4.25″ x 7.5″
Pattern Width: 22
Pattern Height: 39
Total Colors: 14
Total Bead Count: 499
4.75″ x 9.75″
Pattern Width: 25
Pattern Height: 50
Total Colors: 14
Total Bead Count: 657
Credit: Created patterns using sprites created by [No Body The Dragon]
Equipped with the knowledge I gained from my first Perler project, I set out to correct some of the mistakes I made. I also wanted to try out a few different techniques to see if I could speed up the process.
Like the first one, after I finished placing the beads on the pegboard, I used painters tape to keep them together. Taping the beads together allows me to move the piece off of the pegboard for ironing. I know the instructions tell you to iron on the pegboard, but I did not want to risk melting and/or warping my boards. You can see the painters tape sticking out from behind Cloud (from FFXII) in the photo below.
I like how it looks when the beads melt down to completely cover the holes. So the next step is to poke holes into the painters tape for every bead. This step is needed so that there is a place for air to escape when we begin to melt down the beads. For something this small, it would not take long. Link is about 500 beads and Cloud is 650 beads. It would probably take about 10-15 minutes to a piece to poke holes into them. However, with the large installations I plan to make, 20,000+ beads, I wanted to find a way to skip poking holes. I decided to skip this step to see what happens.
First Mistake. Not poking holes into the tape. With air trapped inside the beads during ironing, it created large holes on the back. I tried to melt it down further to get rid of the holes, but was unsuccessful.
Second Mistake. Ironing without the the tape. I had taken the tape off and continued to iron the back. I was hoping to close up the holes created by the air bubbles. Not only was I unsuccessful, I also damaged the front. Without the tape to give the front a smooth surface to lay on, the heated beads took on the texture of the ironing board fabric.
Third Mistake. Possibly buying the wrong tape. You might notice some fuzz on the Perler piece above. This fuzz is from the adhesive of the painters tape. It did not come off when I off the tape. I am not sure if I just used the wrong tape or if the brand is bad for this project. It could also be that the tape I bought from the store is super old so it did not hold up well to the heat. Just to clarify, the tape could have been on the shelf a really long time when I bought it. I don’t mean that I’ve kept it in a dusty drawer with the intentions of never letting it see the light of day. If you’re curious, I bought Scotch painters tape from Michaels Craft Store.
To fix these three mistakes, I partially melted the back of Link until all the beads connected. When I finished this part, I would take off the tape and then continue to iron the rest down. This way, I wouldn’t have to worry about air bubbles being trapped or adhesive fuzz forming. I had completely forgotten about mistake #2.
Fourth Mistake. Trying to peel off the painters tape before you are completely done ironing. Partially melting the beads is a complete fail. When I took off the tape, a bunch of beads came off with it. This was a major pain in the rear-end! It’s almost impossible to tell from the back during ironing if the beads have melted enough to all stick together! I managed to get the loose beads back into place and ironed the rest of it down. The results were much better, but since I forgot about mistake #2, the front side still turned out disfigured.
[ABOVE: You can see Link doesn't have as much holes as Cloud.]
[BELOW: My Link still came out horribly disfigured from the front.]
Actually, did not realize that the ironing board was ruining the front sides of the Perler pieces until I was completely done. This is why mistake #2 happened to both pieces :) If I had realized it sooner, I would have probably tried to correct the issue by moving Link to a different location to iron – such as our granite kitchen counter.
Fifth Mistake. Not apply heat evenly. I learned that you have to keep the heat even on the back on the piece so the parchment paper stayed “melted” to the Perler piece. You don’t want the parchment paper curling up from cooling because it leave an uneven texture on the back of the Perler piece. So you want to keep apply heat evenly through out the entire piece until you are finished. When you peel the parchment paper off all at once, you end up with a much smoother back. I am not sure if it’s obvious, but the next two photos is me attempting to show you the uneven texture from uneven ironing.
I ran into so many new problems with these two pieces. It is strange to me that I encountered more problems with this piece than I did my first piece! Another problem
- Use painters tape to keep your beads together and remove it from the pegboard prior to ironing.
- Use good tape. 3M and Duramax painters tape has been suggested by other bloggers.
- There is no short cut – poke holes into the painters tape before ironing.
- Keep the tape on the entire time. This will help prevent beads from pre-maturely popping off and also prevents weird textures from forming on the front of your Perler piece.
- Use a piece of parchment paper that is large enough to cover your entire piece and apply heat evenly throughout the entire process. This will help prevent weird textures on the back of your Perler piece from forming.
- Make sure there are not creases or folds in your parchment paper prior to ironing. This will prevent putting unwanted lines on the ironed part of your piece during ironing. (This was a lesson learned from the first project.)
Well that was a painfully long post! Lucky for you, the end of this post is near! I hope those of you who are wanting to try out Perler art, found some of this information useful. As always, feel free to ask any questions in the comments :)