I’ve always believed a good activity is one that keeps kids occupied, both mentally and physically. Fusible beads (known as Hama or Perler beads) do both of these jobs nicely, helping increase fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, as well as stretching the brain creatively. After all, those beads are pretty tiny, and there are unlimited designs to be made.

This Valentine’s Day, get crafty with Hama beads to make lots of different items, from smaller more intricate pieces to bigger items that even little kids can do on their own. (It’s important to remember that Hama bead projects require the use of a hot iron to set the designs, so make sure you – or another adult – is on hand to do that step.)

What you’ll need:

  • Fusible plastic beads (Hama or Perler beads)
  • Parchment paper (this usually comes with bead kit)
  • Peg board(s)
  • Assortment of findings – key ring, necklace, pendant bail, hair clip, etc
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks (for barrettes and necklaces)
  • Iron and ironing board or towel

Step 1: Design your creation on a peg board

Step 2: Once you’re happy with the design, set it on an ironing board (or towel), and place the parchment paper over the design. Then, (adults only!) iron the design to set it.

Tip: When creating hearts, I like to manually add a bead to each side, as shown in the bottom right image, below. Then, I iron over that area again, (ensuring the parchment paper is covering it) and gently manipulate the warmed beads so that the shape is more pleasing.


Step 3: Use a finding of your choice to create a special Valentine-themed item. Hot glue is needed for some items, such as attaching a bail to the bead heart to make a pendant (below, top images) or attaching your creation to a hair clip. For items like keychains, you can simply put the ring through the hole in one of the Hama beads.


If your kids love fusible bead crafts, check out this Pinterest board for lots of other fun ideas!