Day 3 – Enamel Dots
I followed the instructions in this tutorial and absolutely loved the results.
The tutorial showed three ways to make enamel dots: using Perler beads, pony beads and a glue gun. I tried the Perler beads and the glue gun methods.
Both methods worked out great, but the Perler beads took less time in the sense that I just popped them in the oven and went to do other stuff. The glue gun dots required my time and while it was fun, I don’t see myself doing hundreds of these in one sitting.
So here’s my review on each method. First, Perler beads: These are the beads that are used for kids craft projects where you arrange the beads in a plastic frame and then melt the beads. The melting quality is what I was after. Of the two methods, I think this is the one I’ll do again. The beads melted beautifully and uniformly. I love the color options and decided I could paint the white beads if I needed a color that wasn’t available. The beads ended up looking like those candy dots we used to eat as kids. I have to say that ‘cooking’ plastic does give off a ‘plastic’ smell, although it’s not overpowering. Nothing that a open window with a fresh breeze can’t take care of.
I heat my oven to 300 degrees, placed the beads on parchment paper with the holes facing up and set my timer for 30 minutes. That’s all it took and they came out perfect.
Okay now the glue dots. I used my teflon craft sheet and just started making dots with my glue gun. I know it sounds super simple, but it does take some practice. You’ll want to make sure you have a steady stream of glue. It helps to place a second glue stick in the gun and push on the stick as well as use the glue gun trigger. I didn’t master getting the dots very flat which is a feature of enamel dots. I did manage, however, to get the dots really round. I practiced with various sizes.
Once the glue dots were dry, I rummaged through my nail polish collection and painted the dots. I recommend dousing the glue dots with polish. I tried to paint them with a brush and it only left streaks. When I ‘poured’ on the polish it produced a smoother look. The dots just lift right off the craft sheet and it’s easy to pull off the excess paint. (I went through a “I want greenish/blue nails” phase a while ago and had difficulty finding the exact “greenish/blue”, hence the greenish/blue dots.) I enjoyed trying this method, but really don’t see myself doing this again.
Now you’ll have to excuse me while I cook up another batch of Perler beads ;-).
I really hope that you’re not going to feed up what you’re cooking in the oven. It doesn’t smell very yummy.