Fuse beads are plastic beads of several different colours made to "fuse" together when ironed. Crafters place these beads onto peg boards made of several sizes and shapes, where they can permanently set a project by ironing the beads once the design or pattern is finished. It's important to know exactly how to iron the beads because, if done incorrectly, they can end up with inconsistent fusing in some spots due to over-melting or warping.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Ironing or waxed paper
- Flat surface
Cut a piece of ironing paper large enough to cover your fuse bead pattern entirely. Waxed paper also works well, but ironing paper is preferred because it's reusable and easier to work with.
Set your iron on medium heat. If you want a higher heat setting, slowly increase the heat during the ironing process, in order to avoid excess melting that will ruin your project.
Place the finished fuse bead project on a flat surface suitable for ironing.
Cover your fuse bead project with the ironing or waxed paper.
Iron your project by moving the iron in a circular motion. Don't press too hard; let the iron's heat do the job. Remember, you can turn up the heat if you have a larger project or if the beads are not fusing.
Check under the ironing paper for uniform fusing every 30 seconds.
Remove the fused bead design from the peg board after the beads have cooled for at least 15 seconds. Removing the project any sooner, before it has cooled sufficiently, will likely cause it to warp.
Turn over your fuse bead project and lay it flat on your ironing surface.
Cover the beads with the ironing or waxed paper and repeat the ironing process to complete the project.
Tips and warnings
- To avoid melting, don't hold the iron too long in one spot.
- Adult supervision is recommended if you allow children to iron their fuse bead projects.
- Your bead pattern can melt onto the peg board if the iron is set too hot, so it's recommended that you keep it on a lower heat setting until you remove the beads from the board.
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