Monday 21 October 2013

Hama beads

Dragons made using a dragon shaped peg board
My sons don't really enjoy crafts. I have collected many materials over the years but the only thing they have truly taken to are hama beads. These are little plastic beads that you iron to melt the pieces together. Not a particularly natural craft but it does get my boys creativity going.

Elf using a bear shaped pegboard
We have built up a small collection of different pegboards over the years. If anybody were to want to start midi hama beads then I would recommend purchasing a set of small geometric peg boards. These are great for making seasonal decorations but their size also make them ideal for impatient little people with big plans.
Elf made from girl peg board
You can purchase lots of different peg boards, some are quite fun but to be honest there are only so many times you want to make these! I do like to play with them to create something different such as the elves above. Not all of the beads are on pegs, a few are just nudged in to the sides. For long term use I would suggest a large square peg board that you can use for many different designs.
Based on flox flower fairy using square peg board
Hama beads can be ironed on just the one side leaving the other looking quite crisp. I tend to iron on both sides to reinforce the models then place them under a heavy book until they have cooled to prevent curling. To do this you place greaseproof paper over the beads, iron until they have melted to join together (don't do this for too long as it is possible to melt the peg board though not normal). Carefully turn the creation upside down and remove the pegboard. Using another piece of ironing/greaseproof paper you can now iron the second side.

Ironed creations
But what do you do with your art work when you have finished? We tend to stick to using these for hanging decorations but they are also good for decorating cards. I find that glue dots work well for attaching these to the card. You can also purchase support stands for holding the beads in an upright position.

The one thing that I don't like about these is that they are plastic and ultimately get binned rather than composted. But my boys enjoy them and it definite helps develop hand manipulation skills whilst also encouraging them to be patient and take their time.

No comments:

Post a Comment