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 🙂

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See No, Hear No, Speak No Evil Dragons

Dragons-03

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!

Dragons-01

Dragons-02

Dragons-04

Dragons-06

Dragons-05

Dragons-07

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

Christmas Mouse

For my younger sister’s birthday, I made her this adorable little mouse!

ChristmasMouse_01

ChristmasMouse_02

ChristmasMouse_03

The mouse’s tail had broken off during baking. So did it’s “waving” hand. I had to do the same thing I did with the tiger’s ear to get it to bake in the right place. I used a bit of liquid polyclay to reattach the broken pieces. This wasn’t an easy process since I had to hold it in place while it was semi-baking. It got pretty hot! ;P

I skipped glazing with Kato Liquid Polyclay with this mouse. It was too messy with the tiger and I didn’t want to go through all of that again. Although, it probably would have been fine if I glazed it after I baked it and then re-baked it for the glaze to cure… but I didn’t think about that until I had finished glazing it with the polyurethane.

I notice that the tiger came out shinier because of the liquid polyclay. I dipped the mouse in the Polyurethane Gloss finish twice hoping that it’ll make it shinier, but it didn’t.

So, a few more lessons learned from this project!

ChristmasMouseTiger

Christmas White Tiger

My eldest sister and my youngest sister both celebrated their birthday this week and I had decided to make them a Christmas ornament for their present. This white tiger was given to my eldest sister because of her Chinese Zodiac.

ChristmasWhiteTiger_01

ChristmasWhiteTiger_02

ChristmasWhiteTiger_03

This White Tiger was MUCH harder to execute than I had planned for. When I sketched it, I had only sketched the front side. When I started to sculpt it, I realized that I had no idea how I wanted to do the back side! So… I had to improvise.

IMG_3568[1]

I read that Kato Liquid Polyclay makes for a nice shiny gloss glaze so I decided to try it out. I applied it using a brush. When I was done, the left ear kept sliding off the side of the head! No matter how hard I tried to keep it in place, the side of the head was too slippery from the liquid polyclay. I don’t know what happened, but I eventually got it to stay in place and baked it. So, note to self: Apply Kato Liquid Polyclay AFTER baking and then re-bake for about 15 minutes after the liquid polyclay has been applied.

When the timer went off to signal that baking was done, I had found the tiger’s left ear had baked onto it’s body. The ear had slid down the side of the tiger during baking!! I had to pry it off and re-attach it with Kato liquid polyclay. It kept sliding off regardless so I held the ear in place inside the oven until it was stopped sliding. It was a nightmare! Luckily, the ear stayed in place during this last round of baking.

Afterwards, I glazed it using Rust-Oleum Varathan Polyurethane Gloss Glaze/Finish because it wasn’t as shiny as I had wanted.

IMG_3569[1]

Overall, I’m happy enough with how this turned out. I learned a great deal from this one!