Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Melted Perler bead braided bracelet

Maybe you're like me.

You rushed out to buy a huge tub of Perler beads because you had to make an awesome Perler bead bowl.

But now you find yourself staring at a huge tub of tiny colorful cylinders, wondering what you're going to do with all of them.

Well, how about making a braided Perler bead bracelet?

Oooh.  Arm Candy.

- Colored hemp cord
- Perler beads
- Wax paper
- Baking pan
- Scissors
- Tape (or clipboard, or you could just use your foot)
- Button
- Ruler

1.  Melt your Perler beads into little disks.  Place them (standing upright) on a a sheet of wax paper on top of a baking pan.  Then, carefully place them in a 400 degree oven for about 2 minutes.  When you pull them out, they should look like this: 

Ooh!  They look like tiny life savers.  Yum.
Now that you have your beads, it's time to start stringing them.  Let's start by tying your hemp cords together.

2.  Pull out your colored hemp cord.  Cut out two strings, one 30" and one 24."  Fold the 30" one in half.  Line up one end of your 24" string with the ends of the folded 30 inch string.  Curve the rest of the 24" string so that you now have two parallel loops. 

3.  Knot both strings together. You should now have three strings that are the same length and one string that's a bit shorter.  Use a scissor to cut off that fourth shorter string.  Now you have three strings with a loop tying them together.

4.  Tape down your bracelet.  (Or, you could hold it down with a clip board.... or your foot.  Whatever strikes your fancy.)  Then, start braiding the strings together.

5.  (My string changed colors.  Sorry!) After making as many (or as few) braids as you want, it's time to start braiding in your beads.  Add a bead to one of your outside strings. (I added mine to the left because that was the next string to be braided).  Then, cross that outside string over the middle strand.  Then, add a bead to the opposite outer string, and then cross that string over the middle strand.  Keep following that pattern.  (You're basically braiding in the beads each time.)

Keep going!

6.  When you're done adding the beads, continue just normally braiding until the end.  (Measure the bracelet against your wrist to see how long to make it.)  Tie a knot to secure your braid.  (Ooh!  My string changed color back to blue.)
Now let's add your button.

 7.  String the three strands through the holes of your button.  Tie a knot (or double tie a knot) to secure the button in place. Trim off your extra string.
 Make a whole bunch and now you've got yourself a set of colorful arm candy.

Happy crafting!

(Many thanks to HonestlyWTF's braided Hex bead tutorial, this very helpful YouTube video, and Craft and Creativity's Perler bead bracelet for inspiring today's craft.)