Gir and Pig

3552 Perler beads, 12.38" x 18.08" on an 18"x24" acrylic painted canvas.

3552 Perler beads, 12.38″ x 18.08″ on an 18″x24″ acrylic painted canvas.

Gir and Pig
Approximately 12.38″ x 18.08″
Pattern Width: 70 beads
Pattern Height: 91 beads
Total Colors: 9
Total Bead Count: 3552 beads

This is my largest installation made to-date! I am extremely proud of this piece because it turned out better than I had expected! I pulled the pattern from Deviantart and made a few adjustments to it (http://www.deviantart.com/art/Gir-s-Dream-Come-True-264070279). I was extremely nervous going into this project because I did not feel I was ready. However, I really wanted to make this for my good friend for his birthday. It arrived a week late because of packaging and shipping issues, but it arrived safe and sound! Yay!

Some people have been wondering how I make these Perler designs. First step: I use interlocking pegboards and place a bead on each peg to make my design. Like so:

Gir and Pig

After my design is completed, I tape it with painter’s tape to keep the beads together. Like so:

Gir and Pig

After this, I pull the beads off the pegboard and poke holes into the painters tape for each bead. I forgot to take a picture, but I have an example of this from my Recon Corp project. The painter’s tape I used is extreme low adhesion so a BUNCH of beads popped off when I pulled this off the peg board. It was a nightmare! I kept my cool and was able to get all the beads back into the right place (or somewhere close to the right place, haha).

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Using this poking tool from my 9 in 1 Interchangeable Screwdriver Set!

Poking Tool

I then put parchment paper on top of the design and iron it. I have it set on medium-high heat and move the iron left & right and up & down. I will normally leave the iron in a spot for a few seconds before moving to another spot. This gives the plastic beads some time to heat up and melt. It’s important to try and keep the entire piece warm until you’re completely done. You don’t want any parts of the piece cooling before you’re done because your Perler piece will start curling.

Ironing Perler

When you’re done melting your beads, stack heavy books on it to keep it flat while it’s cooling. DO NOT put the books on it immediately after you’re done ironing, let it cool a little before doing this or you’ll squish your beads! I let it sit under this over night.

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I used acrylic paint on an 18″x24″ inch canvas to paint the background for Gir and Pig.

Gir and Pig Painting

Gir and Pig

I added a frame to this because it looked so much nicer with it!

Gir and Pig

Gir and Pig

And that’s all folks! Let me know if you have any questions!

Moogle Perler

My friend saw my Perler projects and wanted me to make him something. I told him to pick a couple of designs he’d like to have and I’d surprise him. His choices:

  1. Freya from FFIX
  2. Vivi from FFIX
  3. A Moogle
  4. A Tonberry
  5. Tera from FFVI

All were EXCELLENT choices! I wanted to do one of each but I could not find a good design or a design I liked for Freya, Vivi, or the Tonberry. The designs that interested me were much larger projects than I was comfortable with at this time. I found some nice designs for Tera and moogles, but when it came time to start the project, I was only interested in making the moogle design. Sorry Tera, I was just not in the mood for you!!

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Moogle
Approximately 5.40″ x 6.25″
Pattern Width: 27 beads
Pattern Height: 32 beads
Total Colors: 14
Total Bead Count: 566 beads

Credit: Created pattern using sprite created by [Pinedavx]
http://www.rpgmakervx.net/lofiversion/index.php/t9294.html

It came out pretty good! As stated in the previous post, I ran out of the painters tape I was using to tape the beads together before ironing. Since the tape I was using before gave me issues with leaving adhesive behind on my designs, I opted for different tape. I ended up with 3M 2080 edge lock tape for Advanced Delicate Surfaces. I wanted to make sure no adhesive would get stuck to my Perler design!

First Mistake. Getting tape with low adhesion level. The tape had such low adhesion level that beads would pop off while I was trying to remove it from the pegboard. A good amount of beads had fallen off. Luckily, this is a fairly small design so it was not too bad, but I can not imagine what kind of nightmare this would be on a larger piece!!

Other than that, there really was not any other mistakes worth noting. Nothing is ever perfect, but I consider this one very close to it! Yay!

If there is a design you would like to see, let me know and I might try and make it :)

 

Link and Cloud Remake

I remade Link and Cloud to give to my good friend, Ry-kun. I changed some of the bead colors because I noticed they did not really make sense. I changed the colors of Cloud’s sword and his shoulder armor. I changed it to a light gray color; it was a light/aqua blue color before. I noticed the skin color on Cloud was a little off, so I changed the skin tone on Link. Instead of cream colored beads, I used sand color beads instead. It has a more natural color with the sand colored beads so I am happy I decided to change it. I also decided to make Link’s boots look like Cloud’s. Before, Link’s boots had two different shades. The one tone looks much nicer in my opinion.

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I was hoping the pieces would come out perfect, but a few mistakes were made. Most of the mistakes are the same ones I made previously. The only one worth noting is a mistake made during the ironing phase. When ironing, it would be ideal to move the iron left to right and up to down (or vice versa). This will help keep lines straight. Since I was moving the iron in a circular motion, Cloud and Link’s swords came out a little crooked! It’s a little more noticeable further away, but here is an up close photo:

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I wish I had noticed the skin tone earlier because I would have made Cloud’s skin tone sand instead of cream, too. Either than that, I felt pretty good with how these turned out. Ry-kun actually received these over the weekend and he noticed that the lines were better than the first set, so YAY! VICTORY!

Perler Practice – Attack on Titan, Recon Corps

I didn’t do a great job with taking photos this time around, but I did take some photos of things I left out in the previous post!

My next project was to do the Attack on Titan Recon Corp symbol. I wanted to make this for my brother-in-law. I’m not familiar with the show and I haven’t watched it, so I had to pull a lot of information from the internet. I prayed that I made the symbol correctly!

So after placing the beads on the Perler pegboard, I taped it up and poked holes into every single bead.

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I then flipped it over and put parchment paper on top. This is the side that’s going to get ironed down – the back side. Some people like this backside image more because it gives that pixel look, but I like the front side more where you can see the beads. I also think the colors are much more vibrant on the front side. I think the backside is cool looking, but it’s still just the back!

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I didn’t take a photo of the completed piece and I already gave it to my brother-in-law so I can’t take photos of it. The only problem I ran into with this project is that the tape got stuck to the design when I was done ironing it. I’m pretty sure this was caused by “bad” tape. Luckily, I finished the roll of tape I had with this project :)

Recon Corp
Approximately 5.00″ x 8.00″
Pattern Width: 22
Pattern Height: 39
Total Colors: 5
Total Bead Count: 1123

I didn’t measure this piece so the measurements above are just a guess!

Anyways, let me know your thoughts and/or questions. I would love to hear from you!

Perler Practice – Link and Cloud

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Link

4.25″ x 7.5″
Pattern Width: 22
Pattern Height: 39
Total Colors: 14
Total Bead Count: 499

Cloud

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]
http://no-body-the-dragon.deviantart.com/art/Link-Mushroom-Kingdom-Fusion-85718844

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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[ABOVE: You can see Link doesn't have as much holes as Cloud.]
[BELOW: My Link still came out horribly disfigured from the front.]

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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.

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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

SUMMARY

  1. Use painters tape to keep your beads together and remove it from the pegboard prior to ironing.
  2. Use good tape. 3M and Duramax painters tape has been suggested by other bloggers.
  3. There is no short cut – poke holes into the painters tape before ironing.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 :)

See No, Hear No, Speak No Evil Dragons

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I am so excited to finally be able to post this. I made these dragons for an art trade before Christmas and I was not able to give it to my friend until 2 weeks ago! Talk about procrastination, right? I wanted to ship it out, but I hate shipping things. Naturally, I kept pushing it back and then, fortunately, I was finally able to meet my friend up! Shipping packages just seem so complicated and I hate doing it! I’m just a little weird with shipping things out. Anyone else like that?

Anyways, I hope you all enjoy. Feel free to leave any questions you might have in the comments!

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First Perler Project – Link

Perler Link Front

Perler Link Back

This piece measures approximately 8.50″ x 8.50″. When I had set out for my first Perler project, I had started with a pattern tripled the size of this one. I’m glad I had changed my mind and went with something smaller! The tricky part of doing a Perler piece isn’t putting the beads on the pegboard, it was the ironing and melting of the beads together. I made quite a few mistakes and I’m glad I didn’t waste more beads making these simple mistakes on a larger piece.

First mistake. Using multiple parchment paper. The sword is broken where I had two parchment paper lined up before ironing. Apparently, melting beads will move and if there isn’t a unifying layer keeping them them together… they will start moving away from each other!

Perler Link Sword

Perler Link Disaster

The above picture is what the other side of the sword looks like. Yikes!

Second Mistake. Using wrinkled parchment paper. The parchment paper I used came with the kits I had bought. They were folding into small squares so they would fit in the kit. The creases of the parchment paper caused these dents in my final Perler piece.

Perler Link Lines

Third Mistake. I’m actually not 100% sure why this happened but I think I had put too much pressure and melted the back of this area a little too much. The plastic from behind is trying to make it’s way through the front because of this. It looks kind of cool, but only if I was able to do this with the entire Perler piece. I didn’t.

Perler Link Over Melt

This is what it should have looked like throughout the entire piece:

Perler Link Perfect

I was hoping this Link would have turned out PERFECT with some minor errors that weren’t noticeable to anyone but me. Maybe next time!

I found this sprite here: http://www.spriters-resource.com/fullview/23434/ (Zelda Series – Link – Toon Link) and then imported into “Bead It!” (iOS App) to get it to find the best color combination with Perler beads. I’ve noticed the pieces with Perler and Hama bead colors look much better, but I’m not really sure where to buy the Hama beads. Everywhere I’ve found them, has prices listed in pounds (£). I’m not sure how I feel about buying them overseas and having them shipped to me. Actually, I do know how I feel about it = not good/comfortable.

Perler Link Size

Pattern Width: 45
Pattern Height: 42
Total Colors: 16
Total Bead Count: 943

P18 Black 947
P02 Cream 118
P53 Pastel Green 100
P10 Dark Green 92
P92 Dark Grey 88
P21 Light Brown 84
P35 Tan 68
P12 Brown 65
P01 White 60
P58 Toothpaste 53
P80 Green 48
P33 Peach 44
P20 Rust 44
P04 Orange 34
P70 Periwinkle Blue 27
P52 Pastel Blue 17
P56 Pastel Yellow 1

Pattern-Link