Category Archives: Organization

My biggest Perler bead piece yet!

It’s been over a month since I have updated the blog here, and for good reason. This monstrosity is the result of taking a full bucket of 22k beads, separating them, and then making one single piece. There were 22,172 beads in total.

Here is the completed art. I wanted to make something with a simple repeating pattern that would be easy to put together, and Houndstooth is one of my favorite tessellating patterns. (shout out to whomever added Ricky from Trailer Park Boys to the Wikipedia entry).

perler_houndstooth (1)

I started by ordering the colors in ROYGBIV, and then alternating dark and light colors. I think I could have come up with a better color arrangement, but I didn’t want to pain over what the final finished product would be, but simply wanted to get it done.

Here are a few of the single boards I used to test and start it off.
perler_houndstooth (2)

I ran out of peg boards pretty quick, but fortunately, the local Joann’s had a sale going, so I was able to get everything I needed. The pattern quickly started to expand, and I was only able to estimate how big it would get.perler_houndstooth (3)

There were way more of some colors than others. Almost twice as many greys as there were yellows.

perler_houndstooth (4)

I toyed with the idea of having the borders being rough, but shifted to having a solid grey border to frame it.perler_houndstooth (5)

All the beads that remained were dumped back in the sorting dish, mixed back up, and placed around the border so that I could use all 22k beads.perler_houndstooth (6)

It’s ready to get taped up at this point. (I later added my signature “D” in the corner.perler_houndstooth (7)

It is all taped up and holes poked.perler_houndstooth (8)

Just starting the ironing at this point. I knew it was going to take several hours to complete. I started ironing it like a normal “smaller” piece, but quickly determined that I needed to turn up the heat and get it done quickly.perler_houndstooth (9)

Here is the first sign that things are going wrong. perler_houndstooth (10)

As the tape and the beads started heating up, there was expansion and warping. I tried to keep heavy books on these parts as I was ironing, but they kept popping up.perler_houndstooth (11)

The parchment paper usually stays flat on the beads when ironing, but this clearly wasn’t going to be the case for this one.perler_houndstooth (12)

After the principle ironing, you can see how the masking tape wrinkles and pulls on the beads.  With small scale stuff, this isn’t an issue. perler_houndstooth (13)

The tape came off easily enough. Most of it was in one big ball.perler_houndstooth (14)

Here are a few spots that came out ugly as it warped. From a distance, it’s not bad, but as an artist, I am hypercritical of my own work.perler_houndstooth (15) perler_houndstooth (16)

This whole project was quite the undertaking, but I knew the first time would be a challenge, and I would learn a lot from it. I plan on making at least 3 more big Perler bead pieces like this in the future, with different designs, and I am confident they will turn out much better.

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New Masking Tape Tutorial: Super quick hole punching technique and detailed ironing walk-thru.

This is the latest in a series of tutorials for building and ironing perler bead creations. There is a focus on the ironing as well as a new method for poking holes. The song in the beginning is written by me, and the other two songs by Silent Partner and Topher Mohr and Alex Elena. 

What other tutorials should I make?

Why you don’t just toss a Mtn Dew in the craft bag.

perler-washtimeperler-drytime

I was in a rush to get to work today, and just tossed a buncha boards, and the colors I needed for the day in my craft bag. In my haste, I didn’t want to have to bag things in a lunchbag, and just tossed a few sodas and some snacks in with it.

When I got out of the car, the soda must have popped on a board, because the hole in it was consistent with gauge of a peg on the board. It was a debacle; I had to empty the can out into the rocks, and bundle a half dozen pulls off the auto towel dispenser. It totally sucked. I was able to clean them enough to build with, but I had to wash them like dishes when I got home.

I just thought it was funny to have to wash things like this, and to have to stack them to dry on the crafts table. Also, to a certain extent, I look like some kind of crazy bead hoarder with all of the creations I make in a single day. (Fun fact: There is not a White Mage included in the second picture).

Organization and Pyssla beads

organizer ikea-beads super_pegboardI’ve been doing a little shopping lately, and bought more stuff to support my addiction!

First stop was IKEA where I bought some of their brand of fuse beads called “Pyssla“, and a new rolling organizer that I can shove everything into so we can have our kitchen table back. I’m not a big fan of these of these beads. Pictured is a Ms Pac-man and ghost. They will be good for having the kids use as to not cut into the superior Perler beads. =)

Lastly are the Super Pegboards purchased from the local Michael’s with 40% coupons. I at first thought that these would still link to the smaller boards, but they are standalone boards. They will be big enough for just about everything, and they will be easier to move in the middle of a build.

 

Transporting from one location to another.

transporting

galaga-premelt

If you are just moving a board that you have made from one room to another, you just have to be careful as you walk.

If you need to move them longer distances, I have found that it works really well if you take a second board, line it up on the top, and tape it down with masking tape.

I start by taking one corner, taping the top, and then sliding it to the edge of the table and taping underneath, and rotating it 180 and getting the diagonal corner, and then just repeating until it is secure. When they are solid like this, you can even transport them vertically. When you get to the place you will be fusing them, you can just cut it with an exacto knife.

The sorting of the 22,000 is complete!

allsorted2allsorted3allsorted5allsorted4pastelsallsorted

 

Beads are all sorted. It took forever, but I have time during the day to get it all done. I love the color palettes that come out as colors are removed from the mix.

I tend to separate by taking out the darker colors first since they stand out the most.

This bucket of  22,000 beads took about 4 days to separate. I doubt many people do it this way, but the way I see it, you either separate as you build, or you do it beforehand. I like that you know how many of any particular color you have so you can plan projects accordingly.