Create this VERY cool 3D Surf City scene—we combined Perler Beads with a painted backdrop and surface, adding some real sand and loose beads for extra effect. All assembly is easy, so it makes a great school fair project, and it’s perfect for a group or family to work on together.
See the Supply List for beads and tools you can purchase here. You will also need:
Clear twist ties
Craft glue - optional
Printed or painted backdrop - optional
Download the PDF for the Surf City Project Pattern. All the parts of this project are worked on the large square pegboard. Some parts require 4 boards at once, linked together—the individual patterns will indicate how many boards are needed. When you are using linked boards, assemble them as indicated in the project sheet. Cut out the individual sections of the chart and tape them together so that you can see the whole design at once. If you’re using clear pegboards, slide the actual-size pattern underneath them. Place your beads following the pattern.
Ask an adult to fuse your designs. Place your pegboard on a flat, heat-safe surface. Set a household iron to the medium setting. Place ironing paper over the pegboard. In a circular motion, begin to iron the project. When ironed properly, the beads will still have open centers. DO NOT OVER-IRON as this will cause the beads to close and can make assembly of your project more challenging. Let the design cool.
Remove the paper and bead design from the pegboard. Flip the design over to expose the non-fused side. Repeat the fusing. Let cool completely. Once the design is cool, peel off the ironing paper. Your pegboards and ironing paper are reusable.
Note: Beads need heat for about 10-20 seconds per side to fuse evenly. Lift the paper occasionally to see how the beads are fusing. Additional heating time may be required.
ASSEMBLY: Although there are many parts for the Surf City project, the assembly is easy. There are several methods used, depending on the part, and all assembly is explained thoroughly in the project sheet instructions. The methods are as follows:
Slot to slot: Take the two pieces and turn them at right angles to each other. Align the slots, and slide together. This method is used for the palm trees, coconuts, dolphin, and parrots. See the example of the coconut below.
Tab to slot: This is similar to slot to slot, except there is a tab on one piece to fit into the slot on the other. This method was used on the red and white surfboard.
Twist tie: With this method, you use lengths of clear twist tie (our images are shown using black so that you can see how it is done) to bind pieces together working through the holes of the beads. This method is used for the tiki hut, waves, shark fin, and surfers. You will also use the twist ties to string beads as in the tiki torches, tiki hut posts, and the surfer dude’s arms and legs. See the example below which shows both techniques being used together.
Craft glue: Using craft glue is an option in some cases that you might prefer. This works best if there is a broad area of bead contact between pieces, as in the boom box.