K and I first picked up Fuse Beads crafting in June this year when I was planning for some indoor activities to keep him busy during our bi-annual visits to Manila.
What are fuse beads?
Fuse beads are soft, plastic beads that can be arranged on pegged boards to form various designs. The pegged boards keep the beads upright and allows the crafter to arrange patterns using a varied range of colors, and they can be fused together (using a hot iron and baking paper) to bind the design permanently. The beads expands and melt together under the heat, binding the beads together.
After being left to cool for a while, the final fuse bead craft can be used as a table/shelf/wall decoration, made into a key rings, gift wrapping decoration or coasters.
There are 2 brands of fuse beads available in Singapore, namely Hama and Perler. Both brands have beads in different sizes, which cater to the developmental needs of children for different ages.
I am more familiar with the Hama branding as I have been purchasing this brand for K and myself from the local retail shops in Singapore.
These are the sizes that are available from Hama beads;
Maxi beads – largest sized beads in the range measured at 10mm in diameter designed for the nursery aged child, 3-4 years old
Midi beads – medium sized beads at 5mm in diameter for the pre-school aged child, 4 years old and above (photo above shows Midi beads on the left).
Mini beads – smallest sized beads at 2.5mm in diameter for age 10 and above, and including adults (photo above shows Mini beads on the right).
Mini Hama Beads (left) and Midi Hama Beads (right)
Not Just for Kids Only!
K started out with Midi beads, but now he creates designs with Mini beads.
For children above 7 and below 10 years old, mini beads can get rather challenging due to the tiny size of the beads, but with patience and a tweezer, it is possible for them to make their fuse beads creations with the mini sized beads.
See the photo below between the scale difference from a Midi Size (left) to Mini sized Hama beads.
Fuse beads are not just limited for children. Apart from purchasing sets available from the shops in either Maxi or Midi beads sizes. You can buy multicolored beads and find plenty of ideas for making ’Fuse Beads‘ designs on Pinterest.
I have found that mini beads are the best size to be used for making key rings, gift wrapping deco, embellishments for stationery (notebooks) and coasters.
Where to purchase Fuse Beads :
To get you and your child started on crafting Fuse Beads, I will be giving away two sets of Midi Hama Beads for children from 4 – 8 years old, 1 set for each giveaway winner.
To participate in this giveaway, just leave a comment with this post with your name, email address and gender and age. Giveaway closes on 31 December 2014.