My grandchildren really enjoy Perler bead crafting. I think we first started doing them back when Elizabeth and Gavin were 1st and 2nd graders- they are now 7th and 8th graders and still like Perler beads as do all the 7 younger grandchildren.
Perler beads are plastic and we’ve like the regular size as well as Biggie Perler beads.
Perlers also come in a micro size, about like seed beads but we haven’t used that kind.
When you buy new beads, they come in color sorted trays and in bulk mixed buckets. Either work fine but we all prefer the sorted trays.
You need a base plate to work the Perlers on. Plates come in shapes as well as plain square ones.
Tweezers are not necessary but I prefer to use them and I think all the grandchildren do too.
After the pattern with beads is complete, you just cover it with the Perler paper and iron with any regular iron. The iron melts the beads and they whole thing holds together.
The ironed side will look smooth and the other side will look like the beads. M
After ironing, we put a heavy book on top and let the designs cool as they sometimes get a little wavy if they cool uncovered.
These are a few of the grands recent makes - patterns come with the bead sets or can be found online or you can just make up your own art work.
Below is a 3 dimensional bookshelf complete with books made by Elizabeth. There is also a Biggie beads project that I will use as a trivet.
JJ made the pattern himself. Afterward I told him it looked like a Trip Around The World quilt and he didn’t believe me until I showed him the quilts on Pinterest. He thought he was first person to ever make this pattern.
Adults like doing Perler projects.
In our experience, 3 years up to 6 are best with the Biggie beads.
Some 6’s can do regular Perlers and by 7, all the kids have mastered the regular ones.
If your needing a project that multiple ages can all enjoy, or maybe you’re starting Christmas shopping- we all think Perlers are great!
They are sold at craft stores and big places like Amazon and Walmart.
You might even find some at a yard sale.
Our very first Perlers were given to us by a family who’s daughters had stopped using them.