Perler Stamp for Tape Method (updated)




About: I would rather make something than sit and watch T.V.

One of my favorite hobbies to relax is to make pixel art with perler beads. Like most people in the hobby, I use the masking tape method (this isn't an instructable on using the tape method). It saves your boards from warping and in my opinion gives a much nicer end product. the only down side is it requires you to poke holes in the tape for expanding gases. This becomes tedious and most of the time takes longer than the bead work. This instructable is a solution to this issue.

When I first wrote this instructable, I wrote for those familiar in the world of perler beads and pixel art.

For those who are not familiar ,

Perler Beads - a brand of plastic beads that can be arranged in patterns to be melted and fused together. Very common with pixel artist. There are other brands Perler, Hama, Pyssla Beads, Walmart brand melty beads (Not recommended. and Nabbi. Everyone has their favorite, and each brand has its pros, and cons.... I prefer using Perler Brand for their even and consistent melting as well as their vibrant colors. It is also advised to not mix brands because of different melting times.

Pixel Art: is a form of digital art created with... pixels or square colored blocks. Used very commonly in old school video games. Also referred to as sprites. Pintrest and deviant art is a great place to get ideas, you can search for "pixel art" or "perler paterns" or "video game perlers" or anything like that. I also use very extensively

Masking tape method: Using masking tape to remove your perler creations from the plastic boards before applying heat, in order to prevent the boards from warping. the boards are relativily cheep, but I didn't like replacing them regularly. this instructable ins't about how to use perlers (see Fylke's instructable: or how to do the masking tape method (see attached youtube video. It's a very well done video made by the hard core perler - you should check out his website, he is one of my favorites - . There are several instructional videos that I find are more detailed than what I could produce. Instead I chose to focus of fixing a rather annoying issue of using the Masking tape method - The very time consuming effort of puncturing holes to let the expanding gases be released. By making a stamp that puncture 49 holes at once I could do a large art piece that used to take me an hour to punch the holes in the back, in matter of minutes.

Melting process: after I apply masking tape to the back of my desired design, I use my stamp to poke holes in the back of the tape, then remove from the boards, and then cover with parchment paper. (you can use wax paper but it leaves a texture behind.) Any clothes iron will work. set the temperature to 2 - 3 (or low - medium low). move Iron in a circular motion until beads are consistently melted.

I got some very good feedback, and I hope this address any questions you may of had. Please if you have any questions, I try to answer as quickly as I can.

Masking tape method as demonstrated by The HardCorePerler.

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Step 1: Materials Needed

49 peler beads (any color)
49 ball point pens - I bought 5 bags of (what ever you can find the cheapest... as long as the tips are metal)

small piece of scrap plywood

Cabinet Knob from a hardware store (link to the one I used, - any style will do. i recommend using a flat or concave shape to easily apply even presure.

gorilla glue (or glue of equivalent strength and durability)

Preventing messes

Paper towles


Disposable plastic container (I used a deli meat plastic container)


If the screw that comes with the drawer pull is too long
hack saw
dremel with grinder

Coming soon - how to make homemade alcohol ink

isopropyl alcohol

Disposable plastic container

(basically save the ink cartriges from step 3 place in the container but instead of throwing the container away add isopopyl alcohol and let it sit for a week)

Step 2: Arrange the Beads

place the beads in a 7x7 pattern (or if you want a larger stamp, you can make it bigger, you will need more pens)

Melt both sides of the beads but, no too much because next we are going to insert and glue metal tipped pens.

Step 3: Remove Pen Heads From Pens.

WARNING THIS STEP IS MESSY - place newspapers/paper towels down first
fill a bowl with water and dish soap
using pliers pull the metal tip off of the pins and place the tips in the water/soap mix.

place the ink cartridge part into a plastic container (you can discard or reuse see below)

once all ink is out of the pen tips, pat dry with paper towels

bonus take the pen bodies in a tupperware container then fill with rubbing alcohol. use it for art and calligraphy. (instructable coming soon)

Step 4: Trim the Wood, and Add the Handle.

Place your perler square you just melted on top of your scrap wood. Then Trace. (not pictured sorry)

Cut out you wood piece and find the center and drill a whole.

If you need to cut the screw to the size then screw the Cabinet Knob to the wood. I used a hack saw

My screw was in a dome shape, so I needed to grind it down so it was level. I first screwed it deep into the wood so when I grinded down it would sit comfortably... Next I used my dremel with grinder attachment. after that sanded down with 60 grit sand paper.

Step 5: Glue All the Things

take the pen tips and insert them in to the perler square. I added a tiny amount of gorilla glue to ensure they wouldn't come out.... don't over do it as gorilla glue does expand.... less is more.

after glue the perler square to the wood/drawer knob. You will want to clamp. I used the wood I cut scrap from to protect the pen tips.

wait 24 hours for the glue to dry before use.

Step 6: Final Thoughts

After 24 hours, you can use your perler stamp. It drastically cuts down on my time poking holes.

I hope you have found this useful and look forward to seeing pictures you make. (please post in the comments your creation.)

My long term goal is to make one the size of the square pegboards that clip together ( I believe these are 30x30 bead count... so I would need 900 beads and 900 pens. ( should do nicely)

this could also be done with perler mini beads (future instructable????)

This is a project I made over a year ago. I tried to document as well as I could... knowing I didn't have time to sit and write an instructable. If I were to do things differently I would take better photos as well as include some that I didn't take photos of. (tracing the wood and cutting) Over all I am happy with how it has turned out.

Step 7: BONUS: Patterns I Used

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    11 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Thank you so much for making this instructable. I have always dreaded the holr-poking procedure that is accompanied with creating big perlers (like 36 total boards). I went and used an 8x8 perler instead of the 7x7 that you used. I'm finding that there is a lot of force needed to puncture the tape and make the holes and also that the tips are kinda stuck to the tape and as I pull the stamp up, the tape lifts too along with the beads. Am I doing something wrong or is this normal and unavoidable?


    3 years ago

    As someone who frequently works with perlers, I am very pleasantly suprised to find out about the masking tape method. I can't believe that I actually have gone this long without knowing about this. I have noticed some of my boards beginning to bow a bit in the middle, so I will defenitly have to try this soon. Quick question, what surface do you find is best to do the ironing on? Again, thank you and great instructable!

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    I am glad you were able to learn a new trick lurgundoflonk. I had the same problem and got tired of buying new boards, and rather spend my money on beads.


    3 years ago

    Handy project :D I think I'll make one of these to use :) I'd avoided the masking tape methord because as you say its time consuming. With this I might have to try it again :)

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    dan3008, that is wonderful. I would love to see photos when you are done!


    3 years ago

    this looks like a nice project, but the description is a little confusing for us who know nothing about it..."masking tape method", your explanation meant nothing to me. Also it seems like you place the pen points on a plastic clear something, but it is not mentioned in the supplies? Please extend explanation. Thank you

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you Coweja for your question, I have since updated the instructable with the information pertaining to it. I didn't address how to do the masking tape method because there are instructions on how to do the masking tape method already. My focus was to address an issue with the method. If you don't poke holes in the tape when you do it, the beads will not melt evenly, The problem is its very time consuming to poke the holes in the tape. I used to take one ballpoint pen and poke each hole individually..... If you have a large art piece it can take a long time to poke all the holes. By making a stamp you can quickly and efficiently poke several at a time. what used to take me say an hour now takes me about 5 minutes.

    The plastic clear something is a throw away Tupperware container I used to hold the discarded ink cartridges from the ballpoint pens. I am working on creating a separate instructable on using this to make alcohol ink. I didn't take enough photos, so I am waiting on supplies. My plan is to make a stamp large enough to cover a standard perler square board - - I need 900 ballpoint pens though and when I get the funds to do such a thing I am going to create a new instructable expanding on re-using the ink for making homemade alcohol ink.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you very much for your reply-information. It helped!


    3 years ago

    I had to search the Internet to understand what you were posting about. So, Perler is a brand name for fusible beads. And you use a clothes iron to melt them? The masking tape ... Why is it necessary when your board holds the beads in position and you are fusing them? Why do you have to poke holes in the masking tape?

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    TomV4, Thank you for your question sorry It wasn't clearly addressed. I have since updated the instructable to hopefully address these questions. You are correct Perler is a name brand for fusible beads. and you do use a clothes iron to melt them (place a sheet of parchment paper over the beads before using a low to medium low setting on you clothes iron- my iron is set at 3) move the iron in a circular motion until beads are melted. There are plenty of instructables, and instructional videos out there that I felt would take away from my focus of cutting down the time it takes to poke holes in the back of the masking tape. The reason why you want to tape your beads is to save you boards. When you create your design, you use a plastic board to hold the beads in place. I have found (by ruining 2 boards) they tend to warp after continual use. By using masking tape you can remove the design from the board and then iron. If you don't poke holes, the beads will not melt evenly. When I get a chance I will update with a photo. I have a pattern where I learned the hard way to poke holes. :)


    Reply 3 years ago

    You answered all of my questions! Thanks!

    I took the time to read your Instructable because it looked like a craft that required several steps and attention to detail, and it inspires me to see others who not only value such things, but actually do them. Good work.