I wanted to play around with fuse beads, (or Perler or Hama beads, they go by many names) so last time we were at IKEA I picked up a gigantic tub of them. I will occasionally see things on Pinterest and the patterns are so interchangeable with cross stitching. My original plan was to make one of my cross stitch patterns out of the beads, which I will probably still do. However, Jenn of Beadeux, Isette, and 52Lasers fame, suggested using the beads to make a canvas and stitch on that.
I was going to make a really large canvas to work on, but decided to start small. I made this little 14×14 square. I am so glad I didn’t do the bigger one yet because I ran into some issues.
I fused the beads with the iron, but I didn’t hold it down long enough for the holes to melt closed. I wanted to still be able to get the needle through easily. Some of the holes did melt closed but I was able to pierce through with the needle, unfortunately I also stabbed myself!
Since I didn’t do fully fuse them, I kept running into issues with the beads breaking off. I managed to fix it both times it happened, but I’m not sure how to solve this issue if I were to work on a larger scale. The larger surface area will make them all less stable and more likely to break.
There’s definitely some issues I’ll have to work out if I plan to pursue this further, but it was a fun little experiment. I like how the stitching looks on the surface.
I don’t actually know if I ever played with fuse beads as a kid, but I am having a blast with them now! Making the patterns is very fun, though a little frustrating because I consistently knock the beads over right as I’m almost done!
Did you play with fuse beads when you were younger? Have you played with them recently?
Yay, you tried my idea! The only thing I can think of it fuse it more, and then hit all the little holes with a tiny drill bit to clear them. Kind of defeats the idea of ready made holes, though!
I could usually still get a needle through the holes without it being too much of a fight (except when I stabbed myself). I’m not sure structurally how I could go bigger and have it stay together without fusing it more.
Cool! Can’t wait to see what you do with them next 🙂
Chrissie Crafts says
That’s the best use of those little beads that I’ve ever seen! I find them maddening – probably because my daughter only played with them for short bursts of time, then would inevitably knock them over, and the clean-up time took twice as long as play time! But stitching them, now that’s an activity I would love! Chrissie x
My daughter only 3 but wants to help with the beads. She puts like 6 beads at various places around the pegboard and then asks me to iron it for her. She doesn’t quite get how it works yet.
Andrea Shepherd says
Fun idea. My daughter loves fuse beads. Maybe I will try.
Melissa Howard says
Fuse it as fully as you would for a normal fuse bead project. Then take an old needle and hold it over a flame and get it hot and punch out your design holes before you cross stitch it (It is a bit stinky and time comsuming as you have to keep reheating the needle but it should work just fine…
Oh that’s a great idea! I tried to poke a few holes but I didn’t think about heating up the beads again! I’m sure that would make things much easier!