How to make 3D perler beads

Written by katelyn kelley
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Perler beads are cylinder shaped plastic craft beads that come in assorted colours. Placed on a peg board, they form designs and objects. You can then preserve the designs by ironing the beads, which causes them melt and fuse together. Three dimensional designs are possible by interlocking two-dimensional pieces together using a slots and peg technique.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Paper and pencil
  • Perler beads
  • Perler bead peg board
  • Parchment paper
  • Iron

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  1. 1

    Conceptualise your 3-D design on paper, breaking it down to its two dimensional components. For example, if you were to do a table, you need the top of the table and a minimum of two side pieces to support it and raise the top off the ground.

  2. 2

    Calculate how the pieces should lock together and note on your plans where you must leave a "slot" in your Perler beads for another piece to fit into. For example, with the table, if the legs are six Perler beads wide, you could leave two 1 by 4 bead openings on either side of the table top so the legs fit in, and you would narrow the top of your table leg from 6 to 4 beads for one row to create the "peg" that slides into the tabletop slot.

  3. 3

    Place the pegs for the two-dimension component on the Perler bead peg board to form the object.

  4. 4

    Follow the manufacturer's directions on the packaging to place a piece of parchment paper over the beads on the board and iron them until they fuse together. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for every two-dimensional piece that makes up your 3D design.

  5. 5

    Let the pieces cool, then place the pegs you designed into the slots you left open and you now have a 3D Perler bead design.

Tips and warnings

  • To make standing characters, create 2D pieces with one-column vertical slots that slide into one another at 90 degrees angles, like a cross, similar to how a paper doll slides into a semicircle cardboard stand with a cut at the top.
  • Because this craft requires the use of a hot iron, adult supervision is necessary.

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