I happen to have a bunch of these perler beads leftover from a project and I have no idea how to get rid of them. Really, like a whole carton, so I began to experiment different ways of creating stuff with them. i don't like to melt iron them because then I can't undo them so I decided to treat them like beads and do 3D weaving with them. This is my first attempt at creating something 3D with them that is functional and also decorative. I'm making a pear today, It started out as an apple, then went pear shape. Literally. HAHAHAHA!
Give it a go if you like it!
Step 1: Materials and Prep
- Pyssla bead from IKEA, or if you have others, mind comes in color separated packs.
- Pliers and wire cutters
- Gold coated wire: 0.8mm, for softness and decorative factor, I have about 100m of it (aliexpress)
- Egg shaper
- Separate your perler beads into colors if your's is mixed
- Undo your egg shaper, this will take a bit of fiddling to remove the handle and the snaps. You will be left with the rim, which will form the opening for the bottom of this container.
- Cut 34 lengths of wire, each 40cm
Step 2: Begin With the Bottom
With the egg shaper rim, determine the size you want your opening to be. In this case, I'm going for the size of the egg shaper.
Take 5 strands of your cut wire, put 5 beads on each strand, creating a 5 by 5 grid, lay them side by side.
Take 6 strands of your wire and lay they between each bead, over and under across all 5 strand, weave them.
It's a little fiddly but after you get pass this stage, it will be easy.
With the remaining cut wire, put them through the grid, so that the beads are holding all the wires, you will spread them are you weave towards the end.
Now with that done, you can begin building.
start by building a circle of beads (the base will be spherical) around the grid by putting a bead on 2-3 wires, start will a small circle.
Step 3: Shaping the Bowl
Then from the 1 bead, split the bundle of 2-3 wires into 1-2 wires, putting a bead on each. Refer to the weave structure for guidance. Continue to build upwards by splitting the wires from 1 bead and merging with the one by the side.
Shape the bowl with your palm as you go along, and split and add beads as you move upwards.
If yours does not look regular, that's alright, and it will be, due to the 2-3 wire split, mine is very irregular at the bottom too. And the good thing is that irregularity actually helps make a stronger sturdier base, like how Incan building blocks are structured.
Build up your bowl till you've got a good shallow bowl with enough wire to wrap around and secure the egg rim.
Step 4: Finishing the Bottom
Secure the egg rim, and fix the size, close the circle with a bit of wire.
Place your wire bowl within the egg rim circle and wrap the wires from inside to out and secure it, by twisting the end around the base of the wire right under the rim.
It takes some time to secure all the wires, but it's a very therapeutic process and the end bowl feels great to hold.
Step 5: Beginning the Lid
Cut 8 lengths of wire, each 40cm long.
On 3 of the put 2 brown beads in the middle of each and use the T-structure to stopper the beads.
Put them side by side together and secure them together with another length of wire.
Once it's secured, thread the remaining wires through the beads and give it the same T-shape form.
This is the top of the pear stem.
You now have 16 strands forming the bottom of the stem.
Next, thread 6 beads each, with 4 wires forming 1 bunch. You will have 4 stalks of 6 bead. Push them up to top of the stem and use a short piece of wire to stopper the beads.
Then, for the finishing touch, twist the stem.
You have completed the pear stem!
Step 6: Weaving the Lid
If you look at picture labelled weave direction, you will see that the body of the pear, the weave starts from the bottom of the stem, going upwards and then curving all around back down to create a nice cushion donut around, then flare outwards. This will give the pear look.
Start by separating the wires into 8 groups of 2.
Put one on each group and slpit the 2 protruding wires creating an N shape to stopper the bead, keep this working habit, it will make things easy for you without the bead sliding around.
So the way to weave will be to add a bead, split the 2 wires, group 2 neighboring wires to make a new layer, and add a bead. Repeat this so that the 2nd layer of beads curve upwards, bending the wire as you go along.
Step 7: Weaving the Top of the Pear
Continue weaving, splitting the wires with each layer having 8 beads. Weave upwards to wards the top of the stem so that the weave is seemingly wrapping around the stem.
Step 8: Adding Wires
When you have about 4 layers, it is time to create the donut cushion and curve back down.
Cut 8 lengths of 30cm wire. You will be adding them between the existing wire groups to widen the weave and bead count.
Bend the wires in the middle, and hook them to the latest layer of bead twisting them to stopper. You should now have 16 groups of wires, double the amount when you started.
Step 9: Continuing the Weave
Using the same format of 2 wires per group, continue weaving the body of the pear, shaping it as you go.
I added a chain bead band to create a fix sizing band to help shape the waist of the pear. You can do this by taking 2 long strands of wire and weaving it ladder style. Basically you simultaneously put both wires through the 2 opposite ends of the bead, pull through, add a bead and repeat.
Step 10: Finishing the Lid
Use the bottom of the pear which with you have finished to help you shape the lid size, make sure that it fits, not too tight and not too loose, so that you can cap it easily.
Add wires as you go along, when you need to widen the girth of the pear.
When you've reached a suitable length, get ready to end it off.
End of the wire by bend it wards, over the beads, and fold the end of the wire into the bead that is at the second layer from the end.
You have now completed the Lid!
Step 11: Weaving the Leaf
To construct the leaf, cut 3 lengths of wire, 2 x 30cm, 1 x 40cm.
Take 1 green bead, and 1 30cm wire, bend it into half, hook it on to the green bead, and twist to secure. This is the middle the vein of the leaf.
Take the other 30cm wire, bend it into half, hook it onto the same green bead, twisting to secure. after that, split it open. This will be the guide for the silhouette of the leaf.
Now, take the last wire (40cm), at the middle point put it between the 2 wires that for the vertical vein of the leaf. This is the chevron of the leaf. Put 1 bead on each side of this wire, hook it around the silhouette wire and back through itself, then hook the wire around the vein wire to secure, mirror on the other side. Then, add 1 bead to the 4 wires (vein and chevron) before separating the wires again.
Keep doing this until you get a full leaf. See next photo.
Step 12: Finishing
Gather all the ends of the wire and poke it through the top of the pear, secure tightly underneath. You can now shape the leaf as you like, the wire and the beads makes it's it very malleable.
Step 13: End Product
You have a finished fruit basket, basket shaped like a fruit.
You can use this for your interior decor, hold trinkets, candies, even other fruits Haha!
Give it a try with other fruits too! A pair of mandarins would be my next go!
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