If you’re looking for a fun and easy craft to help fill some free time, I highly recommend Perler beads, also know as melty beads or hana beads. Basically you create a design on a plastic plate using plastic beads and then melt it once it’s done with an iron used over a piece of parchment paper. Below are a bunch of fun Perler bead designs and ideas that my 9 year-old son and I have created. There’s a little bit of something for everyone. Also before you get started, see the list below for supplies you’ll need.
Perler Bead Supplies (affiliate links provided for convenience)
- Perler Beads – This set is a great perler bead starter set or this starter set with most of the colors you’ll need. I also recommend getting some neutral colors like this set that are great for creating people and faces as well as a set of grays.
- Perler Bead Pegboards
- I recommend this pegboard set because it has the boards we use the most. Most all of the designs we created can be done on a large square square board, a circle or hexagon pegboard. For large designs you’ll need more than one large square pegboard. This set has multiple large square boards.
- There are also a variety of pre-shaped boards that are great for younger kids.
- Ironing Paper
- If your pegboard set doesn’t come with ironing paper you’ll need some. We use the same few pieces over and over again.
- Iron (you can’t do this craft without an iron).
Perler Bead Tips
- When it’s time to iron your design first you need to place ironing paper over the beads. Iron in a circular motion without letting the iron stay in one spot for too long. I usually keep my iron on medium heat so that it doesn’t melt the design too quickly.
- You may need to iron your design several times on each side.
- Iron until all beads are fused together. I check multiple times as I iron.
- Place your finished design after ironing under a heavy book to keep it flat.
Perler Bead Patterns and Ideas
Below are some of our favorite melty bead patterns and ideas that we’ve made.
Llama perder bead pattern, owl, fox and unicorn perler bead pattern. NOTE: For the owl you need to use a hexagon perler bead pegboard.
Circle designs also make great coasters! Use a small circle pegboard for these designs.
These pacman designs are fun and easy. For the pacman, just start at the center of a small circle pegboard and work your way out until you reach the desired size.
The koala, panda and bunny perler bead designs below are all made using a hexagon pegboard.
These cute pencils designs would be perfect to glue onto small notepads. Cute kawaii perler bead designs are great for making keychains and pendants.
Make this adorable perler bead hedgehog. This perler bead version of Starry Night would make a great coaster.
You’ll need multiple large square plates to complete this colorful fuse bead project. Cute Starbucks mini perler bead designs are always a hit.
This sloth design was inspired by Cutesy Crafts.
Paint drip perler bead heart. Cute pandas made of perler beads. We had fun making this large Bob Ross design (original design source AC Moore)Super Mario Bros designs. VW Bus design.