Be the Party Smarty: Fuse this time-tested childhood craft with HMNS birthday fun

Creating a fuse bead masterpiece is a different feat at 25 years old than it was at 10. I’d never realized how handy having tiny digits had been until recently, as I fumbled with slippery, miniscule beads to create one of our most popular Party Smarty crafts.

Kiddos who book their birthdays with HMNS get a variety of extra-special extras, but our included craft time is something to be enjoyed by both the young and the young at heart.

I got in touch with my inner child with some good old-fashioned Perler beading. (You can find tubs of these infernal little buggers at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. These days they even have sparkles.)

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First, carefully place your fuse/Perler beads on your stencil. It pays to work from the center out (for obvious reasons), but if your imagination runs wild and you envision your dinosaur with spots or your butterfly with chevron wings, by all means, don’t let a little thing like common sense get in the way.

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Check out these beauts by our Party Smarty staff and yours truly. Guess which one was by the amateur? (Hint: The answer’s not visible to the naked eye, but it took me twice as long to make the dino at bottom.)

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Next you’ll iron the beads onto the mold with medium heat. Put a piece of parchment paper over your creation and make sure to use a dry iron, keeping the iron parallel to your surface and moving in circular motions. (This craft is recommended for children 7 and up, but Party Smarty staff will assist with this part.)

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We find that it’s best to iron both sides for durability.

Once the beads are fused, as below, gently peel the fused plastic off the mold, cover it once more in parchment paper (which you can reuse, unlike wax paper) and iron again.

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Whether you decide to make your creation into a magnet, a barrette or a creative holiday ornament, you’ll have partied smartly at HMNS.

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