This craft is ill advised…

Have you ever seen that blog that shows Pinterest fails? It’s funny if it isn’t you. I think I might submit this doozy of a craft fail because if it not good for a craft it is good for a laugh. First let me show you what I was trying to make:

good_dots

The few that turned out well…

A facebook friend had posted a tutorial on on Thefrugalcrafter Community, she said she saw it and thought of me and I thought it was a really neat idea. DIY enamel dots made by melting perler beads. Hey, it was on Pinterest so it has to be easy…right? Now the above photo are the few that turned out well, here are the rest:

firstbaddots

“Let’s make enamel dots by melting Perler beads” they said, “It will be fun” they said…

When you stop laughing I will continue. Are you quite done yet? OK. So apparently there has been a huge amount of people melting Perler beads and pony beads in their oven and making fake enamel dots that look just like the ones they charge big bucks for at the craft store. Personally I don’t even like enamel dots so that makes this whole project even more ridiculous. I guess I thought I’d like them better if they were free (I already had more Perler beads in my home than I care to mention) so I grabbed a tub of beads, parchment paper and my craft toaster oven and I was off to the races. I followed the recipe to the letter: Place the beads hole side up on the parchment paper and bake at 275 for 30 minutes, what could possibly go wrong? Let me tell you. The parchment paper burnt, the fumes were horrible and the beads turned into mangled doughnuts and not the lovely dots I was seeing from all of these other crafters. OK, new plan! I remembered that I had a heavy duty silicone mold that I used for clay and the back side was flat so I placed the beads on that and tried again figuring that the parchment paper was my trouble. The beads were not melting so I decided to leave them in there until they melted. 35 minutes later, nothing, 60 minutes later some had melted but still a lot of doughnuts, 75 minutes later the dots had discolored and were dull, not shiny, and some still had not melted. huh.

dots_sunday

The big beads were pony beads that were ironed with parchment paper on top then blasted with the heat gun and the ones on the blue mat were ironed then baked for a few minutes. The cluster on the bottom were the 75 minute batch and the flatter ones in the middle were ironed with parchment paper on tops then I removed the paper and hovered the iron on top. That was the best technique I tried.

OK, new plan, when you iron Perler beads they only take seconds to melt so why not get them started with the iron them put them in the oven. Nope. OK, Iron them then prop the iron over them so it will make the tops glossy and domed (this actually worked the best, I used steel rods I had for glass bead making to hold the iron a millimeter over the dots.) I was working on my silicone Silpat mat, I’m not incompletely crazy after all.  Then I thought “I know, I’ll iron them and then blast them with my heat gun to make them glossy!”  The regular stamping heat gun did not do the trick so I grabbed my new $8 Harbor Freight heat gun on the low setting, no dice, so I switched it to high and it melted the tops of the dots but look what it did to my table…

scorth

This is was under my heatproof silicone mat that I had down for protection. I was totally freaked out because my table was hot! I was worried that it might burst into flames, I actually have checked it many times just to make sure it completely cooled off, I put water on the table and it made steam!  How come other crafters made successful dots and I did not? I think it was the toaster oven, maybe the heat was too direct or intense because everyone else used a full size home oven. I do not like that idea, the fumes were bad and I think it is unwise to do this craft in your oven especially when in the directions for using Perler beads properly it says not to even sort the beads in a container used for food unless you are going to be sure to wash it properly. I think today’s experiment was probably equivalent to chain smoking 2 packs of cigarettes…I have no scientific data or experience with smoking to say for certain but it can’t be good! I am officially done with this craft, as I said I was never in love with enamel dots in the first place, I just love a good experiment, plus a few years ago I came up with a way to make dew drops with a glue gun and you can see the photo below and if you like it you can watch the tutorial here. Be warned, that tutorial is 5 years old, I wasn’t always this smooth and professional:)

Best of all hot glue is meant to be melted! I think if I was so inclined I could paint he hot glue dots too but I really do not feel that inclined. I hope you enjoyed my epic craft fail, we all have them and it is only a failure if we don’t learn from out experiences. I have to say that $5 for a pack of  60 seems like a real bargain to me now 😀 That is if I even liked them in the first place…I clearly need my head examined, and probably my lungs after today. If you can’t be a good example at lease you can be a horrible warning right? Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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63 Responses

  1. Oh no, your poor table! At least you got a funny story out of it, right?

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  2. Oh, man!!! Thank you for posting your experience. This totally confirms what I suspected anyway.

    I HATE fumes and every single blog I have read talking about this technique warns against the fumes. This cannot be healthy! Even for those who don’t care abt the fumes, I have to believe that you are not the ONLY one whose attempts have been less than successful.

    So sorry abt your table!! So glad it didn’t end in a worse catastrophe!! It is a funny story. I have one abt my cats turning on my heat gun while I was in the shower. Catastrophe was averted then, also, but I never leave it plugged in anymore. A few melted items is a good reminder for me!
    ❤ J

    jwoolbright at gmail dot com
    HerPeacefulGarden.blogspot.com

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  3. Funny how we just NEED to try these things, despite the fact that you don’t even like them. Thanks for trying though Lindsay, I also saw this on Pinterest and was tempted to try it, BUT I WON’T NOW. 😉

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  4. I had been considering trying to do melt the pony beads, I am so glad I let you try it first.:) Now I know not to. Sorry about your poor table. Hugs

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  5. I saw this and was going to go back and look at it – thanks for saving me the trouble and a desk!

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  6. I have not done this but, I have melted pony beads in my oven, to make sun catchers. And a note parchment paper does discolor even when baking I tend to bake 3 dozen cookies at a time and use a system using one cookie sheet and 2 or 3 pieces of parchment. After a few times in the oven it does discolor. I also do not like the price tag for the dots soooooo I don’t buy them. Good thing you didn’t burn your hands off.

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  7. After I fell off my chair laughing, I wondered why you kept trying to get this technique to work then remembered you like to test things so you can provide the valuable info to us; I hope you follow your intuition next time and just DON’T DO IT!!! Hope your kids were no where in the vicinity. Sorry about your door and lungs. Keep up the good work, take care.

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  8. I thought of melting some Perler beads but I don’t think I will bother. First of all I would have to buy some Perler beads. Second, I’m not all that crazy about the enamel dots anyway due to the bulk it adds to mail. Third, I have three packages of store bought enamel dots that I haven’t used yet. So why would I want to make my own? My story kind of sounds like yours, doesn’t it? LOL.

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  9. I would never consider doing this craft! Bad for your health! What is your health worth? I have a bird and a sister who are both extremely sensitive to the hazardous fumes emitted. Please just go buy them if you really must use them. .

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  10. The truly funny thing about this is, I have seen this and wanted to try it sometime. Thank you for taking that particular fantasy off my bucket list! Hope you are ok, though. Truly, some of that plastic can really be toxic!

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  11. You had me laughing with your post. I know the feeling. I did feel sorry, so I went and found this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxH3w8ZKxhg juat in case…

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    • Oh, my beads were old and people said it only works with new beads, still I am so over this craft LOL!

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  12. All I can say is thank you. I’ve been eyeing that tutorial and was going to try it. So glad you did it for me, now I can go buy my $5 pack of enamel dots with no guilt! thanks again!

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  13. Wow! That is crazy! I burnt polymer clay once. It was awful. I can only imagine. I much prefer the little pearls and usually get a few packages on sale.
    I too have cats and have always unplugged my heat gun. Probably just as well I am not into heat embossing so much. Come to think of it, you could probably just use embossing powder to make little dots. Sigh.

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  14. I am so sorry for your table !! But at least you tried it !!
    Don’t worry you are still the best for us and I feel the “Mighty Crafter” has touched a little bit my world (the two left handed girl says my husband).

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  15. Well I have also seen these tuts out there, but never tryed it thoug, and now I´m glad, I didn´t, but I did try another way, that´s really easy and with things, that most of us allready all have in our stash, and that´s Glossy Accent and nailpolish. This tutorial originally came from this lady here:
    http://www.kimkesti.com/2014/02/15/diy-enamel-dots-tutorial/
    I´ve tryed this way here out, and it works just fine and without all the bad fumes, so I think, I´ll stick to this way now after all, even it takes a bit longer ha ha ha But thanks sooo much for your expiriences Linsey, and the good laugh too sorry but couldn´t help it, when I read this ha ha ha ha.
    Have a wonderful week ahead now.

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  16. So very funny! Now that I know what Perler beads are (thanks Google) I went on a Youtube hunt and watched a video on how to use said Perler beads to make funky bowls. I think I might try that one… Unless, you are thinking of doing it. I’ll wait if you are. 😉 Anyway, thanks for sharing!

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  17. I probably loved this even more than your “regular” videos,”hich I am addicted. tfs, I mean it! now, a couple weeks ago one of your dad’s asked about making her cement floor glittery. here is the Crafty Chica’s lesson:http://m.blogher.com/how-i-permanently-glittered-my-floor

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  18. What a tale!!! I had a great laugh and will leave this craft for others. Thanks for sharing.

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  19. Just saw several posts and thought it was a good idea–until now. The recipe I saw was 325 degrees for 25 minutes. Guess I will keep trying to find them on sale or use all the brads I’ve collected.

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  20. Lindsay – you are the artist, and the chemistry of color is your game. Stick to it. I did, however, have a good laugh, and your guardian angels surely had their hands full keeping you and the house safe. I can just see them now – hard at work, looking at each other, shrugging their shoulders, and sometimes letting a chuckle rip.

    Mm! Mmm! Mmmm! My Mammy would have blistered “yor bottom” real good. Be glad she’s “done gone” to heaven.

    I love blogs – as my creative writing teacher keeps saying, “Paula learn to dance naked on the page.” I don’t think I’ve achieved that yet. . . and not too many people ever do. But! You gave it a real effort on this one. Congratulations. . .! More please, you are sooooo close to a breakthrough. WooHoo.

    Love Ya!

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  21. It’s amazing how easy a new technique looks but turns out to be more difficult if not a failure. We don’t always know just how long it took to get it just right and what isn’t shown on the video or directions. Not glad about your door (table) but so glad you showed us what not to do to get enamel dots and the laugh you gave me was so worth it.

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  22. Oh Lindsay, poor you! I do have to say, however, that I think the donuts are just delightful and I’m sure you’ll be able to use them for something. If I want pearl dots I use Cosmic Shimmer PVA coloured Pearlescent glue, it’s great fun and no mess, no smell. I’m so pleased your ‘table’ didn’t burst into flames. That’s a scary thought as if it got hot enough to scorch and make steam, it was pretty close to it. Please, please do NOT try anything like that again. x

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  23. What fun that video was. I’m glad you’ve upgraded your camera since then lol. I have a bunch of coloured glue sticks that I’ve been using in my silicone button mould, so I guess I could give those a try.

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  24. I was going to try this….but now I’m hesitating….sorry was such a crappy fail. Oh well, back to another great adventure in crafting. LOL BTW, I make the glue dot ones and color them with alcohol marker….they don’t look like enamel…they look like dew drops.

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  25. Oh Lindsay, sorry for your difficult day but it was for a good cause. I am taking my dog to a University today (yup, she’s just that smart ) to see if there is anything they can do for her about a severe neurological problem that popped up pretty fast. I was sure nothing on the internet could make me laugh and I was right. Positive nothing in my email would either and I was wrong. I can totally see you doing all this and your reactions during it and I was laughing out loud for real. hank you for some badly needed stress relief. And at least you followed rule one “Don’t burn your hands off” Although that might be number two now with” Don’t burn your craft room and house down moving up to number one spot!

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    • Hug that puppy for me, I hate to see an animal suffering. I’m here if you need to stop worrying and create for a bit, not hesitate to drop by;)

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  26. I think the fumes took a tolll on you too one of the tags for this reads – How to amke enemal dots. Laughing again!

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  27. I am working on a disaster for a card right now. Glad other people do. Think I’ll stick to the hot glue trick.

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  28. Thanks Lindsay for making this video. It may draw people’s attention to how unsafe this technique is. Iall plastics are toxic&cause cancer. We should not be ex posing our homes & families to this. Will stick to making dewdrops.

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  29. This is a good case of “TRY-ER BEWARE” I too was leery of the fumes melting plastic would produce–not worth the possible health risk to save a couple of bucks. It would be nice to come up with a way to use my pony beads, any ideas? Maybe I should wait till summer and put them in the back widow of my closed up car on a very hot day. LOL. Spontaneous combustion anyone??

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  30. Oh my gosh, this post made me laugh! I DID try this last week. I bought a new pack of Perler beads and was able to have some success with no fumes @325. I will try it again, bumping up the temp to @335 since not all of them melted perfectly. I do know that people have mentioned that melting pony beads causes bad fumes. Some ladies were posting about taking a toaster oven outside to do it! Love your blog, your videos, and your tutorials!

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  31. Wow, I hadn’t seen that idea yet, and I think I’m glad. I probably would have tried it! And thank you for sharing the fails as well as the fabulous! As Paul Harvey would say, “and that’s the rest of the story…”

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  32. Actually I did this last week, however I used MINI pony beads they came out great! I had the windows open and I thought the odor from my wall oven was minimal. Maybe try again with these. Very happy with them, round and shiny, perfect!

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  33. Sorry for your problems. But glad to see even the experts goof once in a while, but don’t fret as you have so many wonderful things. Love your videos and have learned a lot of things from you. Keep them coming. Edna

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  34. Hi Lindsay

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I haven’t tried it yet but I read somewhere ….. on a blog; make enamel dots with nail polish or nail varnish on a silicone mat. You’ll have the desired size and color. Just let dry overnight.

    Have a nice day

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  35. Hi Lindsay, You crack me up!! Anyway, another question! I have been researching embossing machines. I tried to do the water spritz on card stock and slipping it into a embossing folder and using my rolling pin but it warped like cheap watercolor paper. Can you suggest a machine that is simple and easy for a beginning card maker? Also, one that would be frugal!

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    • Cheryl, I have a Big Shot and I’ve had it for 9 years, I use it every day and I have never had a problem. You can use a coupon at Joann, ACmoore, Micheals or Hobby Lobby (ACM has a 50% off one now!) to bring down the price. The Big Kick is almost the same machine but the warranty is less, one year for big shot, 3 months for big kick. I have tried friends machines and they all feel like toys comapred to my big shot and ironically they are all close in price:)

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  36. I did this with mini pony beads, in my home oven, at 350 for 14 mins, I have beautiful dots! I do not use my oven for cooking.

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    • neither do I Lynda!! LOL I always wondered what that big open box under my stove was for. Cooking??? Such a novel idea hahaha

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    • HAHA I had to read the last line about 6 times I wasn’t sure exactly what you were saying, I was trying to figure out what oven you were referring to..then it finally hit me…now I cannot stop laughing!

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  37. Hey, LIndsay, sorry about your craft fail, but thanks for the warning. I actually did buy a small bag of beads and was going to try it. I saw the big pail that cost $5, then went around and found some for $2.99 for 75 of them; I guess I can always make a kid’s necklace with them.

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  38. Oh Lindsay, you made me laugh so hard with this! What a great way to start my day. I had never heard of Pinterest Fails until you mentioned it but have been having a great time looking at all of the funny posts. I’m so impressed with you, and all the others, for posting your failures for the world to see. If you haven’t posted this on Pinterest yet you definitely need to!

    Thank you again…ha ha……

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  39. Just re-read this out to my husband who has tears rolling down his cheeks and is still guffawing as he repeats lines to himself! Lindsey – you make my day! Thank you so much 🙂 🙂

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  40. I saw that tutorial on CraftGossip and thought I would try it. The blog said to heat the beads at 450* for about 20 minutes. She also warned about the fumes.
    I have also been to that Craftfail site, and did ask a question- which I never got answered– Why doesn’t anybody ever tell us how many times they had to try this project before they got the “final” result, and the nice pretty pictures?? Thanks for the warning Lindsey 🙂

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  41. Hi Lindsay, I was just at the dollar store and bought a bag of pony beads, but after reading all the posts here, I think I will skip that try. I am a chef and have a wonderful oven and dont want to wreck it or harm my family with the fumes. Anyway, what is the pearling stuff you use on your drops on the brads I just saw on one of your videos from a long time ago?
    Thanks always!

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  42. O Lindsay… what a disaster! Thanks for sharing – your projects are usuallly so successful, and it’s good to show what can go wrong sometimes.

    I am always bleating on about non-stick silicone “heat proof” craft mats. Heat proof they are NOT. They may be heat proof themselves, i.e. not affected if you heat them, but they offer absolutely NO protection for what is underneath. I have now acquired several ultra-heatproof mica mats from a UK company:

    http://www.presspahn.com/Cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=15_2_23&products_id=12

    These mats may also be sourced in the US, or Presspahn may ship to the US. Check the website.No heat is going to get transferred through these mats and you can use them with a butane torch etc. etc. I have them down in my heat zone in my ARTHaven and there is also one under my silicone mat in my main work area, so I can use my heat gun with impunity. I have warped more self-healing cutting mats than I care to mention, because the silicone mat offered no protection.

    I think the manufacturers of the silicone mats should warn us about this lack of protection for what’s underneath. I feel so strongly about this that I have put a message in the sidebar of my blog about it, with a link to Presspahn. (I don’t have any connection with this company apart from having bought the mats from them.)

    Shoshi

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  43. I have done this successfully but you have to be doing it in a much hotter oven but I do like the fact of the embossed papers ones you made and with a lot less mess and time. TFS

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  44. I think your oven was too low. I think the temps for the larger beads were 350 for like 5-8 min and then keeping an eye on them at all times to pull them out when they are done. The smaller melting beads were at a lower temp since they are designed to be melted together.

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  45. OMG I cannot stop laughing!!!!!!

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  46. I had the same experience! I also realized after the fact that I will likely never use them. What I decided the problem was was that I didn’t use “Perler” brand perler beads and the things I used were crap. I don’t know if age has anything to do with it (aged plastic? Is that a thing?). To see my horrible donuts of death, check out my post http://stevejenks.blogspot.com/2014/07/make-your-own-enamel-dots.html

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  47. I had exactly the same results that you did Lindsay! I thought it was just me!

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  48. so… i noticed you are not using a flat baking/cookie sheet for the beads. if there is any air underneath the beads or they are not making good contact with the metal they simply will not melt. try it again using a flat baking sheet, 350 or 325 deg and i bet youll get very different results

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  49. I have been melting them for 3 days now. THIS IS SO ADDICTING!!! Firstly, your beads cannot be old or it won’t work. I put mine in at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. If they still have a dimple in the middle, I bake them in 2 minute increments after that until I’m happy with them. Don’t reuse the parchment paper or they’ll stick. (Ask me how I know…) Also, don’t use cheap parchment paper. No matter what I did I couldn’t get the black ones to melt properly. The dimple never went away. I have emailed Perler and am waiting for a response. They’re probably going to tell me that this is not how they were intended to be used, blah, blah, blah. In all, I have had very good luck. I’m HOOKED on this! Hope you’ll give it another try.

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  50. First time I read you . . . you write very well! Enjoyed it and laughed because we just fumed up our house last night with an attempt similar to yours. Thank you for the good feels!

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  51. Who ever told you to use parchment paper does not know what they are doing apparently. I use plastic pony beads from walmart ay color and I use muffins pans, pie pans, or any flat oven safe cook ware. Cook on 400 degrees for 25 to 30 min depending may take a lil bit longer. Let cool and they should pop right out.

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