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Over the recent Christmas and New Year holidays, my daughter got her very first DIY Pixel Fuse Bead Kit as a gift (also known as Perler Beads in other regions). Seeing that DIY Crafts Kit brought back a lot of fond memories as I too had played with them as a child, but we used to call them Magic Fuse Beads in the 90’s.
A quick online search revealed that now a days the kit is being referenced by many names, depending on what the seller is calling them but essentially, they are all one and the same thing.
What are Fuse Beads?
In a nutshell, fuse beads are tiny colored plastic beads that need to be assembled on a peg board to design a pixel art of your choice. You can use the sample design guide provided or go wild with your own imagination.
It is a great toy for children above the age of 5 years. It gives them infinite possibilities to be creative and imaginative.
You can find these DIY Kits online by various names either on Amazon or at your local art and crafts store. However during our vacation to India, my daughter was gifted one such DIY craft kit which goes by the name of “Pixels” by my very close friend Rommel.
In the US and North America regions they can be found by the name of Perler Beads
You can generally find them in other markets as fuse beads or by any other brand name depending on what is available locally.
So, what is included in the Pixel Fuse Bead Kit?
Well depending on the kit that you purchase, like for example you go for a theme set then the amount of fuse beads and the colors that they would provide inside would differ from set to set. Plus, if you happen to go the non-set route then the combinations could be endless.
But for now, the standard Pixels Safari set that my daughter was gifted had the following;
- 1 transparent square peg board.
- 4 wax papers.
- 6 design cards with designs on both sides.
- Assorted colors of fuse beads (6 colors in total) the box claimed to be over 2000+ beads in total but honestly, I wasn’t about to count them all 😀
- 3 magnets and 3 pins
- 1 plastic tweezer
Each of the above items were in individual plastic zipper bags, my wife and I went to the local crafts store to get a 3 by 2 plastic boxes so that we could store the individual colors more easily, wish the storage box had come with the set though.
The recommended age for these sets are for children above the ages of 5 as they have small fuse beads that could be accidently swallowed by smaller children, therefore if you plan on doing these kits with children below the minimum recommended age then a parent or guardian supervision is a must.
Once you have gotten everything arranged and sorted, you are ready to build your pixel creation.
How to create Pixel Bead Art
Steps in creating a Pixel Bead Art
- Selecting a Pattern
From the given patterns you can select the one you would like to trace. Place it down facing upward.
- Placing the Peg Board
Then place the transparent peg board on top of the pattern that you have selected.
- Using the Tweezers
Then either using the tweezers or your fingers you start to place the fuse beads one at time till the design is completed.
- Placing the Wax paper
With the help of the provided wax paper in the set, place it above the finished pixel art and now its time to fuse them together.
Based on the recommended setting (high / cotton) place the hot iron on the wax paper and move it around in circles to spread the heat evenly and in few minutes, you will notice the beads starting to fuse together. After a few minutes when all the beads have fused together then your creation is almost ready.
- Removing the Art
Keep in mind the wax paper will be hot so it would be great to use the included tweezers to carefully peel away the wax paper to revel your fused artwork. The peg board will be still little warm at this time as well so its best to leave it aside for a while to cool down. After the peg board has cooled flip it over to carefully remove the fused artwork.
- Attaching a magnet
If you intend to attach the included magnets or the pin, then it can either be stuck using a white craft glue or a glue gun would also work fine.
For step 4, a parent or guarding intervention is a must unless the child is old enough to operate an iron safely.
It is not necessary to select from the given patterns as you can create your own. This DIY is all about creativity and imagination.
That’s all there is to it.
Overall, it was great to see my daughter to spend hours making her creations without any screen time. The possibilities are endless as you can order the beads in bulk (which work out much cheaper) and there are so many color options and variety of shapes of peg boards.
A quick search online and you can even turn any photo into a pixel art reference where you can create your designs and abstract artworks as well.
These sets whether you call them Perler Beads Beads or Pixel Fuse Beads are an easy recommendation for any children and adults (like me) who would like to spend a busy afternoon recreating their favorite characters in pixel form.
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