Updated: May 31, 2019
So you’ve decided to dive into the world of fuse beads. That’s awesome! But there are a few things you should probably know before you go head first into this hobby.
5. NOT ALL BEADS ARE THE SAME
This might seem obvious to the experienced bead artist, but for those new to Perler game, it can be confusing when it comes time to iron your projects. Not only do the various brands of fuse beads carry different colors, but they also melt and fuse in different ways as well. Some beads melt from the inside out while others melt from the outside in. Before you go investing in thousands of beads, make sure it’s a brand you like, with a wide variety of color options.
4. IRONING IS NOT AS EASY AS IT LOOKS
If you prefer the beaded (non-ironed) side of your projects then this probably doesn’t apply to you, but if you’re striving for the perfect fused look than you know the struggle of finding your sweet spot when ironing. Having an evenly fused look to your beads is essential to the quality of your artwork and it’s not easy to come by. You’ll have to play around with the heat settings on your iron, how much pressure you apply, how long you iron, and the style in which you iron. There are a lot of factors in creating the look that you desire.
Fuse bead fail via Hardcore Perler
3. IT CAN BE AN EXPENSIVE & TIME-CONSUMING HOBBY
There are quite a bit of start-up costs with fuse beads, as with any hobby. From pegboards and a variety of colors needed for projects, you’ll eventually want some tweezers to help you place the beads, storage containers of some sort, and other crafting materials to foster your creativity. Be on the lookout for coupons, sales, and be sure to buy your beads in bulk if you buy them online.
Perler Bead Colors | Pierce Pop Art via Instagram
2. DON’T DO IT JUST TO MAKE MONEY
Sure, it might seem easy to make some simple characters or coasters and sell it for a few bucks here and there, but if that’s your only goal, you’re going to burn out sooner rather than later. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t try to sell your artwork, but if that’s your only motivation, then you’re in it for the wrong reasons. Save yourself some time and money and leave it to the people who really care about this medium. You can’t compete with passion.
Johan Karlgren with Fuse Bead Plants | Pappas Parlor via Instagram
1. YOU WILL NEVER HAVE ENOUGH COLORS
I’ve mentioned before the need for multiple grays in your collection of colors, but the simple fact is, at some point, you will have to improvise with the colors you have available. Different brands carry different colors and some have a wide variety, like Artkal, while others have a standard color selection, like Perler. If you’re into mini beads your selection of colors is even smaller. Don’t fear though, this is part of the fun and challenge of fuse beads: your interpretation of patterns and colors!
Grey Artkal Beads | Pierce Pop Art via Instagram