybe even in the car.

Or simply anything you want to work on when the summer months are around…

Summer Craft Idea: play using hama beads

If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in? Slow down and enjoy the moment you’re in and live your life to the fullest.
Nanette Mathews

I was probably making random colored coasters already in Day care as a kid, so they’ve been around for a long time. Then they came in lego-colors and we called them indianpärlor.

Perler Fused Beads or Hama beads (hamapärlor)

In Sweden this kind of plastic bead is mostly called Hama Beads. I think it’s because of the company that produces them. But searching for them on Amazon only reveals beads that are called Perler Beads, so I guess that’s what they are called in the US. Or iron beads? What do you call them?

They are round tube like plastic beads, that you can string into necklaces or bracelets, but most commonly you melt them/fuse them together into flat designs! At least that’s what I think is the most fun.

Summer craft Idea: play usinghama beads

To make these designs you need a round pegboard, found at craft stores along with the beads and many other shapes to play with.

You place your different colored beads on the pegboard, a plastic plate that looks like a flat figure with small spikes sticking up, so that they’re held in place temporarily. In this way you can make flat patterns designs. When thinking up advanced designs you could search for pixel art or take note of how a cross stitch pattern look. That might help you get new ideas. You can be as intricate as you want, and there are even special kits for making photo realistic art in Sweden.

When you tray is full, you use a ironing paper (parchment paper) and a hot iron to melt the beads which makes them stick together. In this way you can make really cool designs.

Try Clear Perler Beads

As a grown up, I found that they had developed the concept of these plastic beads further. Now you can find cool glow in the dark beads as well as  clear beads, that are so transparent that the light will shine through them. I was intrigued!

Glow in the dark perler / hama beads

Using only clear Perler Beads I made a couple of round designs, going from the middle and filling them in slowly. I love the design of my melted beads so much, the rows of colors and the fact that they are see-through. My idea was to hang them in a window, to let the sun shine through them… Should I do it?

Summer craft Idea: play using Hama (plastic) Beads that you can melt

Get a bucket load full of regular Perler Fused Beads foryour kids this summer (ages five and up), or a yummy big jar full of Glow In The Dark Perler Beads to play with…

Let me know below if you did this kind of beading as a kid, or if you’ll give it a try (again) this summer!?

Bonus idea: Search for hama bead ideas on Pinterest, and you’ll be overwhelmed with fun, cute, awesome designs that you’ll want to try to make. Also follow my Craft Ideas Inspiration for images I have collected.

Happy summer crafting!

Pärlplatta of me

PS: If you feel extremely lazy, you can do pärlplatta / perler bead photo image digitally here. I made this one of me in a matter of seconds!

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One Response to Summer Craft Idea: Play with Perler Beads (hama beads)

  1. Arielle says:

    Your coasters/sun catchers turned out so happy! You could always get suction cups with thin metal hooks so you could enjoy hanging them in you window, as well as grab one when you need a coaster. Clever, pretty storage for a dual purpose project? :) I played with perler beads a couple times when I was growing up. Haven’t tried again yet in many, many years. Looks like you had fun! Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos and story with us!

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