I have a few Perler Bead ideas in mind; Some conventional, some not. One of my non-conventional ideas turned into a craft fail (boo!)… but I think these coasters turned out pretty cool.
This is obviously not something you'd want to start if you're in a rush. If anything, this is a project that makes you slow down and focus. Sorting through 22,000 tiny, little beads will do that!! Like most
mundane creative craft projects, I find that it's a good stress reliever and a brief reprieve from the nags and irritations of everyday life.
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Perler Bead Coasters
Large Square Perler Bead Peg Boards**
Large Hexagon Perler Bead Board with other shapes**
Ironing paper or parchment paper
Transparent Shelf Liner (optional)
Strong Adhesive (optional)
**After reading many reviews, I decided to buy the clear pegboards. Many reviewers complained that the solid-colored boards warped after one or two uses. I've used my clear boards 10+ times and haven't had any problems!
Each side of the coaster measures 21 beads across (4-inches). I didn't really have a master plan but just picked out some colors that I thought would work and started creating. I found it easiest to work from the center on out. I also marked off the four corners of the square with a bead so that I would have an idea on size and scale. Some designs came out better than others… it's one of those learning curve things.
Ironing the Beads… Here's where things vary--
I've noticed that some choose to iron both sides of the beads-- They iron one side while the beads are still on the board, then take the design off the board, flip it over and iron the reverse side. It gives a softer, less pixelated look.
Others prefer to iron the beads until the holes disappear and the design is completely smooth.
Anyhow, if you're worried about your design falling apart, you can lightly iron the top of the coaster. The look will be softer and more… melted looking. :)
It's all a matter of preference.
Turning Your Perler Beads into Coasters--
I'm going to state the obvious here-- Perler Beads have holes in them. Therefore these coasters, as is, are NOT waterproof. So if you put a drippy, drink on it, the tabletop will get wet.
Since I'll be using mine outdoors on my weather-proof patio table, I decided to use clear shelf liner. It may not be 100% waterproof, but it'll help strengthen the overall coaster… And honestly, I don't really care if our patio furniture gets wet. Cut the liner to size, then adhere it to the back of the coaster using a strong adhesive.
So here I go stating the obvious again-- These should NOT be used as hot pads! These beads melt quite easily so keep them away from anything hot. I'm thinking a cup of coffee may be okay… Hmmm, maybe I should test it out.
This is pretty large (6-inches wide) and would be a nice trivet for a glass vase or pitcher.
My designs are one-dimentional, but if you're looking for a more 3D look, there are a ton of floral ideas on this Pinterest board.