Gigantic tub o' 22,000 Perler beads



These things fucking rock, but you gotta be careful about sealant/adhesive choices.

I’ve seen a few coaster few made in splendid retro gaming designs that performed poorly as coasters. I think the sniglet for that is bevemeter.


Let’s see some of your daughter’s & friend’s output, Mark!

Store them in a glass jar or tube…and put in ‘small treasures’. Things like a bit of a ribbon, feather, paperclip, plastic ring, and a penny. Make a list of things you put in.

Then you can shake the jar and it hides the things hidden. You have to check off a list of things you spot in the jar and try to find all the ones on the list…it’s harder than you think.

This is also a commercial product called “find it”…it uses very similar mini-beads.

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Funny, I found this idea, I’m dying to try on Piinterest today:

This is a great way to get a lot of Perler beads quite cheap, but having 30 colors all mixed together means you’re going to spend a lot of time hunting for the color you need. Some people won’t mind, but I think it would drive me nuts. :frowning: These are also a perfect medium for old-school video game sprites, as you can see from TheBeadLord’s Mario sprites. At 5 beads per inch, larger and more detailed images can get big pretty fast. These two that I’ve done are 17"-18" tall.


Fantastic! Those you’ve made are really impressive.

I really liked the 3D tree on the main page too.

Thanks! The images were taken directly from screenshots of the game Puyo Puyo Sun, so the effort came not from creativity, but from persistence and the challenges of color matching.

There’s another similar beads-on-pegboards medium called PixelHobby that also works well for this type of art. With PixelHobby, the “beads” are 1/10th-inch cubes with a hole on the back side. Unlike Perler, there is no ironing; the pegboards remain as part of the completed piece. Because of this, it’s a little more expensive per pixel… but there are also 300 or so colors. There is also a computer program that takes an image and creates printable patterns which you can put behind the clear pegboards as you work, and also does color matching and optimization so you know which colors to buy. Here’s a 20,000-pixel one I made.


Its like cross-stitch for geeks! Cool!


Yes, yes it is. Oddly, I still use this sniglet fairly often if I’m ever at a drinking establishment that uses napkins instead of coasters, but fails to put a salt shaker on the table.


Or you can build a sorting machine. They are usually made for M&Ms or other candies, but the principle is the same, only the color resolution and the number of sorting bins is increased. (For simplicity you can go multipass; with six-bin machine you can have color 1…5, and “all else”, and iterate through color subsets until the set is exhausted. If a way to cycle the “all else” bin back is implemented, you can even go with just two-options sorter, “desired color” and “all else”, and let it operate overnight; just put enough cups on a conveyor belt for the “desired color” bin.)


I put together an Instructable on how to make somewhat realistic-looking (dithered) images from a small color set. The idea is to make a low resolution limited palette gif and use it as a placement guide. Might be useful with these, although they seem to come in so many more colors that the technique is less necessary.

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Yes my kids love these beads too. To my bare feet, on the other hand, they are most villainous. The kids room is a minefield.


DIP integrated circuits are worse. Their pins are sharp and they tend to land legs-up like a dead bug. And when you step on one, the pins will first pierce and then bend.
…don’t ask how I know…


I am really hoping you’ll either hang on to all the artwork for the rest of your life, Mark, or find a way to put the polyethylene plastic wad in the plastic-recycling stream. The fine folks at are finding plastics in all our oceans, gyres of plastic garbage just… everywhere.

See also:

I realize it’s not cool here to point out plastic’s obvious impacts to the environment, not just during its petroleum extraction phase, its stinky air-polluting manufacture into plastics, its “oh look pretty colors” lifespan and then, after its usefulness/novelty/charm wears off, its next destination (landfill where it’s undecayed for centuries? recycled into something else? etc.). Ok, call me a killjoy then. I’ll deal.

I’d love to see a little more reflection and introspection on Tha bOING, more mindfulness about how tiny plastic bits, however delightful a hobby, are part of a bigger issue that has a direct bearing on the health of Calfornia’s coastal waters, the world’s oceans, and all the life in those oceans–and not just the fish in your sushi, your supplements, your pet’s food.

Trying hard here to stay away from the cynical view that the recent uptick in the rampant Amazon affiliate gadget-toy-object lovefest is a mere self-enrichment ploy, because I know just how expensive running and administrating big web sites can be. And yet… and yet…


I can’t speak for the leftover beads – which I’m sure are filling municipal dumps everywhere – but if you’ve ironed them hot enough, the creations last forever. Which is a good thing, and a bad thing, from the parental perspective!

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