Using Perler Bead Patterns to Make Polymer Clay Canes

Using Perler Bead Patterns To Make Canes - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #732: Taking a book about Perler or Hama Bead Patterns (“Bead It, Iron It, Love It!”)… in a new direction with polymer clay.

In today’s video I’m going to show how you can use Perler Bead patterns (fusible beads), to create cool polymer clay canes.

A little while ago, a publishing company (Barron’s) sent me a small stack of crafting books to review. In the pile was a book called Bead It, Iron It, Love It! by Kaisa Holsting. When flipping through the pages, I was instantly inspired to use the patterns in the book for making pixilated polymer clay canes.

The book was designed for making plastic ornaments, charms, jewelry and other craft projects, using fusible beads such as Perler Beads, Hama Beads and Nabbi Photo Pearls. But because of the grid patterns they can also be used for making pixel style polymer clay canes.

In the video I go further into what a Perler Bead is and how they are put together and fused using a domestic iron.

This book is filled with 300 super cute pixel patterns that you can recreate. The colors and numbers that you need for each color (not including the background color) are included with each pattern. This makes it super easy to figure out how many clay piece of each color you will need to make your polymer canes.

Re-creating the Perler Bead patterns in polymer clay, requires the use of an extruder and an extruder disk in a size that makes sense for the pattern. This is all explained in the video.

For my Emoji Cane I used a Lucy Clay Extruder with the three-small-squares disk from the Lucy Clay #2 Extruder Disk Set. This disk can be in the Lucy Clay Extruder, the Walnut Hollow Extruder and the Makins Professional Extruder. So… you could buy just the #2 Disk Set, even if you don’t have a Lucy Clay Extruder.

You can also use small round spaghetti extruder disks, hexagon disks, and square disks, depending on the style and size of pattern and cane you want to make.

If you want to create this styles of cane, I would recommend you purchase (if you haven’t got it already) my Christmas Sweater Cane Tutorial. It will provide you with all the tips and tricks that will ensure your success with makingĀ  Pixel Canes… especially if you want to make larger patterns.

And if you want to purchase the Bead It, Iron It, Love It book, I’ve provided an Amazon link below the video..

Do you have any suggestions for videos on tips, techniques or products you would like to learn more about? Let me know in the comments section below!

My goal is to help you to learn quicker and easier ways to bring up the professionalism in your polymer clay art.

Oh and don’t forget to give these videos a Thumbs Up click at YouTube if you are enjoying them. The more Likes a video gets, the higher it rises in the searches. And that means even more people will be able to join in on this polymer clay journey of a lifetime.

Also, by subscribing to our YouTube Channel directly, you will receive notifications as soon as new videos are uploaded. To subscribe, click here… Polymer Clay Cane Designs From Perler Bead Patterns … the Subscribe Button is right near the top of that YouTube page.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor
  1. Jocelyn C, 02 May, 2016

    Well, that just looks like fun all the way around. What an excellent project to due with kids or friends who are curious about polymer clay and wish to learn the basics.

    Did I happen to see a quick glimpse of a pattern for the Russian Nesting Dolls? I have loved and collected these since childhood, and would love to do a caned version. Actually I’d love to figure out a way to make the nesting set out of polymer clay, lol.

    Matryoshka Doll
    10-Piece, Wood Matryoshka Nesting Doll
    Nesting Doll
    10-Piece, Matryoshka Nesting Doll

    Any suggestions, Cindy?

  2. Cindy Lietz, 03 May, 2016

    A Nesting Doll would be so much fun to figure out how to make in polymer clay Jocelyn! You would have to use a release agent, or a barrier of some sorts between the dolls as you layered them on, but it is something that could be done. I will putt some thought into it… perhaps it could be a tutorial down the road if I figure it out? Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. Jocelyn C, 06 May, 2016

    The nesting doll concept would make a great project, not just to imitate the Russian style.

    Imagine them make to represent real families or friends, or a wedding party….what a cool Christmas, Wedding or Birthday present for someone special!

    Thanks for considering it…

  4. Kieran Prince, 02 June, 2016

    This sounds like a job for Kato Repel Gel. Perhaps make an armature from aluminum foil, and coat it with repel gel before making your doll over it?

  5. Cindy Lietz, 03 June, 2016

    That might work Kieran. Definitely worth a try!

  6. Krithika P, 06 May, 2016

    This discussion is coming at the right time for me! I just bought some compressed cotton peg doll shapes.

    I bought a couple of different sizes. I plan to try covering them with clay and trying to nest them.

  7. Cindy Lietz, 06 May, 2016

    Hmm that sounds interesting Krithika. I suppose you could bake on the fiber forms and then split them across the middle to get them off the form. Then you’d just have to figure out how to make a little lip on each of them so they would hold together. Would be a fun challenge!

  8. Toadette P, 02 May, 2016

    omg great work1

    I don’t know if you already reviewed this book, but maybe it would help you to know, that the “pattern” in this book are taken from pixelartists or from game-sprites. So some (I just saw the amazon preview, so I don’t know about the whole book) are not made by the author. you could also find endless more patterns for free if you search for pixelart on google or deviantart :)

  9. Cindy Lietz, 03 May, 2016

    Thanks Toadette for the insight. As far as a review of this book, this video and post was all I planned to do. I can see how simple patterns like this could be easily ‘borrowed’ since they would be difficult to copyright but since I do not have knowledge of whether or not that would be the case here, I can not say either way. Like you suggested, there are lots of designs that you can get for free on a quick Google search, but one of the things I really like about this book was the fact that all these cute designs are all in one place and the colors and amounts are all figured out for you. That alone would be worth the price of the book. For me anyway…

  10. Rosie Neyhouse, 06 May, 2016

    First, thanks for your professional “How to” videos, they are well done. I have used the Perler Bead patterns for canes and thought I would share a few more of my sources: cross stitch patterns and bead loom patterns are both great sources for cane ideas. I either google them or search on Pinterest.

  11. Cindy Lietz, 06 May, 2016

    Thanks Rosie! Yes any grid based pattern is well suited for making canes like these. Thanks for letting others know!

  12. Rosie Neyhouse, 10 May, 2016

    These grid designs can help the “non-artist” recreate a more complex cane pattern, than they might without the grid pattern. I would also think that wether you use round or square pixels to build the cane, it is important that the individual “pixels” be uniform in size.

  13. Cindy Lietz, 10 May, 2016

    Yes if you wanted to keep the pattern looking right, you would need to use all the same size of extrusions in your grid. Though the idea of mixing them up, sounds kind of intriguing… perhaps you would end up with something kind of Picasso-ish?

  14. Patricia Litak, 07 May, 2016

    Just thinking if cross stitch books would work since they are all graphed out!

  15. Cindy Lietz, 09 May, 2016

    Yes they are perfect for this kind of thing!

  16. Krithika P, 09 May, 2016

    I found some cool fuse beads patterns online, will so be trying this!
    Cindy, did you use the square die or round one for this?

  17. Cindy Lietz, 10 May, 2016

    I used the small square dies from my Lucy Clay Disks… set #2. I show it in the video I believe.

  18. Cindy Lietz, 10 May, 2016

    Ooops I pressed submit before I was done… You could use a round die for it if you like though. It would end up looking pretty similar once it is reduced.

  19. Kathy W, 18 May, 2016


    I actually started doing perler canes before you posted your video. I am making bracelets, badges and more for Children’s Hospitals, and have had the hardest time coming up with things for boys!

    But my Superman design can be used for boys or girls since Supergirl is back in the news. It was a little time consuming, but worth it I think.

    Had a hard time reducing because the red was much stiffer than translucent. I do see more of these perler pattern canes in my future for kids stuff!

    Kathy Weaver

  20. Cindy Lietz, 18 May, 2016

    Good idea for boys designs Kathy! Thanks for emailing your pictures to me. It would be great if you would post them on the members Facebook Photo Gallery Page as well, for others to see.

    I can see that the difference in softness of the clay has caused you some distortion. It is really important in all cane work to have an even consistency between colors, but I think it may be especially important with the pixel canes because of the grid style of the patterns.

    Next time… you may want to leach any clay that is too soft, so that you don’t run into the same issue again.

Copyright © Polymer Clay Tutor Bead and Jewelry Making Tutorials