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Perler Questions

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:01 am
by PinkPoodle
I just got into Perler beads and I have a couple questions. I'm hoping someone here can help me.

First, how do you know how much to melt the beads? I've seen projects that are completely melted into solid plastic and projects that still maintain the bead shape. Also, how do you get the beads to fuse evenly? I'm ironing on a flat counter with a towel so I don't scorch the counter, but my beads seem to melt more on one part of the project than the other.

Second, I'd like to try making my own patterns. I have PC Stitch so I'm wondering what count of aida would be comparable to the Perler peg board. Or is it just easier to place a clear board over a picture and make it up as I go?


Re: Perler Questions

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:56 am
by SuperKJ
Hi, I'm fairly new to beads too, but from what I've seen, it's completely up to you how much you want to melt the beads. Some people like them melted and smooth, and others prefer to keep the bead shape. As for the ironing, the tips I've seen so far have just been to keep the iron on a low heat and to move the iron in a circular motion as you iron, so as to spread the heat evenly.

I don't know about making patterns with perler beads in mind though, sorry.

Re: Perler Questions

Posted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:19 am
by Clarington
Like SuperKJ said, how much you iron is completely personal preference. Some people really like to still see the look of the beads, other people want the beads to end up as flat and square as possible to make the work look the most pixel-like. You'll also find that some people iron both sides and others only iron one side. You'll find what you prefer with practice.

Getting an even melt does take some practice, but I find that your iron can have as much to do with it as your skill. Most irons I've encountered have hot spots. Once you've ironed a few pieces you'll likely start to figure out where your iron's hot spots are. Then you can avoid keeping that part of your iron in any one spot for too long, or exploit the hot spots to get a little extra melt where you need it. Play with your iron's temperature a bit too. The ideal temp is the lowest you can get that will still melt the beads. I know with my iron there is a very tiny window between won't melt at all and liquify instantly, so it can be a challenge. It's also easier if you're ironing on a hard surface rather than a towel. Pick yourself up a cheap piece of particle board or something similar to protect your counter instead. All that being said, luck is still a factor. I've ironed a lot of perler pieces and still don't always get a perfect fuse.

Since regular perler beads have approximately 5 per inch you can't really compare them to cross stitch fabric counts - I've never seen cross stitch fabric that large. I still use PCStitch to design all my perler patterns though. I don't care if the pattern is the same size as the actual piece. If it does bother you I believe there are some free perler design softwares out there you could use instead.

Happy beading! And be sure to post pics of anything you make :D

Re: Perler Questions

Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:01 am
by PinkPoodle
Thanks for your help, guys! I did notice that my iron seems to have a hot spot, so I'll have to try to pinpoint that. It seems like the pressure and amount of time to fuse are trial-and-error so I'll have to play around with it.

As far as PC Stitch- I found a large board for beading and I'm thinking that if I make the pattern according to the amount of pegs ("stitches") that should work. I made a pattern for a big project and set the aida to 10 count and it's turning out much larger than I thought. And that's fine, but it is taking more beads than I thought it would and I think my husband is sick of driving me to the craft store (he usually doesn't mind taking me, but he hasn't been feeling well).

Re: Perler Questions

Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:26 pm
by blackmageheart
Clarington wrote:Since regular perler beads have approximately 5 per inch you can't really compare them to cross stitch fabric counts - I've never seen cross stitch fabric that large.
You can get 5ct binca, usually used for kids cross stitch kits (with the giant plastic needles) - I have some around somewhere. Not sure about other programs but you can set PCStitch to 5ct, you have to enter it in the box yourself rather than clicking the arrow button. Hope that's of use to someone!