How To Iron Perler Beads aka Hama Beads

Photo of author

By In The Playroom

Perler beads, also known as Hama beads, fuse beads, Nabbi beads, or melty beads, are a fun and inexpensive art form that can keep young children engaged for hours, and today we’re going to answer one of the most pressing questions when it comes to this craft form – how to iron perler beads.

Made from low-density polyethylene, these small, fusible plastic beads are placed onto pegboards to create colorful patterns and designs.

how to craft with perler beads

Once the design is complete, they are ironed to fuse the beads together, resulting in a solid piece of art. This activity not only encourages creativity but also helps develop hand-eye coordination skills and basic counting.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover step-by-step instructions, common FAQs, and how to deal with common mistakes. So, let’s dive in!

First, here are a few of our favorite perler bead designs and ideas to give you some inspiration

How to Iron Perler Beads Step-by-Step Instructions

How to Iron Perler Beads Step by Step Instructions
Yield: 1

How to Iron Perler Beads Step by Step Instructions

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

Discover the colorful world of Perler beads with our comprehensive step-by-step guide. Perfect for parents and young artists alike, this guide will walk you through the process of creating stunning Perler bead art from scratch. Learn how to choose a pattern, set up your workspace, and iron your creations to perfection. Additionally, we'll cover common FAQs and troubleshooting tips to ensure your Perler bead projects are always a success. Get ready to unleash your creativity and create beautiful, lasting pieces that you can display with pride.


  • Perler beads
  • Base plate
  • Parchment paper
  • Household iron
  • Tweezers to lift each bead (optional)
  • Template (optional)


  • Household iron
  • Base plate
  • Tweezers
  • Heat resistant surface


  1. Choose your Perler bead pattern: Begin by selecting a perler bead pattern or design. You can find inspiration online, in Perler bead kits, or even create your own unique design.
  2. Prepare your workspace: Find a flat surface, like a table or countertop, to work on. Place your plastic pegboard, such as the Perler biggie beads pegboard, onto the surface. Ensure you have a heat-resistant surface nearby for the ironing process, such as a baking sheet or a silicone mat.
  3. Create your design: Place individual beads onto the pegboard, following the chosen pattern. For young children, a small sample design or simple shapes like hearts and stars are a great way to start.
  4. Preheat your iron: Plug in your electric iron and set it to a medium heat or low setting, depending on the manufacturer's instructions. A dry household iron, such as the Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot or Sunbeam Steammaster Steam Iron, works best for this activity. Make sure the iron is heated evenly for the best results.
  5. Place ironing paper on your design: Once your design is complete, place a piece of ironing paper or a sheet of parchment paper on top of the perler bead creation. This will protect the beads from direct contact with the hot iron. You can find reusable ironing paper or special paper designed for this purpose in Michaels stores or other craft shops.
  6. Iron your design: Using a circular motion, gently press the hot iron on top of the ironing paper, ensuring even heat distribution. Keep the iron moving for a couple of minutes or until the beads begin to fuse together. To avoid fold lines, try not to let the iron sit in one place for a long time.
  7. Let the design cool: Remove the iron and let your perler bead art cool for a few minutes. You can use oven mitts to avoid burns while handling the hot pegboard.
  8. Peel off the ironing paper: Carefully peel off the ironing paper or parchment paper. Check if all the beads have fused together; if not, replace the paper and iron for a little longer.
  9. Flatten the design: To ensure a flat and even surface, place your creation between two sheets of wax paper or aluminum foil and put it under heavy books or a baking tray for a few minutes.
  10. Display your masterpiece: Now that your perler bead creation is complete, you can use it to make key chains, three-dimensional decors, or simply display it as a beautiful piece of art.


See FAQs, common mistakes and design ideas below

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

The Masking Tape Method

Want to move your design from the pegboard before ironing? Here’s how to do that…

The masking tape method is a technique used in the Perler bead community to protect plastic pegboards from warping due to heat exposure during the ironing process. It involves transferring the Perler bead design from the pegboard onto a solid, heat-resistant surface before ironing.

Here’s how to use the masking tape method:

  1. Complete your Perler bead design on the pegboard as usual.
  2. Cut a piece of masking tape that is slightly longer than your design. Gently place the tape over your design, sticky side down, making sure it covers the entire pattern. You may need to use multiple strips of tape for larger designs.
  3. Press down on the tape gently, ensuring that it adheres to each bead in the pattern. You can use a flat object, like a credit card, to help press the tape evenly onto the beads.
  4. Carefully lift the masking tape, with the beads attached, off the pegboard. The design should now be stuck to the tape, leaving the pegboard free from beads.
  5. Transfer your taped design onto a solid, heat-resistant surface, such as a baking sheet or a silicone mat.
  6. Place a piece of ironing paper or parchment paper on top of the taped design and proceed with the ironing process as usual. The masking tape will protect your design and provide a barrier between the beads and the surface.
  7. Once the beads have fused together and cooled, gently remove the masking tape from the back of the design. Be careful not to pull too hard, as this may cause the beads to separate.

By using the masking tape method, you can preserve the longevity of your pegboards and avoid potential damage caused by heat exposure during the ironing process.

Dealing with Common Mistakes

Uneven surface

If your perler bead design has an uneven surface after ironing, you can try ironing the design again using a piece of ironing paper or parchment paper. Make sure to keep the iron moving in a circular motion and apply even pressure.

Missing pieces

If you find that some beads have not fused properly, simply place the ironing paper back on top of the creation and iron the area with missing pieces for a little longer.

Over-melted beads

If your beads have melted too much, it’s possible that the iron’s temperature was too high or it was applied for too long. In future attempts, use a lower temperature setting and iron for a shorter period.

Warping pegboards

If your plastic pegboard has warped after ironing, it might be due to excessive heat. To prevent this, use the masking tape method to transfer your design onto a solid surface before ironing. This will protect the pegboard from direct contact with the iron.


Common FAQs for How To Iron Perler Beads

Can I use a clothes iron for this activity?

Yes, a clothes iron or a dry household iron is perfect for fusing perler beads. Avoid using steam irons, as they may cause uneven melting

Are Perler beads safe for young children?

Perler beads are generally recommended for children aged 6 and up, due to their small size, they can pose a choking hazard for younger children. Always supervise young children when using perler beads and keep the beads out of reach when not in use.

Q: Can I use an oven or a hot pan to fuse perler beads

While it is possible to use an oven or a hot pan, it is not recommended as it can be difficult to control the heat and may lead to uneven melting or harmful chemicals being released. Using a dry household iron is the easiest and safest method.

Can I reuse pegboards after ironing?

Yes, plastic pegboards are reusable. However, it’s essential to handle them with care and follow the proper ironing technique to avoid damaging the pegboard.

Creating perler bead art can be a lot of fun for both children and adults. It’s an engaging and inexpensive art form that helps develop hand-eye coordination skills, creativity, and patience.

By following this step-by-step guide, understanding common FAQs, and learning how to deal with mistakes, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on your perler bead journey.

Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned artist, these tips will help you create stunning and long-lasting perler bead creations. Happy crafting!

Perler Bead Design Inspiration

For the above design sets we have full free printable templates that you can use to recreate the patterns, and below are a few more pictures for inspiration… whether your kid loves Minecraft, animals like ladybugs and monkeys, or donuts and sweet treats. Create it all with perler beads!

perler bead Minecraft
perler bead ladybird
perler bead monkey
perler bead donut

Happy crafting! Why not share these instructions with friends or pin on Pinterest

Website | + posts

Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.

1 thought on “How To Iron Perler Beads aka Hama Beads”

  1. Anna, your step-by-step guide on how to iron perler beads is fantastic! The masking tape method is a clever tip to protect pegboards. Your inclusion of common mistakes and FAQs is helpful for beginners like me. Your blog is a treasure trove of creative ideas. Keep up the great work!


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Skip to Instructions