Holidays just around the corner? Or is your gamer’s birthday coming up soon, but you don’t know what to get her? Thanks to this thread, I was able to create cool figures for my friends to hang on the wall.
Here’s what you need:
1. Video Game Sprite(s)
Some sites to start you off:
Note: Be mindful about the sprites you choose – some are easier than others. Also, I tried to create one from a cartoon character but it was difficult due to the proportion – I wouldn’t suggest that.
After you’ve chosen your video game character, take note of the type of colors being used. I’ll point to this mog image as an example:
Once you find your sprite, use an image program to zoom in until you can see the individual pixels as squares (the mog in the upper-left is the original size) . Also, note the different colors you will need for the beads. I took some liberty in the colors I chose – there are 2 shades of pink for its wings that I would ignore.
My resulting colors are white, black, light blue, dark blue, light gray, and pink.
2. Buy Perler Beads
Do some research to find out where you can buy these beads. I’ve heard they may be sold at Walmart and Michael’s, but try the internet as well as Ebay. Do not buy the assorted beads pack! It is painful to have to separate them by colors, and you also cannot choose what colors you will get:
I ended up buying them from a website, 400 single color beads in a pack. If you plan to make many sprites, I’d suggest you to buy an extra bag or two of black and white – they are the first colors to go!
3. Buy PegBoards
I bought 4 just in case. It’s up to you how many you want to get. These lock together like puzzle pieces so they’re easy to store. I’ve heard people made do without the pegboards, but I think it’s more pain than it’s worth. Plus these boards make it easy to transfer the beads from place to place.
4. Ironing Paper
I bought a set of these. Some pegboards may come with a sheet or two. I think it doesn’t hurt to have more. Basically these sheets protect the melting plastic perler beads from touching anything else and sticking to it.
HIGHLY OPTIONAL – Tweezers
If you’re planning to have your kids make these crafts, these huge tweezers will probably help them in the long run. As an adult, I already own a couple pairs of eyebrow tweezers so I found this to be a waste of money.
5. Create It
Now you get to enjoy the tediousness of building the sprite bead by bead. When you’re done, lay a sheet of ironing paper over the beads and iron over the sheet (I do hope you have an iron). Follow the instructions, you’ll see the beads start to melt and flatten a bit. Make sure you’ve melted all the beads together – no stragglers! You can wait for it to cool a bit before you flip it over, lay another sheet, and iron that side.
Tip: Once you’re done ironing, leave it to cool with the sheets of ironing paper still attached and place something firm and flat (like a Glamour magazine) on top of it so that as it cools, the edges don’t curl.
In the end, make sure you have enough time to gather the materials. It took me little less than an hour per sprite to build, melt, and cool. Good luck! Let me know how it turns out. =)
Update: I finally found the photo of the majority of my creations! You can totally tell I ran out of white perler beads (standing Luigi is sporting grey overalls and a hat).