Sorry everyone for not updating the site as often as usual, busy summer holidays and everything
As well as that there’s another thing that has recently been keeping me away for the website – Hama Beads! My new obsession!!
Hama Beads Starter Kit
I picked up a small Hama Beads starter kit with my goody bag from the Christmas in July show I went to last month.
Initially the set got sidelined as it was heavily pink and lilac beads, and I thought that my sons wouldn’t be that interested in some girly beads.
However Getting close to half way through the holidays, I’m struggling to keep the kids amused 24/7, so we decided to crack it open and give it a go.
If you’re not familiar with Hama beads, they are small craft beads which you place on a pegboard to create a design. When you’ve finished placing the beads, you cover the beads with ironing paper and run the iron over them for about 10 seconds. The beads then fuse together in the heat, and then you can peel your design off the paper.
Hama Beads is a brand of beads, there are also Perler beads which is another brand, or they are also known as fuse beads.
Our first Hama Bead creation was a really simple bird that we copied from the pack photo. I was a bit surprised that the set didn’t come with any patterns or design instructions to use, but we did ok following the bird simply from the photo.
Mini, Midi or Maxi
There are 3 different versions of Hama beads that you can get. Maxi, Midi and Mini.
Maxi beads or My First Hama Beads are Toddler sized, and recommended for 3 year olds and up. Midi beads are slightly bigger and the most common Hama Bead size you will find in stores. Midi beads are the size that we have been using and getting along well with.
I’m interested to maybe experiment with the smallest size of Mini Hama Beads, simply to see how much of a difference to the finished product they make. Being smaller they can be used to create more intricate creations, but then are also the hardest to use as they are so small.
Finding Hama Bead Patterns
One of the best places we’ve found Hama/Perler Bead patterns is a simple google image search. It’s crazy the amount of Hama bead designs that will come up. If you’re looking for popular video game or cartoon characters than I can guarantee you they will be there.
If your lucky you’ll find a pixel pattern which tells you exactly what colours you need and where to put the beads on the board. If you buy a transparent peg board you can even print out the pattern and place it behind your pegboard as a guide.
The good thing about Hama/Perler bead designs – even if you can only find a picture of someones finished design, you can use that to copy from. As the designs mostly keep their beady shape it’s usually quite easy to count the beads on the simpler designs and work from there.
After our first effort of the little bird, we quickly progressed onto some really cool pixel art designs.
Wanting to still start off relatively easy, Thomas decided to tackle some Mario Mushrooms. These were actually very simple, and he did them all on his own, copying the design in around 20 minutes for each mushroom.
Once we’d really got the hang of setting up the beads and copying the designs there was nothing stopping us, and we’ve been beading practically non stop for the last few days.
The only thing that has scuppered our beading is the fact that we ran out of black beads!!
Buying Hama Beads
This is obviously my personal experience, but this is how we went about starting our Hama Bead collection.
We started off with our small starter set, and I think that’s definitely the way to go to make sure that Hama beads are for you before you start spending more money on beads.
Once you’ve really fallen in love with them then you can start getting serious. The next step I would recommend is getting one of the big Hama Bead Boxes, you can get big tubs in various different six and colour mixes but we went straight for the mixed 10,000 bead bucket and that was a brilliant starter palette of colours for us.
Once you actually start getting into the serious making you get to know which colours you need more than others, and can then progress to buying the 1,000 bead packs of one colour to top you up.
As we have really got serious very quickly we also splashed out on a craft box with compartments for sorting the beads in their respective colours. Tipping out the big bucket looking for colours every time got boring really quickly, so having all the beads ready and waiting is excellent. Even though you still have to do the initial sort out, it’s so worth it when they are sitting pretty in their trays.
So that’s about it. We’ve only been using the Hama Beads for a week, but we absolutely love it. Even if they don’t seem you or your children’s thing, I implore you to just give one of the small starter kits a go. It’s absolutely so much fun, calms the kids down a treat, improves hand eye co-ordination, and is just a joy to do.
Keep a check on our Facebook and Twitter as I will definitely be updating you all with our latest creations.