Saturday, September 29, 2007

Reenforced Perler Beads

My daughters enjoying doing crafts. Seeing I like working with my hands and my wife likes making gifts to spoil people, this is no big surprise. One of the crafts they enjoy doing is making designs with Perler Beads. These are pretty easy for them to do, the only adult supervision at the end is to iron the beads designs to fuse the beads together. (No, I don't let my preschooler use an iron).

One of my favorite things to do is disc golf, and my daughters know this and are my biggest fans. My oldest daughter made this design for me.

The only problem with these craft projects is that break apart rather easily. This results in these little beads joining the Polly pocket shoes on the floor waiting to be sucked up the next time we vacuum.

Back to the craft, besides it being really cool that she has made this with a long haired disc golfer on it (that would be me), I measured it and it was a legal size mini-marker for disc golf. (For the uninitiated, you mark where your disc landed with a mini-marker, and make your next throw from that spot.) The only problem with using it as a mini-marker is that it would soon just crack apart and be a bunch of beads in my bag.

To keep this from cracking into a ton of pieces, I layered around 10 coats of polyurethane on each side of the marker. This gave it a nice smooth coating and will keep if from falling apart. What I really wanted to use was EnviroTex Lite, but I didn't have any on hand. EnviroTex Lite is high gloss finish that you pour on and is equivalent to about 50 layers of varnish.

At my last tournament, other disc golfers on my card like the mini and asked where I got it. My daughter is now making a bunch for me to sell at the next tournament.

I was helping her make some of these and man is this a tedious process. Part of the problem is my big fingers don't do well with the tiny beads. What I needed was something that could guide the beads down onto the peg I wanted. A toothpick proved to be perfect. You could load up a bunch of beads on it and easily drop them at will anywhere on the pegboard. It was actually kind of fun. Here are images of the disc golf markers she is going to sell. If you want one of these or a custom one for yourself, drop me a line.