*** Please see note at the bottom of my post regarding possible health issues…
Something a little different today. I’m afraid I got sucked into a new project because of Pinterest – melting Perler Beads to make your own faux enamel dots. Yes, I’m just a teensy bit addicted to Pinterest. And, I know from personal experience that not everything you read on Pinterest works exactly like the pinners would have you believe. However…
This one really works! I used a few on the last card I posted here, but today, I thought I’d just talk about the dots themselves. See all those dots in the first picture? Yes, I really melted all of those. After experimenting with a few beads I already had, I went ahead and bought the “big box”. 11,000 Perler Beads – I figure I’m set for life. I feel like I melted a TON, and I didn’t even make a dent in the container.
There are a ton of tutorials out there, and I do suggest you check a few out – not everyone is getting the same results, so it helps to see a few different opinions. I had the best luck with my regular oven set at 325°, and they were done in roughly 30 minutes. You definitely have to watch them, though.
Most of the tutorials suggest using parchment paper, but I had a problem with it wanting to roll up on me (perhaps because my parchment paper came on a roll?). Anyway, I found something even better – Reynolds Wrap makes something called pan lining paper – it’s parchment on one side, and foil on the other. I was able to fold it around my cookie sheet (foil-side down), and it stayed in place, and the beads didn’t stick. Here’s a picture of them just out of the oven:
And here’s a comparison shot of my dots next to a partial sheet of “real” enamel dots. (The Perler dots on the top row are actually “half” beads – Perler Beads cut in half before melting. I like that I can have a couple of different sizes. You can also stack two together and get bigger dots, though I haven’t tried that yet. I tend to use smaller ones the most.
You know, I think I actually like mine better! And for the price of just a couple of sheets of the store-bought ones, I now have enough to last forever, in lots of great colors, too!
So all those wasted hours on Pinterest actually paid off. 🙂
Have a great holiday weekend!
*** Edited June 28, 2015: I feel I need to caution that there may be some issues with a sort of chemical smell when melting these beads. Some people don’t notice it at all, but others do. As Perler Beads are meant to be melted (with an iron), I have to think that the “danger” must be minimal, but if you have any breathing issues, you might want to stick with store-bought, or check out other options. And if you do try this, please do so in a well-ventilated area. For the record, I have NOT tried melting other plastic beads for this very reason.