Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mario Perler Beads

This tutorial has been transferred over from my old blog Paint and Pawprints...

I made these super cool Mario piranha plants out of perler beads!

Supplies Needed:

Perler beads
Small ceramic pots
Floral foam
Green spray paint
Elmer's glue

Step 1: Paint the Pots 

This step is pretty easy, just make sure that you paint the inside rim of the pots as well! I picked these little 4" ones up at Goodwill for 60c each, and they were the perfect size for this project.

Step 2: Make your Plants

Let me just start by saying that Perler beads are awesome! I haven't played with these since I was a kid, and a bucket of 1,100 beads was exactly what I was missing in my craft closet. Not only did I make these potted Mario plants, but we made a whole bunch of fun critters.

Now, for anyone who has never used Perler beads before, here is a quick step by step:

First, lay out the design on the Perler peg board (some bead kits include these, but I purchased mine separately because I wanted to have more than one).

I did not use patterns when designing my plants, but in case you want them I found a few basic outlines which would work: Piranha Plant and Nipper Plant. Another thing that would work as a pattern would be to take a close look at the finished pictures of my plants and just copy those patterns!

Once the patterns are completed on the peg boards, the next step is to iron them together.

Using wax paper to keep the beads from sticking to the iron, I ironed each one for 10-15 seconds until the top layer of beads was melted together. When the beads were cool I popped them off of the peg boards and very lightly ironed the other side to make sure that the finished pieces were sturdy enough to stand on their own.

Step 3: Put the Pieces Together!

I picked up a little package of floral foam at the dollar store, and that is what I used for this project.

I cut each piece in half and then stuffed it into the bottom of the pot until it was flush with the sides.

I cut a little slit into the foam, which I then inserted the flower stems into. As a final way to secure the plants together, I poured a thick layer of Elmer's glue in the pot to hold the plants straight.

Once the glue was dry (days and days later) it was mostly clear and looks great!

Now, even though those were the main projects that we did with Perler beads, we did experiment with a few other ideas. We used the basic Perler bead techniques to make some other designs...

And then we tried a fun new technique that involved filling cookie cutters with Perler beads and sticking them in the oven until they melted! That turned out these incredible 3 dimensional stand alone animals, which I LOVE.

So there we have it, the results of my recent experiments with Perler beads. We had so much fun playing with these that I'm sure I'll end up finding new ways to melt them, so stay tuned!

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