I am a die hard Perler Bead fan. Seriously folks, I love Perler Beads. In the past, you would have never seen me buy Melty bead, hama beads or any other typing of fusion beads that aren’t Perler Brand.
Why is that, you ask?
Well there are two main reasons.
First and foremost, I bought some “other” bead brand once, and I hated the way they melted. They didn’t mix with Perler Beads well, and I ruined a project I was working on. That did not amuse me.
The other reason I love Perler so much is that they are easily accessible to me. I can run up to one of many major craft stores in my area and stock up whenever the need arises. That’s huge for a busy mom like myself!
Anyway, until recently, I never gave other types of beads a second chance. I guess you could say I was a bead snob.
Enter Artkal Beads.
The great folks over at Artkal Beads found me on Twitter, told me they were impressed with my work, and offered to send me a gift pack. In exchange, all I had to do was post my impressions on social media.
Of course, I was interested!
I’ve heard amazing things about Artkal Beads. Mostly that their color palette is awesome! As soon as I got my gift pack, I made this Artkal Bead Majora’s Mask. I love the way it turned out.
I’ve used the Artkal Beads for a few other projects since I’ve got them, and I will say they are pretty amazing. BUT this post isn’t a review of Artkal Beads, it’s more of a Perler Bead and Artkal Bead comparison.
Now, I wasn’t 100% sure if you could mix the two different bead types on one project. I’ve heard they mixed well, but melting beads can be tricky, and different companies’ beads have different melting points. A lot of times if you mix two brands of beads together, you’ll end up with a hot mess.
So let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
First of all, I’m using the Artkal S midi beads and Perler Beads. Artkal also has an R series of beads that are soft. I don’t even have to try to know the Arktal R beads will NOT mix well with the Perler Beads.
Perler Beads vs. Artkal Beads – Colors
Now if you’re wondering WHY you would need to use Perler Beads with Artkal Beads, I give you one word. COLOR! The Artkal Bead palette is almost twice the size of the Perler Bead palette.
Yes, I said TWICE as many colors.
That’s a lot of extra colors. Granted, in most cases you may not need the extra colors Artkal has to offer, BUT if you do need them it would be great to know if they mixed with your current Perler Bead supply.
If you’re a mom making Perler creations with your kiddos you may be thinking you don’t need more colors BUT…just the other day Wonder Boy wanted some translucent orange and yellow beads to make a working Minecraft torch. I couldn’t find individual bags of the colors in the Perler brand. So I bought some Artkal brand.
On the flip side, if you’re a Perler Bead artist think of how amazing it would be to expand your color palette? Heck, not just expand…double it. It opens up a whole new world of creation.
So yep, when it comes to colors Artkal beats Perler by a landslide.
Artkal Beads vs. Perler Beads – Price
If you’re anything like me, there could be a million colors out there in Artkal Beads, but I’m not going to pay a lot more just so I can have a lighter shade of blue…or green…or whatever color.
Seriously folks, I’m that woman who waits until Joann’s has their 60% off sale to stock up on my Perler Beads. That being said, I’m also that woman who will pay full price if a certain color is needed for a project.
BUT the real question is, do Artkal and Perler beads compete in price?
The simple answer is yes.
The more complex answer is…sort of.
Ok, so the pricing on one 1,000 count bag of beads at full price is quite similar. In fact, there are some online shops where the price is exactly the same.
Of course, you aren’t going to find those 60% off coupons when shopping for Artkal Beads online.
So if you’re frugal like me, Perler Beads will always be cheaper because you are always waiting for the big sale. That’s why I’m more than happy to use Artkal Beads to fill in missing colors in my palette. I don’t think I’d ever go 100% Artkal Beads.
Now if you don’t have the time or inclination to wait for a sale on a $3.50 bag of beads the two bead brands are definitely competitive.
Perler Beads vs. Artkal Beads – Do they mix?
Now that’s the million dollar question. Do Artkal Beads and Perler Bead melt in a similar manner? Plus, will I be able to tell if I’m using 2 different kinds of beads? Or, will my project be a hot mess if I combine the two?
I’m quite pleased to say that they do work well together to make a great final project.
Artkal does melt a bit slower that Perler, in my opinion. Honestly though I’m not sure if it’s that they melt slower or that Artkal Beads are a smidge taller. Either way, you really can’t tell that I’m using two brands of beads. The images below are crafted by both Artkal and Perler so you can see for yourself.
You can also see Artkal Beads and Perler Beads together in the following posts:
- Perler Bead Deal With It Glasses: the white beads are Artkal
- Perler Bead Splatoon Squid: the green and gray beads are Artkal Beads
- Perler Bead Dice: the white beads are Perler Beads
If you’re still thinking of adding Artkal Beads to your melting bead palette, I say go for it!
How about you? I’d love to hear your experiences combining Perler Beads and Artkal beads in the comments.