Saturday, March 29, 2014

DIY enamel dots

Hello friends, 

Happy Saturday!  Around our house, Saturday is typically the day that we attempt DIY projects.  You know, painting, refinishing furniture, cleaning out, decorating and the like.  I thought then that Saturday might be a good opportunity to share different DIY crafty projects and techniques as well.  

Last week, I tried my hand at the DIY enamel dot technique that has been floating around the paper crafting community. About a month ago, Betsy Veldman wrote a post on the Plugged in with Paper Crafts how she baked up a batch of enamel dots from pony beads. A few ingenious crafters took the technique a step further and tried melting enamel dots from Perler beads and shared their experience in a thread on the Two Peas in a Bucket community.   

Perler beads are widely found in kids crafts area of most major craft stores.  My daughters have quite the collection and use them to create various designs and creatures made from the beads and adhered together with the help of wax paper and an iron. 

Here is what you will need to try this technique at home: 
  • Perler beads in various colors
  • Oven or toaster over
  • Parchment paper- this is available at most supermarkets or in the fancy baking area of the crafty and hobby stores.  I found a roll at Michaels. 
  • Baking sheet
I have include some step- by-step photos, but please forgive the quality, I snapped them with my phone. 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. and stand up the enamel dots on end.  


Bake the dots for 35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from the parchment. Since Perler beads are meant to be melted, I did not notice any odor of melting plastic.

Voila!  Perfectly rounded enamel dots- don't they look yummy!

I also tried the technique with the IKEA Pyssla beads.  

I found that these beads did not melt as roundly or evenly as the Perler brand beads.

A few tips I learned and I thought I would pass along... 
  • Standing up the perler beads on end is a bit tricky.  Use a knife to carefully space them out.  They will spread out a bit when melting and if they are too close, they will conjoin.  
  • Darker colors- think black, blue, purple- will take a bit longer to melt.  I noticed a baking time of 45 minutes. If you take take the beads out and notice a dimple in the center, put them back in the over for 3-5 minutes and the dimple should smooth out. Do watch them carefully, because they can burn. 
  • You can use a pill splitter to cut the beads in half or thirds for smaller dots.  These smaller dots will not take as long to bake- around 25 minutes. 
  • Allow a few minutes for the dots to cool before removing them from the parchment sheet.  If you move them while the beads are still warm, they can be misshaped. 
Finally, I thought I would share a card I made with these DIY enamel dots.

I used the dots to accent the center of some die-cut flowers.  I used a small glue dot to adhere them to the card. 

Would you like to try to bake up a batch of DIY enamel dots?  Let me help!  I will send an assortment of perler beads to the first three readers to leave me a comment.  US only this time, and please leave your email address so I can get in touch.  I can't wait to hear about your results!

Well that is all for me today.  I hope that you enjoyed my very first DIY Saturday.  I will be back next Saturday with another DIY tip or technique.



  1. Well, this is very cool! I usually buy my enamel dots, but after seeing this, I guess I'll be making my own! ;) Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for sharing the tips. I like how they look--especially the striped ones (cool!!). Thanks for the note about the no-odor (I've always wondered that). You don't need to send beads...I just wanted to let you know your post is great! :)

  3. What a very fun project -- and a great end result! I will definitely give this a try and I thank you for the offer (

  4. Oh man - I had a package of beads in my hand at Meijer (nice peaches and grays - not the typical kids' beads colors) but put it back. Now I'm packing and departing tomorrow. Coulda, shoulda... there's always the summer trip!

  5. What a great tut! Thank you for sharing - they look great, especially the striped beads. (I have never seen the striped ones - I will have to keep an eye out.)

    - Mel

  6. Sooo cool, Katie! I love the card you made with them!

  7. what a fun idea! thanks for sharing all the precise details for success!

  8. Katie, this is brilliant! I had been wondering if perler beads would melt similarly to pony beads. Thanks for doing all of the hard work for me! It's also good to know that the IKEA ones don't work as well because that's all I have. Guess I know what I'll be picking up at the craft store next time! :)

  9. What a marvelous idea! I had seen the pony beads, but had also heard that they smelled bad... The perler beads will work wonderfully since my girls are getting older and don't use them anymore-the perfect excuse to experiment!!

  10. Thanks for the pics, Katie! Your dots turned out great!

  11. what a fantastic tutorial! thanks for sharing!

  12. Hi Katie - wanted to let you know that I made some dots and posted on my blog with them - and I linked to your tutorial here! again, thanks so much for sharing! you can see my post here:

  13. I love these homemade enamel dots. I have made some myself. So cool!!!

  14. Now I feel like a fool for paying $4 for a few measly enamel dots! Thanks for the tutorial!

  15. I love enamel dots. I can't wait to try this. I will be at the craft store tomorrow. Thank you for posting this.


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