In my house we love Perler Beads. They are so much fun! Little plastic beads that are placed on a peg board then fused together with heat. Serious fun, and seriously perfect for any geeky family to make all kinds of 8 bit creations.
But what happens to the fused creations once they are done?
Ours usually end up in a box. Sad, I know.
One day I decided we needed a project that would allow us to make something with our Perler Bead creations. Holy cow, we found an awesome perler bead night light for sale on Etsy. Ok so the night light was of a flower, but I thought we could definitely figure out to turn our own Perler Bead art into a nightlight. This nightlight is so easy to make, and a great use of a Perler Bead creation, that you can make take any of your Perler Bead Art and turn it into a nightlight.
Wonder Boy is currently into all things Zelda. Since he always hyper focuses on his current fandom, many of his most recent Perler Bead creations center around the Link and Zelda universe. Thinking he’d want a Zelda themed nightlight, I asked him if he wanted to make an Adventures of Zelda nightlight with Perler Beads.
He did, and he wanted it to be a rupee.
If you aren’t familiar with the Legends of Zelda series, rupees are the currency. Each color of rupee has a different value. You collect them as you play the games and buy game items with the rupees you’ve collected. They look like gems, and they would make a perfect night light cover.
Of course, of all the perler creations he had done, he had never made a rupee that we could use for our nightlight. So we had to make it. But once we came up with the pattern to use for the rupee, this was a pretty easy project to make for any Zelda fan.
Supplies Needed for Perler Bead Nightlight
- Perler Beads and Peg Board
- Iron (for fusing the beads)
- Night light (we got ours at Dollar Tree for $1)
- One Pony Bead (white or clear)
- Hot Glue Gun
Instructions for Perler Bead Nightlight
To start we had to create the template for our rupee. We found many different rupee patterns we could have used spread all over Google and Pinterest, but in all honesty; we didn’t like them. So we made our own. Below is an image of how we did ours. If you use it, just know that it doesn’t fit on the small perler bead square that comes with most Perler bead kits. We did it on a 4 in x 4 inch pegboard. You could use 2 in x 2 in Perler Bead creation for a night light cover, but Wonder Boy thought it should be bigger, so of course, we made it bigger.
A quick note here on the type of Perler Beads. We obviously used black for the outline, but the colors were done in translucent beads. You don’t have to use the translucent beads, but they do allow the light to shine through better. We tested the nightlight by holding up existing creations to it, and we found the lighter colored opaque beads will let light through. The darker beads won’t let light through, but the light will still shine out around the edges of the night light.
No matter what you decide about the beads, your light will be epic, but I did want to let you know that there is a difference in light diffusion based on the kinds of beads you use.
If you want to be true to the Adventures of Zelda series know that Rupees come in green, orange, yellow, purple, blue, red and silver. That being said, make your perler bead rupee using whatever colors you choose. They even make Perler Bead with glitter, which would be very cool for a night light. After we finished I thought that the glow in the dark beads would be awesome too because they would glow even if the night light wasn’t on. We made two, one with green and yellow, and another with purple.
So now I think we can start creating. Make your rupee pattern on your peg board and then melt it with a hot iron. If you’ve never used perler beads before make sure to follow the instructions for melting.
In my house melting the beads to fuse them together is an ADULT thing. Those beads get hot, and even I’ve burnt my fingers before. So be careful.
In this project, we chose to melt ours way beyond the recommended time to fuse because we wanted to get rid of the holes in the beads so the light wouldn’t shine through them. You can see how much melting we did it at the image below.
Before moving on to the next step make sure your Perler Bead rupee is completely cooled.
So now that you have a beautiful ruppe, it’s time to attach it to the night light. Start by removing the plastic cover that came with the nightlight. Then, using a hot glue gun, attach one pony bead to the base of the nightlight. This is going to give some space between the night light and your rupee.
After the glue has cooled completely, attach your rupee to the pony bead with hot glue. You’ll need to hold the perler bead rupee on the pony bead until the glue starts to firm up. This will help keep the rupee straight on the nightlight.
If you notice that once you let go the rupee isn’t straight on the nightlight, don’t worry. You can just pull it off and reglue it.
W00T! Your light is complete and ready to plug in.
One of the great things about this project is you don’t have to make it a rupee, you can do this with any perler bead creation. Flowers, animals, people, oh whatever your heart desires. It’s an amazing way to get use out of Perler Bead creations. But since in our house, we do geek. We made a rupee for our perler bead nightlight.