lots o’ dots

kitdots3

*** 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.  kitdots1Here’s a picture of them just out of the oven:

kitdots2And 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.kitdots5

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.

hello, with a flourish

Kit-AR1This card is based on a design by Laurie Willison, demonstrated in the online card class “Stretch Your Stamps 2”.  I think I’ve found another favorite card maker!  I had so much fun with this design.

I actually plan to try this a few more times, with different stamps, but for this card, I thought a single nice big stamp might be the way to go.  If you look closely, the stamping on the white letters does actually line up with the stamping on the red mat, but it’s difficult to tell because this particular stamp has a rather distressed look to it.

I won’t give away all the secrets from the class, but I will share one fun little tidbit about this card that I actually got from Pinterest.  See those three white dots in the upper left-hand corner?  They look like enamel dots, but they’re not – they actually started out their lives as Perler Beads, which I melted in the oven.  There are lots and lots of tutorials on the Internet, and I’m thrilled to say that it actually works!  Perler Beads are super cheap, and available in all sorts of colors.  Yes, it takes a bit of experimenting to find the right time and temperature for your oven… but you can save a fortune on enamel dots.  (These weren’t an exact match for this card – not quite as “white” as the paper – but it looks a lot better “in real life”.)

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

Supplies used:  Papertrey Ink cardstock (Stamper’s Select White, Berry Sorbet), Hero Arts Shadow Ink (Pale Tomato), Simon Says Stamp’s Big Hello die, plain white Perler Beads… well, darn – I have no idea who made this stamp set!  It had a tag on it at one time, but there are no markings on the package now.

birthday star

Kit-AP1

Hi!  I decided to take another class at OnlineCardClasses.com, and I’m so glad I did!  We’re just halfway through, and I’m having a blast!

Today’s card is a variation of one that Debby Hughes demonstrated for us.  She’s amazing! (All of the instructors in the class are!)  I don’t want to give away any class secrets – I just wanted to share some of my fun, and encourage everyone to consider one of these classes.  You can actually sign up any time – even long after the class is done.  (You just won’t be able to post to the forums, ask questions, or add to the gallery.)  So much inspiration!

This card was so much fun, I actually made three of them!

Kit-AP2And now, I’m off to enjoy more of the online tutorials!  Wishing you a wonderful day, and thanks for stopping by!

Supplies used:  Papertrey Ink cardstock (Berry Sorbet and Summer Sunrise), Hammermill color Copy Digital Cover (white cardstock), Sizzix Stars & Swirls embossing folder, Sizzix Framelits Stars dies, Simon Says Stamp’s Holiday Shapes die, Simon Says Stamp’s Happy Birthday die, Hero Arts Butter Bar Shadow Ink, Simon Says Stamp’s Happy clear stamp set.

sending happy mail

Kit-AK1The minute I opened my July Card Kit from Simon Says Stamp, I knew I was going to love it.  I send lots and lots of happy mail, so the Happy Thoughts stamp set it perfect for me!

I used some white embossing powder to heat emboss the sentiment.  I actually performed a bit of “stamp surgery” for my greeting.  The kit comes with the separate “Sending” and “happy mail”, and then there’s a small stamp that says “lots of love”.  I just snipped off the word “love”.  I can always put it back together later, if I want.  This sentiment is actually perfect for my chemo buddies because I do send each one lots and lots of happy mail.  🙂

The little tiny envelopes were all stamped on patterned paper from the kit, and then fussy-cut.  I inked the edges, and then stuffed most of them into a bigger envelope I made using my envelope punch board.  And then I just added a few more tiny stamped envelopes with foam adhesive.

It was so easy and fun that I immediately made a few more.  Here’s one with a red background, and some little gems:

Kit-AK2I hope this will inspire all of you to send some happy mail of your own!  Thanks for stopping by, and have a terrific day!