Perler Bead Jewelry

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Learn how to make perler bead jewelry from scratch, for some fun, functional, and quick turnaround jewelry making crafts! This post contains affiliate links.

Perler beads, or fuse beads, are one of my favorite crafting materials for kids. It keeps them busy for ages making intricate designs, and feels magical when the beads melt together to make the design look brighter and more complete. 

Why Perler Bead jewelry making is so awesome!

While Perler beads can be enjoyed from a very young age, older kids often prefer to make something more functional. These Perler bead  jewelry crafts will appeal to older kids as well because of the polished finished product.

Bead work is amazing for building fine motor skills – you can even use tweezers to position the tiny beads while building finger strength. It’s also a strong social-emotional exercise – it takes quite a bit of patience to see the project through from start to finish, and some frustration tolerance because it’s almost inevitable that some beads will be knocked out of place and have to be redone.

But the point is that it CAN be redone – until you iron it, all mistakes can be forgiven! So overall this is just a really flexible activity that is approachable by anyone who can handle small beads.

The one issue that I used to have with fuse beads is that the projects would accumulate and become clutter. I would stick a magnet, but how many times can you do that when your kids want to make new Perler bead projects every day?

That problem is now solved – here are several ideas for making Perler bead jewelry creations that are useful as jewelry and accessories. Make them in different colors and patterns to accent different outfits. Make some for yourself and give some to friends. These adorable Perler bead jewelry and accessory crafts will keep you (or your kids) entertained for a while!

Here’s what you need to know when starting to work with Perler beads

  • There are different companies that make similar types of beads. Don’t mix beads from different brands, because they may fuse differently. Read the directions on your bead packages, because they may need different ironing temperatures and timing. We love Perler beads because they are consistent and good quality.
  • There are two ways to follow a Perler bead template:
    • You can get a clear pegboard and lay it over the design. Then you place each bead directly on top of the matching color.
    • Or you can use any kind of pegboard and place the design next to it. Copy the design by placing beads on the pegboard corresponding to the dots on the design.
  • When you’re ready to iron the design, cover it with parchment, and use gentle pressure. Move the iron around to make sure all the beads are warmed evenly. Iron until the top is smooth and you can’t see the holes in the beads. Then stop – if you continue ironing for too long then the pegboard can start melting.
  • Allow the beads to cool somewhat before continuing.
  • Leave the parchment paper attached as you turn the project over and remove the pegboard – the beads are not yet fully attached and the paper will help them stay in place. Only peel off the paper when both sides are done.
  • Iron the second side just until the beads are stuck together. If you iron it for too long, the design could start to curl. If that happens, you can place a heavy book or other flat heavy object on top of it to help it dry flat.

Try starting with small or simple designs so you can learn the techniques and make all your mistakes on something easy to fix. That way, when you tackle more complex designs, you’ll surely be happy with the results!

Basics supplies you need to make Perler bead jewelry

Being properly equipped is the trick for making any new craft skill work for you and Perler bead jewelry is no exception.The good news is, the supplies are quite affordable.

If you’ve already made jewelry, some supplies might be familiar.

If you haven’t yet, you may want to check out my post on jewelry making supplies for beginners to get a better feel for the different types of supplies you might find.

Regardless, here are some basics:

  • A pegboard – I recommend a clear one, so that you can follow templates more easily
  • Perler beads
  • An iron or heat press – for adult use only, of course. I dedicated a small one for crafting purposes.
  • Parchment paper – to protect your iron and your design when you press it
  • Jewelry pliers: the main ones you’ll need are round nose pliers and chain nose pliers. You can get an all-in-one tool, but it’s easier to open and close jump rings when you have two pairs of pliers.
  • Findings: all the itty bitty metal pieces that make up your jewelry craft
    • Jump rings – these are small rings that open to connect things. 
    • Ear wires – for earrings that connect to other things with jump rings
    • Flat pad ear studs – those are for studs where you glue something on
    • Pendant bail – an optional thing to stick on a pendant to make it more polished looking
    • Clasps – the thing you use to close most bracelets and necklaces

Perler Bead Jewelry Ideas

Here are some Perler bead jewelry ideas I’ve shared here in the past. Click on the title to see the full tutorial. You don’t need to download the template for these – you have one download for all at the end of this post

Perler Bead Necklaces

Necklaces are a fun way to add some color to that simple t-shirt! Make them with different lengths of chains and in varying levels of simplicity to layer them. 

Necklaces are made by adding a hole – or two – to your design so that you can attach a jump ring and chain.

Perler Bead Earrings

One of my favorite types of jewelry to wear is earrings – and there are so many different ways you can make Perler bead earrings! The two main styles are dangle earrings and flat pad studs. Dangle earrings are made similar to necklaces: turn an appropriately-sized Perler bead creation into a charm by piercing a hole in it, add jumprings and an earwire. Stud earrings are made by gluing a small creation to a flat pad ear stud.

Perler Bead Bracelets

Upgrade your Perler bead jewerly creations another notch by learning how to shape them while they’re still warm! This requires some care and adult supervision, so you don’t burn yourself. Don’t do it while your creation is too hot.

You can also make bracelets using another technique, one that I haven’t really shown. That is, but creating smaller Perler bead shapes and making holes as you would for necklaces and dangle earrings, only you’re making one on each side, turning it into a link, instead of a charm. Link the Perler bead creations together using jumprings and/or decorative links. Finish it off with a clasp

Perler Bead Rings

Just like you can make bracelets, you can make rings too! This also has two methods: the glue-on-flat-pad method and the shape-while-hot method. The first will be easier to wear, but requires more specialized equipment.

Whichever you choose, you’ll want to make a few to stack!

Download the Free Perler Bead Jewelry Template, Instructions & Tips

Your download will be a multi-page PDF file, including: a template for many different designs of earrings, rings, bracelets, and necklaces that can also be used as brooches, keychains, bookmarks, and more!

It also includes recommended jewelry sets and pairings as well as instructions and loads of tips.

To download, fill out the form below. You’ll be signed up for our free newsletter – unsubscribe at any time in the footer of the emails. I respect your privacy and the law and won’t share your information with anyone.

Download Your free fuse bead jewelry template + tips!
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