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!

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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 🙂

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