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 http://www.spriters-resource.com/ 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: https://www.instructables.com/id/Urban-artwork-usin...) 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 - http://hardcoreperler.com/)- . 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 http://www.target.com/p/pen... (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, http://www.lowes.com/pd/Hickory-Hardware....) - 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)
Disposable plastic container (I used a deli meat plastic container)
If the screw that comes with the drawer pull is too long
dremel with grinder
Coming soon - how to make homemade alcohol ink
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 (http://www.perler.com/large-clear-square-pegboards...) I believe these are 30x30 bead count... so I would need 900 beads and 900 pens. (https://www.amazon.com/Wholesale-Misprint-Point-Pl... 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.