So a few weeks ago I ran out of enamel dots! Not surprising considering I was using a ton of them on so many cards! I’m surprised they lasted as long as they did 🙂 But when I ran out of them, I started looking for where I could get a ton of them cheaply. Unfortunately these are pretty expensive for a small amount 😦
Then Meredith posted on her Facebook wall about DIY Enamel dots and it peaked my curiosity! I decided to give it a try and make some at home!
After some Googling I found there were 2 types of beads that could be used for this.
- Perler Beads which were meant to be melted, gave no foul plastic odor and hence were safe to melt indoors in the house oven. The downside was they came only in one size so you could get only one size of enamel dots.
- Pony Beads which could be melted but weren’t meant to be. So they gave out a foul plasticky odor when melted and the advice was to melt them outside in a small toaster oven. The plus point was they came in many sizes and could make different sized enamel dots.
I decided to go with Perler Beads since the odor warnings scared me enough to stick with Perler. From various photos it looked like they made dots of the size I use the most. I figured that for the smaller size I could buy the dots themselves and for the larger size I read that combining 2-3 beads could make a larger dot.
Here is how I went about it…
I used some parchment paper to keep the dots from sticking to the baking tray. The large jar is Perler Beads 11,000 Count-Multi-Mix.
Then it was a simple matter of putting the parchment paper on the baking tray, laying out the beads and cooking them in the oven. Here are details of the temperature and time…
Cook in regular oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until completely melted to form a dot.
Then I let them cool for another 10 mins before peeling them off the parchment sheet. They came off pretty easily! Here are some pics of the finished product…
Some things to tell you about:
- I ended up getting only this one size of the dots successfully. The plan to stack beads to make larger dots didn’t work for me. The beads fell off in the oven and fused together weirdly like you see in the top left of the first picture above. Not bad considering this is my most-used size!
- Black and white beads take longer to melt. I kept the temperature same but increased the time to 30 mins.
- The dots won’t be sticky like purchased enamel dots. I used Ranger Inkssentials Glossy Accents Precision Tip, 2-Ounce to stick them down but any strong glue will hold them down just fine.
- The 11,000 jar of Perler beads sounds like a lot but its really not that much considering how cheap it is and how many dots you can make! Also, it gives a nice variety of colors in many shades!
With that, lets see some cards I made with the homemade dots shall we? 🙂
The Iron Craft Season 2 Episode 10 card!
And one more for the day… the Winnie & Walter Third Release card using The Big, The Bold and Fun!
You can see that size doesn’t matter here at all and that with just one size of dots, you can still make lots of cards!! Hope you enjoyed this and are encouraged to try out some DIY dot-making! Enjoy!