I am so excited for my kids to start school. They are young enough that school is still the coolest thing ever, and I intend to make this school year so fun that the magic of every school year is something they keep with them as they grow.
I’ve been helping them get their school supplies ready and get all of their gear ready for the year, and I wanted to get them involved in a fun back to school craft that they could help make, and display every day. These backpack and lunchbag charms using Perler beads are a fun way to get your kids crafting – and they make fun gifts for friends, too!
These charms are a bit tougher for kids with little hands, like mine. I love perler crafts – they are so easy and you can make anything as unique as you’d like. They are also really good for kids – it gets them sorting colors, working their fine motor skills, and gives them a chance to design something fun!
One note before you begin- check the perler age label. There are big, fatter perler beads meant for little kids – and smaller ones for ages 6+. These could be a choking/up the nose hazard, so watch children closely when using these beads.
We tried our hand at a few perler ideas – some easy shapes that we made with pre-set forms, and some freehand shapes (I went for an emoji which I completely freehanded – it’s so fun to try new shapes!)
To make these backpack charms, you’ll need:
If you’re using a pre-determined shape, let your kids fill in the shape, or help them trace the outline and they can fill in their shape. I started my kids off with ponies whose smaller details were already filled in, and then had them sort and add other colors. If your kids are a bit older, you can have them design the shape entirely – for my young kids, I also had them make shapes with randomly chosen beads. There really isn’t a wrong way to create fun shapes your kids will love!
When your shapes are ready, take one bead out from where you’d like your charm to hang, and loop a length of bakers twine through the bead. Pull the bakers twine as far as you’d like the string to dangle – you won’t be able to just pull it through more once the beads go under the iron. Put the bead back in place, and carefully arrange so it can be ironed.
Lay the perler paper over your design carefully without moving any beads out of place. Iron the shape, moving slightly to ensure an even shape surface, for about 1-2 minutes, or until the beads have thoroughly melted. Let cool, and then remove from tape and shape form.
You can try all sorts of fun patterns and shapes with these perlers – I love coming up with fun new ideas! These are some of our favorite new craft supplies and provide for tons of entertainment for my kids! It’s an awesome activity to do together.