I’ve decided to do this Geeky Perler Bead Earring tutorial. Obviously, these basic steps can apply to any kind of perler bead earring, geekiness not required!
Below I will explain how I make my own assortment of perler earrings to sell online and at conventions, and how you can make your own custom earrings at home. So, let’s get started!
Part 1: Your supplies
– A variety of Perler Beads
You may pre-purchase the beads in the exact colors that you will need, or buy a mixed bucket. For beginners I recommend this small mixed bucket.
– Perler tweezers
These will help you pick up your perler beads, they make things a lot easier, especially if you have big hands. You can get them here.
– A Household Iron
Any kind will do.
– Perler Ironing Paper
This is basically just wax paper, but be warned, some cheap wax paper will have a slight paper coating that will bond with the plastic of the perler beads and become impossible to remove. You can get the official perler paper here. It is pretty much infinitely reusable so I’d say it’s worth grabbing a sheet or two online or at your local craft store.
– A Perler Peg-Board
I usually use a small one if I’m just making earrings. There are a variety of styles of pegboards that allow you to create different sorts of patterns, so I’d recommend picking up a small multi-pack such as this.
– One or two sets of small pliers
I personally don’t use jewelry-specific pliers, but you will be best off with two sets of pliers. Really, any pliers that have good hold and feel good in your hands will work, there is no need to get anything fancy.
– 2 Earwires
One for each ear. Try to purchase Nickel-free earwires. There are many places to get them, but if you just need a few you will be fine purchasing them from your local craft store.
– 2 6mm Jump Rings
These will be used to bridge the gap between the perler creation and your ear wire. You can buy them at most local craft shops.
Part 2: Choosing your design
This portion of the project is fairly self-explanitory,
you should research images of a character or object that you’d like to make,
and then plan your design however you see fit. If you’ll be improvising a design from a photo, you may want to do a basic sketch before you begin. If you are simply working from a sprite or a low-pixel image, you will simply copy this design using perler beads.
Once your design is ready, you can set up your workspace.
Part 3: Selecting beads and preparing your workspace
Next comes making the design!
Part 4: laying out your design
- Ensure that your design makes sense when viewed from afar
- Avoid long lines of single beads, they may be very delicate when ironed
- use contrasting colors and or black outlines to make your design pop
Part 5: Ironing
Once you have warmed your iron to medium heat, place the ironing paper over your design and pegboard. Begin ironing your design by placing the iron firmly on the wax paper and making small, quick circles across the surface. Avoid pushing too hard or lingering for too long on one area of the design; the goal is to evenly fuse the beads. Be careful about being to vigorous when ironing ; the beads can be easily knocked off of the peg board, and this is super annoying.
Continue ironing for about 10 seconds or until you feel the beads underneath become ‘tacky’. Lift the iron, you should be able to see each bead through the translucent paper. You want to make sure that all of the beads are fused before flipping the design. You will want to leave the holes in the center of the beads visible; don’t iron it too flat! Once you’re happy with side one, flip the design over, leaving it attached to the wax paper.
Remove the finished perler figure from the wax paper and repeat all steps until you have 2 identical earrings.
Part 6: Applying the earring hardware
First, take both jump rings by holding them in one set of pliers and bending them open with the second set of pliers. This is somewhat tricky as first, but gets easier.
Make sure that the jump ring is closed tight enough to keep the ear wire in place, and your earring is complete! Repeat with the second earring.
Part 7: Done!
Here are some fun techniques to try in your future earrings:
- Try making mismatched earring sets, with two different designs
- Use translucent or glow in the dark beads for interesting effects
- Once you attach the jump ring, attach a charm strap or keychain end instead to create something different.
- Try using mini perler beads to create smaller, more detailed designs
Geeky Nintendo Perler Bead Earrings
Cute Snacks Perler Bead Earrings
Insect Perler Bead Earrings
90’s Tech and Snacks Perler Bead Earrings
Birds Perler Bead Earrings
Creepy Cute Perler Bead Earrings
Cute Foods Perler Bead Earrings
Animals Perler Bead Earrings
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