Intro: Making Perler Frames
This instructables will teach you all of the important steps to making a frame out of perler beads. These steps can also be followed to make any larger perler project.
Step 1: Gather Supplies and Setting Up Perler Station
The first step to making any larger perler piece is to gather your supplies. What you will need: parchment paper, pegboards, perler beads (specific colors to your project), tweezers for the more advanced projects, an iron, masking take and any sharp tool that can be used to poke holes (this will be explained later in the project). After gather supplies, it is important to set up your station. I put together however many pegboards I need for each project, in this case four did the trick. I use an additional board to place beads on so they are easier to reach while perlering and you can move the board around as you go around the project.
Step 2: Sizing, Outlining and Filling In.
For step two, following your decided pattern, create the outline with the correct color. Here I used a 5 by 7 picture to work around so I knew the size of my frame. Of course you can play around with sizes to suit your needs. I had to go back and take away a few rows after the outline was completed to accommodate the design on the bottom of this particular frame. Things like that are going to happen, don't get discouraged when the beads don't match up perfectly. Just play with the pattern a little until it fits your liking.
Step 3: Straightening and Taping
Once the frame is complete, gently push the edges of your beads so they are all even and in straight rows. Carefully place the masking tape in rows over the beads, leaving about 1/2 an inch of extra tape so you can easily peel away the frame after.
Step 4: Evening and Poking
Once the frame is taped completely, take a blunt object ( I use the back of a screwdriver) and rub it over the frame so everything is even. Once that is done, take a sharp object (such as a pen tip or sharpened pencil) and poke holes in the tape for every individual bead. This may seem tedious but it is important because the tape can bubble during ironing if this step is done incorrectly or skipped.
Step 5: Removing Frame and Trimming Tape
Once the holes are all poked, carefully peel back the tape (this is where the extra tape comes in handy). Once the entire frame is removed, cut the excess tape so it doesn't stick to other surfaces while ironing.
Step 6: Ironing Side One
On a clean surface, place the frame with the tape side down and place parchment paper on side facing upward. With an already heated iron (on a medium to hot temperature), run the iron over the entirety of the frame until the beads have fused together. Some people like to iron their pieces until the beads melt together completely but I like the more pixelated look so I iron until they are simply fused together. Once the frame is cool to the touch, flip it and and very slowly peel back the masking tape, making sure all of the beads are fused as you go.
Step 7: Iron Second Side and Cool
Once the masking tape is removed, flip the frame so the un-ironed side is facing up and place the parchment paper on top. Repeat the ironing for this side and remove the parchment paper. Make sure to turn your iron off at this point. Place a head object on top of the frame (like a heavy book) so that it remains flat while it cools. If left alone, it will curve. Once cooled, your frame is done! Congratulations.