I love to feature businesses and craft projects that have a little Jew-y twist to them and when a friend recently gave me her kid’s discarded fuse bead collection, my son immediately jumped on the six-pointed star template contained within it. He said to me, “Mommy, I’m going to create something for your blog” so in a way, this is a guest post! My son’s first editorial…I’m verklempt.
We are a little late on the Perler bead trend and if you are too, Perler beads are also called “fuse beads”. They are plastic beads that are used not for stringing, but for assembling on studded templates to create patterns. You “fuse” them by melting them with an iron. Perler beads are small and as such, aren’t good for kids that are still putting things with their mouths. Also, because an iron is involved, an adult or adept big kid is needed occasionally for the fusing. The instructions say they are good for ages 6+. What I love about these beads is that the activity is very detailed, requires concentration, and is thus silent! Yes, silence descends in our house during the hour or so my kid uses the beads. That gives it a big thumbs-up in my book.
Although most examples show beads filling the template entirely, we became very interested in the negative space created by not filling it all the way. Here are a few of the different kinds of Star of David patterns we came up with:
I love that “floating” one where the inside star is fixed to the outside one with some clear beads. Remember, if you do fill the entire template with beads leave one out for inserting the hanging string. You can see we did that with the yellow star below.
As for the utility of the beaded objects, they make nice ornaments for the sukkah and I’ve even started on a seven species set. I think they also make great gift wrapping adornments. The next thing I’m intrigued by is how to create 3-dimensional objects using Perler beads. For instance, I’m keen on making a tzedakah box out of beads. Stay tuned for that!