Thursday, November 29, 2012

Perler Bead Ornaments (or Gift Tags!)

Becca here with a fun and easy craft for you & your kids to do!  We are going to use a couple of them for ornaments, but most of the ones we made for cute tags for Christmas gifts instead of bows, which always seem to get smashed anyway.  I first saw the idea on Pinterest, as I'm sure many of you have as well, and traced the links back to this post, which is Dutch I believe.  The only English language instructions I saw were in people's notes on pinterest, which failed to take into account that the original instructions were using Celsius temperatures rather than Farenheit, hence wrong.  I knew this had to be the case (which was verified when we tried this both ways just to be double sure before passing the information along!) from our baking perler beads experience in making these super cute bowls and letter trays using a similiar process.  So here are some tried & true basic instructions for making the ornaments, as well as some tips I have for getting great results in the second part of the post.

Required "Ingredients"

Metal Cookie Cutters
Perler Beads (this is the name brand; in my experience the other brands work fine as well, but do take longer to melt)
Cooking spray or some sort of oil (vegetable oil, olive oil, baby oil, anything is fine)
Baking sheets
Foil or parchment paper
An oven!

Line your baking sheets with foil or parchment paper.  Let the children choose the metal cookie cutter shapes that they want to use, and place them onto the lined baking sheet.  Fill each cookie cutter with perler beads.  Use your finger to spread them fairly evenly in thickness, and making sure the beads are all touching & filling the cookie cutter.  Repeat until your tray is full or you are out of cookie cutters!  Spray the inside edges of the filled cookie cutter with cooking spray.  I use olive oil in a mister.  If you don't have a way of spraying the oil, you can very lightly drizzle a bit around the edges.  Bake at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes, or until beads have melted & fused to each other, as seen above.  You can bake it at a lower temperature, but the cooking time will obviously be significantly longer.  At 200 degrees, we had to cook them for over 30 minutes!  Let them cool, then pull them off of the baking sheet & pop out of the cookie cutter.  With the olive oil spray, ours very were very easily removed.  Quickly wash with dish soap & warm water to remove the oil residue.  We used scraps of embroidery floss for hangers here, but ribbon, yarn, etc. would be cute also.

A few tips we have (found out by trial & error :)

*Contrary to what I initially thought, the more detailed cookie cutters actually turned out the best.  As long as you're sure to fill the cookie cutter well, the beads will melt & fell in the cracks, and the shapes come out looking great.  See the candy cane and snowflake are much more defined than the heart, which came out cute, but not as easily recognized & detailed.

*I use the original blue dawn dishsoap for things like this, I think it is the best at removing oil.

*Snowflakes made with light blues, whites, clear, etc. would make great suncatchers!

*We plan on using the ornaments on packages as decoration instead of bows, making them smash-proof for travel.


1 comment:

  1. It's not Dutch, it's Danish. Completely different country and language!