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If you have kids, you probably know all about hama beads. Or perler beads, melty beads, Pyssla beads, fuse beads or any of the other names for them. Those little plastic cylinders that you arrange into shapes and fuse with an iron. So today I’m going to share with you some perler bead Christmas patterns that my children and I came up with!
I will be totally honest: I don’t particularly love perler beads. I don’t love plastic for ecological reasons. I love melting it even less because of the fumes that it gives off. But, there’s no denying that they are really fun to use and they stimulate creativity and problem solving skills.
And all those colors! I just want to dip my hand in there!
Last year my children and I created a bunch of winter and Christmas themed hama bead designs, which I created a printable template from.
I added a hanging loop and we put one of these DIY Christmas tree ornaments inside each holiday greeting card that we sent out. They’re perfect to mail because they are flat and lightweight!
I feel strongly about my children giving gifts to our loved ones, so every year I do a holiday craft with them as a DIY gift. Here are some other great handmade holiday crafts for kids:
- Pine cone Christmas trees
- Paper poinsettias from upcycled egg cartons
- Felt Christmas tree ornaments from repurposed sweaters
- Woven Hopi Eye yarn Christmas tree ornaments
So grab your kids and your beads, download the perler bead Christmas patterns, and let’s get started!
- Perler beads. The big container here are Ikea Pyssla beads*, but there are gazillions of brands that make them. (Here are a few!*)
- Perler board*, preferably clear. You need a classic square board to make these perler bead Christmas patterns.
- Tapestry needle* and gold thread* or floss for hanging.
- Parchment paper* or wax paper*.
- Perler bead Christmas ornaments template. (My free printables are available to all Cucicucicoo Newsletter subscribers. The Newsletter is sent out every two weeks and you can unsubscribe whenever you want. Sign up for the Newsletter here for access to dozens of free downloads, templates and patterns! If you are already subscribed, just look at the bottom of the last Newsletter you received for the link and password.)
Print the perler bead Christmas patterns
1. Download the free perler bead Christmas patterns template (see “Materials” above) and print it out at full size (100%, no scaling) in color.
Make the perler bead ornaments
2. Put the template under the clear perler board so that each circle corresponds to a peg on the board. Make sure you’re using a square board.
If you do not have a clear pegboard, just use it as a guide and count the spaces to put the colors in the correct spaces.
3. Start putting the beads over the corresponding color of the template. I suggest starting from one side and working your way to the other side.
4. Recreate the design following the template. Feel free to change colors or make modifications to the design. Just make sure that the beads are arranged in a way that they will stick together properly.
5. Heat your iron to medium heat, no steam. Do not use too high a heat setting, or the beads may stick onto the pegboard or you may even melt the little pegs on the board, ruining it.
6. Place parchment or wax paper over the beads and run the iron over the beads and paper with circular movements for 10-20 seconds, or until the tops of the beads are melted and fused together.
**IMPORTANT!** Work in a well-ventilated area when you fuse the beads. They do give off some fumes and you don’t want to breathe them in! Work next to an open window or, even better, work outside.
7. Remove the parchment or wax paper and let the beads cool. Then turn the pegboard upside down and let the bead design fall out or use your fingers or tweezers to help ease it out.
If you notice that there are some beads where are not securely fused to the adjacent ones, put the ornament between two layers of parchment/wax paper and iron over that side again.
You can see the circles on the bottom (above to the left). The top is flatter and the colors look like squares (above to the right). I prefer the non-melted side with the circles, but if you like the melted side more, feel free to fuse the other side, too, again by putting it between two layers of parchment paper and ironing the other side.
Now make some more designs with different colors! Here you can see the non-melted (left) and melted (right) sides.
Hang the ornaments
8. Thread the needle with the hanging thread and poke it through the top center bead, or space between the two top center beads if there is an even number of beads on top. If your ornament is not symmetrical, such as with the comet ornament, insert the needle wherever you want it to hang from.
9. Tie the thread with a knot and hang up your ornaments! Or make a bunch more to send in your holiday greeting cards!
If you want to make some really easy handmade cards, download my free printable holiday cards with cutouts!
Do you want all the best crafting and sewing projects, as well as these FREE perler bead Christmas patterns (and the printable holiday cards)? Then sign up for the Cucicucicoo Newsletter here for access to dozens of free printables!
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