The World in Hama Beads!
Now that you’ve got the hang of Hama Beads and hopefully bought and played with a set or two of them, you might be wondering what to get up to next. One of the great things about Hama is that you imagination is quite literally the limit of what you can do – but sometimes it needs a nudge. Luckily, as well as the Hama Bead Inspiration Books there is an absolute wealth of ideas out there on the Internet.
One of the first things to do is try an image search on Google for Hama Beads (moderate/strict search on if allowing children to do this is recommended). This will give you a good overview of what other people make; once you’ve seen something you like, click through to the site and there is a good chance you’ll find more ideas there too.
Flickr has long since been a place to gather ideas. Search in groups and you’ll get all the enthusiasts banded together and enjoying sharing their creations. Again, be wary here as Flickr is a public site and can have anything on it! Flickr has become a little less immediate in recent years or so but it is still a great place to find hoards of ideas, many of them incredibly complicated and exciting. People have no fear when it comes to massive pieces of art and 3D models.
One of the places that has really taken off is Pinterest. Now almost a visual search engine in its own right, Pinterest has collections of images of almost anything you can imagine. DKL has a Hama Bead Creations board (and I have another on my own MerrilyMe account) but by searching for Hama Beads and then clicking on Boards in the result, you’ll find we are certainly not the only enthusiasts! There are LOTS of Hama Bead projects collected there and you can easily start your own account and pin up your favourite ideas from all these places.
One thing I like to do on Pinterest is to collect ideas that might make a good Hama project. Once you’ve been beading for a while, everything starts to look like a potential Hama Pattern and you can get really carried away!
Another fabulous place to look is DeviantArt, an American site (and therefore searching for it and Hama Beads will bring up the American version of the beads) where people group art projects together. You can work your way down a Google search for masses of ideas.
I also love this computer sprite gallery. I have children obsessed with various computer games and they love replicating their favourite characters in beads.
Having tried all of those, you could take a look at what is available to buy on Etsy; Hama is a popular as a craft material there and there is lots to look at. If you are confident, you might even have a go at selling your creations!
It’s also worth taking a look on YouTube but again, please vet videos before you let children watch them.
This is our Hama Bead advert – perfectly safe for children!
Under my Merrily Toys hat, I run several websites with Hama pattern ideas on them; BeadMerrily has ideas for different boards, SimpleCrafts which has project ideas on a theme, and a category on my blog containing things my children have created over the years. Keeping a record of what they have made over the years has been a great way to watch how their skills have developed.
It’s worth being careful if buying patterns in pdf form on eBay as they are often just repackages of things freely available or copyright of another company.
Once you’ve exhausted the links above, you can research using the terms “fuse bead”, “melty bead” and “perler bead” for even more ideas.
Another great source of pattern inspiration is to look at cross stitch patterns. They may need some adapting as stitching uses outlines and half stitches but they are an excellent starting point.
Other places to get ideas.
We’ve had some fantastic bloggers trying our Hama Beads recently; if you’ve put your creations on your blog, feel free to wear our badge on your post. We’ll be collecting together posts and bloggers who mention or review our products and putting them into a blogroll very soon. Do leave us a link in the comments to your post and we will add you to our ideas list too! If you know a resource site we’ve missed, tell us that too!