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Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: EK Success Perler Beads

Reported by Morgan Novak

I was really lucky to have a mother who always encouraged me to be crafty, whether it was latch hook rugs, 80’s style puffy paint or me cutting shapes out of the middle of her fabric for craft projects, she always kept me crafting. I definitely remember more than a few Perler Bead projects in my childhood. As much fun as I remember them being back then, Perler Beads have definitely grown over the years. Now there are famous cartoon characters, 3D objects like earring stands and photo frames, stand up playsets & those original craft kits I played with when I was a little crafter.

I don’t have any kids yet, but I definitely love to have a kid-at-heart crafting moment from time to time, so I jumped at the chance to review the Perler Beads and get to play with one of my favorite crafty items from the little Morgan days. I even roped my boyfriend into this review by enticing him with the “Emergency Vehicle Rescue Playset” (he’s a volunteer firefighter.)


Naturally, we had to start with the rescue vehicle set and stick solely to all things fire department-related, haha. I started off making a fire truck by laying the clear peg board over the Perler Bead “map” and placing the beads over the corresponding colors. The Perler Beads come unsorted, in big bags, which is probably great for kids to work on color recognition and sorting. Some adults, especially men (with big hands) helping their kids, may have trouble placing the Perler Beads, but we easily remedied this situation by arming my boyfriend with a pair of tweezers.

The vehicles in the rescue set are able to stand up when you are all done, you simply create little bases for them, which are also outlined on the Perler Bead “map.” Once you are all done with your shapes you want to very carefully place them on your ironing board (we learned the hard way that a little jostle can really send the Perler Beads flying!) Then you simply lay the included ironing paper over the peg board and iron over the shapes in a circular motion for about 20 seconds, then let it cool and flip it over (and off the peg board), put the ironing paper back on and iron the backside as well.

I was really impressed with how easy it was to get a nice, evenly-melted look while ironing. Just be sure to really iron the edges well. When everything is all cooled, I just stood the firetruck in its little bases and voila!

Next, while my boyfriend worked on “free handing” his own helmet front, I decided to morph the emergency cruiser into a Fire Chief’s vehicle. This is one of the shapes that you make with the truck shaped peg board. This definitely takes just a little more brain power since the board is not see through, and little ones may need some help now and again. But, I was able to easily change the cruiser into a Suburban pretty easily, and with a little tweaking from my boyfriend, a Chief’s vehicle it was!

One of the cutest parts of the “Emergency Vehicle Rescue Playset” is that the box folds out into a little emergency scene for your vehicles! I’m sure that this is an awesome way for kids to get a lot of playtime out of their Perler Beads, rather than just the time it takes to make them! We only made a couple of the vehicles and a Perler Bead version of my boyfriend’s helmet front (which will probably be used as a coaster or magnet) but you can make a ton of vehicles to play with from just this one kit; helicopters, police cars, tow trucks, ambulances and a bunch of other shapes like fire hydrants & road blocks.

Next I grabbed the “Jungle Safari Kit” and made myself a giraffe using the “map” included in the kit. While I was carefully placing my Perler Beads over the giraffe image I started thinking about what else I could make with Perler Beads just by placing the clear peg board over other images. So, when I was finished with my giraffe I decided to combine all of my leftover Perler Beads from both kits, which was a lot of beads, and go completely off book for my last project.

My mother had put these cute little fake mustaches in our Easter baskets and so I grabbed them and placed the peg board right on top to start making my own Perler Bead mustaches. Because of where the pegs lined up, I did have to get a little creative with shaping the mustache. But, once I had the perfect mustache shape figured out I made them in every hair color!

Once I had a big pile of finished mustaches I had to figure out what to do with them so I made a whole bunch of them into magnets for our refrigerator using adhesive backed magnets.

Then I used my very last little mustache to make a card! It was really easy to attach the Perler Bead shape to the card using an adhesive runner, and I could see using Perler Bead shapes as kitschy little embellishments for a few other projects too.

After we were all done with all the projects that you see above, we still had a ton of Perler Beads leftover and we will be hanging onto them for a rainy day. I was really pleased with just how much comes in these kits!
We had a lot of fun with Perler Beads, even if we are in our mid & late 20s! I definitely think that these make a great craft project for just about anyone, just as long as there is someone nearby who is responsible enough to wield an iron! I’m still thinking about all the fun images that I can turn into embellishments, Christmas ornaments, magnets, coasters or more using Perler Beads!
Pros:
  • Great activity for little ones to refine their knowledge of colors and hone their sorting abilities.
  • There is so much product in each kit that you will be able to create a ton of projects.
  • Even with the shape “maps” there is still a ton of room for creativity and imagination.
  • They really are fun for all ages!
Cons:
  • If all the boards were clear it might be a little easier for smaller kids.
  • You may want to stock up on a couple of extra boards so that you can fill a bunch of them before heating up the iron.
All in all, I’m really pleased that Perler Beads still hold up to my childhood memories, and I’m seriously considering making some gift tags and ornaments with them when the holidays come around.

GIVEAWAY
The folks over at EK Success are giving away Perler Beads to one lucky reader. To enter simply answer any of the questions below in the Comments section of this article on our website. One comment per person, please.
If you had Perler Beads, what would you make? What else can you imagine your kids and yourselves doing with the finished shapes?

Winners are chosen at random. Contest closes Sunday, June 12th at 6pm CST. Good Luck!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Vendor Review & GIVEAWAY: EK Success Perler Biggie Beads Kit

Reported by Wendy Jordan


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At our house we are getting our craft on as much as possible. Every member of our family has a craft that they love to do. There isn’t anything that the girls and I don’t want to make. Recently Kaylee (8), Jenna (7) and I had the opportunity to review Perler Biggie Beads from EK Success. We were thrilled to get started once we saw all the fun that was in the box.

Both of my daughters were eager to give this a go and luckily there was enough in each kit to keep two children busy! This first kit had a double-sided pattern (the fish and the dinosaur) and a clear peg board which is 8 inches square. The Perler Beads were not included with this kit, but we were provided with the large sized tub of assorted colors of Perler Biggie Beads. The Perler Beads are 1/2 inch pieces of plastic tubing. They are hollow in the middle and sit perfectly on the “points” of the clear peg board.

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The colors on the pattern are more of a guide to placing the colored beads, but you can use any color you want with a similar to the dinosaur and fish.
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The Perler Bead clear peg board fits on top of the pattern, which you place on a heat-safe craft mat for ironing later. Kaylee was ready to get started on her project.

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Jenna chose the Dora & Friends Perler Biggie Beads kit. The peg board and pattern was approximately 13 inches long and 9 inches wide. With the Dora & Friends Kit, it is important to use the proper colored beads in the right areas or it just won’t look like Dora. You can see the colors through the clear peg board.

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The 9″ x 13″ inch clear peg board is designed for large patterns and has four grooves, two on each side of the peg board to keep the pattern in place.

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Here are Kaylee and Jenna enjoying their Perler Beads. Smile girls……

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The clear peg board has “points” on it that hold the beads. The bead sits right on top of the “points” and won’t fall off, but they will slip off if bumped. Kaylee and Jenna both mentioned that they loved the Biggie Perler Beads better then regular Perler Beads because it was easier to place the beads on the peg board without the beads falling off.

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Jenna is concentrating seriously on her Dora and doing such a good job!!!

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Kaylee had a slightly smaller project then Jenna, so she finished rather quickly. Now you can get an idea of what the Perler Beads look like.

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With each kit, comes a ironing sheet, similar to a piece of parchment paper. The sheet is designed to protect your iron from melting bits of plastic.

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Once you place the iron on the ironing paper, moving the iron in a constant circular motion is the best practice. You can see through the ironing paper if the beads are melting together. When you achieve this look, you’re ready to flip your project over to melt the other side.

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This is the opposite side of the fish project. The first side that I ironed is melted together. Kaylee just picked up the clear peg board and lightly flipped it over and the opposite side of the fish was ready to be melted.

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Success…..
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Jenna has Dora all ready for melting.
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We had melted the first side and you can see you easily the project flips out of the clear peg board and is ready to melt the opposite side.

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Success…..
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These fun little face stickers came with the Dora & Friends Biggie Perler Bead kit.

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Here is another project that Kaylee was working on while we melted Dora….

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and here is my Perler Bead project…

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Here are all of the projects that the girls completed with the Biggie Beads and the finished Dora and Friends Biggie Perler Bead kit.

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Included with the Perler Biggie Beads is a Mega Idea Book. There are some fabulous ideas in here. The girls were having so much fun with the Perler Beads and are excited to complete some of the projects in the Idea Book. The bucket of Biggie Perler Beads has so many beads in it that we should be able to to three or four more projects.
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Pros:

  • The kits come with patterns, to make placement of the correct colors easy for kids.
  • There are lot of beads with each kit, no chance of running out before your kit is complete.
  • The bucket of Biggie Perler Beads had so many beads in it, my girls got their two patterns complete and four other projects done.
  • Kaylee and Jenna both commented that they liked the Biggie Perler beads much better that regular Perler beads. They commented that the Biggie Perler Beads were easier to hold and place.

Cons:

  • The skill level listed on the box is 4 to 6 years of age, but my children (7 and 8), had so much fun with them. The Dora & Friends kit is aimed at smaller children, but I would hate for an older child to over look this product. My girls had so much fun with these beads.

My girls and I are currently looking in our community for more Biggie Perler Beads to make some of the fun projects in the Idea Book.

GIVEAWAY
The folks over at EK Success are giving away Perler Beads to one lucky reader. To enter simply answer any of the questions below in the Comments section of this article on our website. One comment per person, please.

Have you tried Perler Beads? What fun projects have you tried? What designs or themes would you like to see in Perler Beads?

Winners are chosen at random. Contest closes Sunday, June 12th at 6pm CST. Good Luck!

Disclosure

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!