Ironing beads are small plastic cylinders that are placed on a plate to form patterns. Heat must then be applied to glue the beads together so that they keep the created shape. They are inexpensive and you can arrange them however you want. Buy it at a hobby store or online, and start making your works of art!
Part 1 of 3: lay out the beads
Step 1. Gather the materials
You need a hard, level surface to work on. Since the pins of the plate on which you will place the beads are small, an uneven surface can cause the plastic cylinders to fall out. Apart from the flat worktop, you will need:
- a plate for ironing beads
- baking paper
- iron on beads
Step 2. Choose the pad
There are many shapes to choose from. You can make a dog, a fish, a hexagon, a shoe, etc. There are many shapes of plaques available, but you can also use a transparent one and make any image you want from a pattern.
- If you want to make a large shape, you can use several spiked inserts that fit together to form a large plate.
- The shape of the heat beads gives a pixelated appearance to the images, making them ideal for imitating old video games from your childhood. You can find many free patterns online.
- Many websites offer free ironing bead patterns, but you can also purchase official patterns from your bead manufacturer's website. You can download them, print them and place them under a clear spiked plate to help you arrange the beads.
Step 3. Choose the colors
Since the heat beads are quite small, it can be difficult to find the ones you are looking for in the box. To avoid having to spend time searching for a color while you are creating an image, it is a good idea to put the ones you want to use in separate small ramekins.
Some patterns require a specific number of beads. If you are using one, it is advisable to take a few extra beads of each color in case you lose any while placing them on the wafer
Step 4. Place the beads
If you are using a plate with a shape, such as a cat-shaped plate, slide the cylinders over the pins, distributing the colors as desired. If you are using a transparent square plate, place it on a template before putting the beads in. You can also create a shape that you invent without a pattern.
- If you are using a template, line it up with the pins on the insert. Each bead shown in the pattern must be centered around a pin.
- You can use realistic colors or choose more original ones to add character to your artwork. Let your imagination be free.
- Since the pins are very small, you can easily drop the beads by hitting the pad. To avoid this problem, try laying the plate on a non-slip mat.
- You can lay the beads on the pad in any order you like, but try to work your way up or down or up. If you work your way from the outside to the inside, it may be difficult to slide the plastic cylinders over the pins in the center of the plate and you may drop beads.
Part 2 of 3: glue the beads together
Step 1. Heat the beads
Place a sheet of baking paper (or "baking paper") on the cylinders that you have placed on the spike plate. Be careful not to move any. Heat a dry iron to medium heat, then slide it slowly across the paper in circular motions. Do this for about ten seconds so that the beads stick together well.
- The time required depends on various factors such as the type of iron you are using. Remove the iron every 5 seconds to see the result. If you overheat the plastic, you might end up with a multi-colored pancake!
- If your iron has a steam function, make sure it is turned off when you iron the beads, as the hot steam could impact the result.
- You can use paraffin paper, but be aware that it can leave a waxy deposit on plastic, unlike parchment paper.
Step 2. Heat the other side
Let the beads and the wafer cool a bit, then turn the wafer over. The heated bead assembly will fall off and you will see the other side.
Place the sheet of baking paper on the pearls and heat them in the same way as before. Use an iron set at a medium temperature and make circular motions for about 10 seconds
Step 3. Remove the baking paper
Take a corner of the sheet and peel it off from the pattern you made. The plastic will be quite hot after ironing, and it will need to be allowed to cool for a few minutes before touching it.
Your image in iron on beads is ready. Remove it from the spike plate and show it to your friends
Part 3 of 3: add decorations
Step 1. Make sparkling images
This will give them a fairy-like appearance ideal for ponies, fairies, unicorns, etc. Simply take some fine sequins and sprinkle some on the beads on the wafer before heating them. Once you iron them, they will sparkle.
You can also buy glitter iron on beads. They are used in the same way as the others and give a very pretty effect
Step 2. Make heat bead decorations
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and place heat-resistant metal cookie cutters on it. Fill them with iron on beads. You can use one solid color or mix several. Be careful not to fill the metal shapes to the top, as the small plastic cylinders may overflow.
- Preheat the oven to 200 ° C. Once it is hot, put the pearls in the cookie cutters and bake them for 10 minutes. Take them out of the oven and let the plastic, cookie cutters and baking sheet cool.
- When the ironing beads have cooled, you can take them out of the cookie cutters. They will have melted and will have taken the shape of the metal which surrounded them.
- You should be able to thread a small thread through the holes between the melted beads. Do this and tie the two ends together so you can hang the decoration.
- Watch the pearls when they are in the oven. Some ovens heat more than others and you may need to lengthen or reduce the cooking time.
Step 3. Make a cube
The easiest is to use a medium sized square spike insert. Arrange two separate rows of three beads on it. Then make three separate H-shapes consisting of three beads for each vertical branch connected by a bead in the middle. All these shapes must be separated by at least one row of empty pins on the plate.
- Place parchment paper on the pearls and heat them slightly. For this method to work best, the beads should be melted together as lightly as possible. Then turn them over and heat the other side slightly in the same way.
- Let the plastic cool and then build the cube. Stack the three H-shapes on top of each other and insert the two straight lines made up of three beads into the empty spaces. The size of the cylinders should allow the different parts to fit together firmly. This will keep them in place. The cube is ready.
- If the nested beads are not tight enough to hold together, you will need to use a little glue. A dot of hot glue on the parts inside the cube should be enough.
Step 4. Make a bowl
Take a heat-resistant glass bowl and pour ironing beads inside. Arrange them so that they form a thin layer that rises along the sides of the container. Preheat the oven to 170 ° C. When it comes to temperature, put the bowl of pearls in the oven.
- Take out the bowl after 15 minutes. The beads should have melted and taken the shape of the container. Let everything cool then take out your bowl of ironing beads.
- Watch the pearls in the oven, as they may melt completely and form a puddle if left on for too long.
- If you have children 3-5 years old, look for ironing beads. They are used with the correct size plate and are less likely to be swallowed.
- If you are not careful, the iron can get very hot and burn you. Always be careful when using it and help children to use it.
- Keep the individual beads and the iron out of the reach of small children. They can choke on it.