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Perler Bead Christmas Ornament Frames: An Inexpensive & Easy Holiday Craft!

Making your own Perler bead Christmas ornament frames is the perfect holiday craft!

Not only is it a fun way create unique keepsakes to hang from your tree and enjoy for years to come, but it’s also inexpensive and easy!

How to make Perler bead Christmas ornament frames!

Perler Bead Christmas Ornament Frames: An Inexpensive & Easy Holiday Craft!

Since the holiday season is also typically the busiest, last year finished in a blur and I forgot to buy some Christmas ornament frames for a few photos I had planned on adding to our tree.

World’s worst mom, I know. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

When Christmastime rolled around again this year, I looked for some ornament frames to use, but they either had this year’s date (no bueno) or just didn’t have a design that would fit the photos’ vibes.

I’ve made plenty of DIY ornaments over the years, including several photo ones, so I decided that would be the way to go yet again…

…and then a proverbial lightbulb went off above my head: PERLER BEADS.

I remember getting my craft on with Perler beads when I was a kid and I LOVED them, and earlier this year, I got a bunch of supplies for both myself and my boys.

Gotta find fun, easy, and cheap ideas for them to pull their noses away from their gadgets.

They’ve both had a ball making all kinds of fun little creations, including magnets for the grandparents, keychains for their backpacks (So. Many. Creeper heads.), and other adorable tchotchkes.

The beads would be perfect for this holiday ornament endeavor too!

What can I say? I love my keepsakes. :)

What are Perler Beads?

So, what exactly are Perler beads (sometimes referred to as fuse beads, melty beads, or Hama beads)?

Perler beads are small plastic beads that can be partially melted and joined together with heat from an iron. They come in a full rainbow of colors, and designs are created by placing the beads, one at a time, on a plastic pegboard.

Regular Perler beads are tubes with openings on both ends, while a specialty line of beads called Caps have one open end while the other is a solid cap.

These beads are inexpensive, easy to find and use, and great for all ages to create fun projects including decor, keychains, magnets, jewelry, coasters, ornaments (of course), and more.

Perler Bead Christmas Ornament Frame Supplies

Here is what’s needed to make some cute and festive Perler bead Christmas ornament frames:

The great news is that once you have the basic bead supplies, you’ll be able to make LOTS of other fun Perler bead crafts for any time of year!

Perler beads, pegboards, and tweezers.

How to Make Perler Bead Christmas Ornaments

Here’s how you can make Christmas ornaments or other creations with Perler beads!

  1. Create your design on a pegboard.
    • You can buy premade design kits or pattern books, find ideas online, or DIY your own.
    • Craft tweezers make this super simple.
      • NOTE: Regular Perler beads should be placed ON the pegs, while the Caps variety should be placed IN BETWEEN the pegs with the solid cap DOWN.
  2. Cover design with a sheet of parchment paper and melt one side with an iron (or craft iron like a Cricut EasyPress) until all of the beads are fused together.
    • Just apply light, even pressure, and it’s okay to periodically peek to check how the melt is going.
      • NOTE: It should go without saying, but please ensure there is proper adult supervision since, ya know, a hot iron is involved. #safetyfirst
  3. Slowly remove the parchment paper and, if desired, repeat on other side, sans the pegboard.
  4. Let beads cool completely.
  5. If making frame ornaments, cut photo to size (laminate for extra protection…more on this below) and tape/glue to back.
  6. Hang your new ornament(s) on your Christmas tree with a festive ribbon, twine, or hook and enjoy!
How to iron Perler beads.
As you can see, these are the Caps Perler beads, so they were placed in between the pegs with the solid cap down. Also, I decided to remove the fourth layer of beads before ironing. I just liked the thinner look of the frame. Editing FTW!

Optional: Laminate Photos

As mentioned briefly above, you can laminate your photos prior to attaching them to the Perler bead ornaments if you’d like.

I chose to run mine through my laminator so the photos would be protected from scratches and moisture.

Plus, it also adds a nice sheen to the front and mimics the look of a glass pane or plastic sheet in “real” picture frames.

My fluffy gray cat, Boone, kept me company during this step while snoozing in his window perch.

Oh, the life of a cat…

Christmas ornament frames made with Perler beads!

Our Completed Perler Bead Ornament Frames!

And here’s how our three Perler bead Christmas ornament frames look hanging on our tree!

Super cute and oh so festive, indeed.

Perler Bead Christmas Ornament Frames!

For two of my ornament frames, I only melted one side of each and left the other side unmelted.

I just like that look better for this particular project.

Perler Bead Christmas Ornament Frames!

I went with a non-traditional color scheme for this one…Momma loves her bright colors. :)

Perler Bead Christmas Ornament Frames!

For my third ornament frame, I used Caps beads (the red and green from this multipack and individual black and white bags).

As you can see, they have a cool uniform solid appearance and don’t scream “CRAFT BEADS.”

But, it’s all just personal preference as to what look you’re going for: melted, unmelted, or solid.

You do you and have fun getting your craft on!

Perler Bead Christmas Ornament Frames!

If You Enjoyed This…

Make sure you check out my other festive Christmas ideas, including lots of other DIY ornament crafts and keepsakes!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy Holidays!

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