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!
The Iron Craft Season 2 Episode 8 card! If you are curious to see more about this card, click here!
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!
Hi, I read and watched a video about making your own dots on the Alley Way stamps (http://thealleywaystamps.blogspot.com/2014/03/diy-your-own-enamel-dots-for-pennies.html) and she shows how she made three sizes using the same beads you have here, I believe. Thanks for sharing, I just adore your blog and you!
Wow thanks for the video link Victoria! Super useful! I’ll give this a try soon! Thankyou for visiting here and for your sweet comments! ❤
Thanks for your instructions on how to make enamel dots. I really try to be as thrifty when I can when it comes to crafty things and am looking forward to trying your technique.
To make smaller dots, could you try and cut a bead in half? I was thinking of using a pair of jewelry snipes to cut wire. Just a thought. I will try and go to Joann’s and pick some up this weekend.
I tried to do this several months back. Mine didn’t turn out as good as yours. Something weird happened with the color – for example, the teal ones melted and had a slight ring of a darker shade of teal towards the center. They also took FOREVER to melt. More like 45 minutes. Wonder why that happened to mine? Maybe is because my beads were older (from back when my kids used them, lol!)? Hmmmm…..
Very clever – I tend to hoard my dots 😦
Wonderful ‘research’, Chaitali. Given that I don’t have – but really *want* – enamel dots, this seems like a great investment. Thanks for the advice, the photos and especially your cards featuring your little creations. Another visit here; another day of inspiration!
awesome…I’ve been meaning to try making them!
Your cards are fabulous!
This is the 2nd post I’ve read about DIY enamel dots. I’m taking this as a sign- I must buy these beads(& parchment paper) to try this. But 11,000 beads-seriously? I’ll be sure to let you know how successful I was. Thanks so much for sharing directions.
Oohhh this is great I just love enamel dots and often you just own not that exact matching color. I will give this a try.
Have a bucket of these for the kids. Must try! Thanks 🙂
I’m going to have to give this a try.
Thank you so much for the step by step tutorial! I just baked some Perler Beads, and they turned out GREAT!!! This is one of the best money saving tips ‘Ever’…can’t wait to make more!!!
Your cards turned out beautifully, Chaitali! Your enamel dots look the same as the expensive store bought brand…WTG!
Oh wow, my second day on your site and already I’ve “hit gold”. I’ve never had an enamel dot….too expensive for colors that never seem to match anything on my cards. Now I can make 1,100 of my own! Blessings on you!