Hama Beads – A Match Made In Heaven

30 Aug

As the title might suggest, I love Hama beads, those cool little beads you iron together to create little coasters and stuff to stick on walls. They’re also called Perler Beads in the US and IKEA sell the same thing called ‘PYSSLA Beads’. Their fantastic if you like to make pixel art on the PC, because there are tons of colours (Comparable to a retro console) so you can make sprites from low-res games like Pokemon and Mario (The sprites are found commonly online) into a physical thing you can keep (I blue tac them to my wall).

Another quite common thing to do with these beads is to make Minecraft textures or mobs, as virtually all of them use simple colours and are meantto be pixelly! I made Steve from Minecraft and it only took me 30 minutes using a template I found online:

My Steve I made, taken with Instagram

And the beads are fairly cheap too, you can get a 10,000 bead bucket (Either a solid mix of most colours or a mix of pastelle colours) for roughly £10 from a lot of shops like Amazon and Argos. Make sure you get the ‘midi’ size if you buy any, these are the most common and practically everyone uses these even though the rarer ‘mini’ beads allow for more detail. IKEA sells PYSSLA beads for £5 on their online shop and these tubs supposedly contain 15,000 beads (Not confirmed) Now with the £5 delivery, thats still £10, but you would get 5,000 extra beads, although the site doesn’t tell you how many are in the jar. Individual bags of 1,000 beads in any colour go for around £2, the best place to get these is eBay. If you’re seriously into your beading, buying seperate colours is the only way you will get a good palette, you can get glitter, metallice and even glow in the dark varieties!

So now, we’re assuming you have a large collection of Hama beads and a wall full of 90’s bliss. You want to make something reallt creative. How about making a 3D model? Using the correct template (or experimenting) and not ironing too hard you can make the beads interlock at the corners. I used this great tutorial to make a Creeper from Minecraft. Just beware of a few things:

  • Make sure you sort your beads into pots beforehand, it helps.
  • Thin pieces can snap quite easy, I snapped quite a few pieces but they will work fine if you are careful with the others.
  • Make sure that you followed the right template so the beads will click together when ironed.
  • Make sure you have enough! This model takes about 1,000 beads, and the most you will use are greens. Try and get 3-4 shades of green, white and black or olive. You won’t need any others!
  • Be careful when connecting the legs using wire, make the ends extra-long so they hold on good and don’t poke yourself!
  • And also, if for some reason your piece is either under-ironed and weak or over-ironed and won’t fit,  a soldering iron can melt them to get them in place. It also works good at the edges to make them strong!

And here’s the finished thing –

My epic 3D Creeper!

And that’s it! Hope you have fun making models with Hama beads, see ya!

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One Response to “Hama Beads – A Match Made In Heaven”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. INSTAGRAMCEPTION!!!! « Matt's Amazing Space - October 19, 2012

    […] a pretty basic. You may have allready seen the 3D creeper I made in the summer, if not check it out here. I find beading quite relaxing and it also improves hand eye coordination (which I am somewhat […]

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