Day #202 Plastic Perler Bead Bowls

The girls are in love with their new bowls. I kind of am too. Don’t they just look like pieces of art. They are so easy to do to.

All you need are a bowl, cooking spray and Perler Beads 11,000 Count-Multi-Mix (affiliate link added for your convenience).

Spray a layer of cooking spray in the bowl. Take the pearler beads and drop them in the bowl. Once you have a few handfuls in there, start to push them down so they form one layer. As you push them down, the beads will begin to climb up the bowl. Add more if you want a larger bowl. Just make sure they’re in one layer.
Once the Perler beads are pushed down, bake them on 375. I baked them for 12-14 minutes. However, I’m not sure how consistent that would be, so I’d keep a watchful eye on the bowl. The plastic begins to melt and the beads adhere together. I thought it might smell really bad, but it wasn’t bad at all. I had the small whiff of plastic as I opened the oven. 
Abby decided she wanted her bowl to hold sun glasses. Great choice. We needed a place for these. I just thought the results were beautiful. I originally saw this idea on Pinterest, but when I clicked on the link it couldn’t find the page. So, I had to wing it. Turned out great.
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  1. Gorgeous! Another project on out to do list:)

  2. Great idea! My little ones would love making these!

  3. I love these! I’m going to have to make them with my grandson – I think he would get a kick out of how they stick together. Thanks for sharing!

    I’m here checking you out from the Nifty Thrifty Sunday at Nifty Thrifty Things. If you get a chance check out my Sunflower Wreath posted there or at

  4. I love this project. What a great gift idea and so simple to do.

    Beth @ Hungry Happenings

  5. We love perler beads. I will definitely have to try this with the kids.

  6. What a lovely idea! Great bowls!

  7. these are so so fantastic what a clever idea and they look gorgeous! I hope you’ll link it up at my What We Wore, Read and Made party

    rae gun ramblings

  8. Anonymous says:

    Great idea !
    but what is it the cooking spray and at which point of the process do we use it ?

    • You spray the bottom of the glass bowl before you put the beads in. Here’s a link to cooking spray: It’s basically away to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bowl. If you don’t have cooking spray, you could probably just do a thin layer of oil or grease on the bowl. Not sure if it will be messier, but I’m sure you could just wash it off.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks a lot,you ve been very helpful
      Dina from Athens,Greece

  9. I love these bowls. I wonder how deep you could make it before the beads start to fall from the sides back in the middle? Thanks for linking up at Mom’s Library!

  10. I love these bowls! My daughter will for sure want to try this out. Thanks for sharing!

    Nici ~ Posed Perfection

  11. Congratulations! Your project was featured in July’s Top 5 most popular posts on Fun Family Crafts! Thanks for sharing your creativity, we love it! If you would like a special top 5 button to display, you can grab it at the bottom of the feature post. Thanks!

    • Thank you so much! That’s really exciting. I tried to grab the button a few times and put it on the post, but it didn’t work for me. I just highlighted the html code and pasted, so I don’t know why it’s not working. Let me know if there’s another solution for that. Meanwhile, I’ll do a text link.

  12. Did you use a pyrex bowl? and what size is the bowl you used?

    I am having a hard time figuring that out.

    Thank you,


  13. what kind of bowl? glass?

  14. Yup – it’s an oven safe, glass bowl.

  15. Great post! I quoted your blog in my post.

  16. Thank you for linking back. Now I totally have to try the cookie cutter idea.

  17. We made these yesterday and they kinda look like a piece of modern art. My mom was convinced we can sell them (hooray for super supportive mamas!)Thanks again for this awesome idea:
    I quoted you twice: and here

  18. Do you think it would it work with other plastic beads? I have a big container of ones I bought from the dollar store that I don’t know what to do with!

  19. She sent me pictures. They did work. They took a lot longer to melt and the result seemed a tad different. The beads seemed more round to me I the end. Still cute, and it looked like her kids enjoyed it.

  20. Hi! We made these for several Christmas presents this year. We did a Pyrex glass bowl, ramekins for small little bowls, and also the cookie cutter suggestion in the comments above. Today we also did them in the bottom of a 13×9 Pyrex pan for a small placemat (in lieu of your pan/rod tutorial) which turned out to be really cute. Next we are thinking of just lining the bottom of ramekins for “coasters”. Thanks for the fun idea!

  21. Adriana says:

    How do you take the bowl out of the glass bowl? or do you leave it there?

    • If you use the non-stick cooking spray, it should just pop right out. Good luck. Let me know how it goes.

      • Faith McElvy says:

        I just tried with pony beads and they will not come out of the bowl even though I sprayed with pam.

        • Bummer! I hope it didn’t ruin your bowl…must have if it didn’t come out. I’m so sorry!

        • Gwen Biro says:

          Thanks for posting! I was just about to try with pony beads! I think I still will only ill line with parchment and use a container I don’t care about!

          I also wonder if buttons would work?

          • Hmm…I have no idea if buttons would work. Super interesting. I think I want to try that now. I am afraid of that kind of plastic melting, but i think I have an idea for that. Stay tuned…might be a major fail but worth a shot. Thanks for the idea.

  22. How long do you let the beads/bowl cool before popping out? And was there anything you did to encourage them to come out? My granddaughter is in such a rush. :)

    • I don’t remember how long it took to cool to the touch. I would set it outside if you are in a colder area. You could probably also put it in the refrigerator. It should just pop out when it’s cold enough.

      • Thank you. We just couldn’t wait so as soon as we could handle them I slipped a butter knife and out popped the bowls. We are very happy with this project!

  23. Beautiful Art…. Adorable…
    Love this craft..

  24. Beautiful Art… very cute…adorable..
    Love this art. thanks for the idea..

  25. Katrina says:

    I must tell you that I did this craft with my 5 y/o granddaughter and it worked like a charm. Can’t wait to do this with my other granddaughters! Thank you.

  26. This is an awemazing project. I am going to try it with just two colors like lavender/Purple, Black/pink and black/red. thanks for the awesome ideas,

  27. I have made three of these which turned out great. I have a hard time with the PAM turning black and runny though. When I tried making a cake plate with these beads the PAM left dark areas on the plate. Also when I melt the beads I put a small bowl of vinegar and water on the lower shelf in the oven, this kills any smell of burning plastic.

    • So weird, Leah. I had no problem with them turning black and runny. I’m really curious what the difference is between people’s experience. Mine just popped out, and the glass bowl looked clear – with a little Pam residue (very clear) on the sides. I’m so sorry!

  28. Have to try this idea i have gotten the craftsy newsletter for a while now and this is the first project that i just have to do….thank you for your brilliant mind and winging it for us all the first go around.

    • Thank you so much for commenting. You’ll have to let me know how it goes for you. It’s a huge compliment that is is going to be your first attempt at something Craftsy has put out. Thanks for that.

  29. We made a big bowl and it turned out great – although our beads seem to have run a bit – they are now big ‘o’s. I didn’t have any pam, but just used sunflower seed oil – no problem. The kids were really enthusiastic. However, we tried another set in metal and that didn’t work at all. Oops!
    Thanks for the idea!

  30. This worked nicely and we had a lot of fun doing it. The only thing is the smell was terrible…(Mentioned in article “Not too bad just a whiff as I opened the oven door”) It smelled posionious actually.

    • Oh really? That wasn’t my experience. I wonder why the difference. I am glad you had fun though. Thanks for commenting. I find all the comments helpful for others considering the craft.

  31. Ours are in the oven right now! was so fun to make.

  32. Do you have to use perler beads or can you use any plastic beads?

    • I think you need to use Perler Beads. I’ve heard of people trying other kinds and having horrible luck. I hope that is helpful. Let me know how it turns out.

  33. Elizabeth says:

    I have a question about these bowls….ours sort of turned out….but as mentioned by Claudia above, our beads also spread out & turned into big “o”‘s, so it is not as “tight” as it would be otherwise if they melted together like when you iron them. they are perler beads but are several years old – not sure if that makes a difference?? also I have a gas oven & thought maybe the heat was too high/hot? so I tried again on a lower temp to see if they would melt more normally, but came out the same. : ( but I was also wondering about the cooking spray – they came out w/ a little prying around the edges, but the bowls are a little greasy – did you wash yours off at all?? thanks – I found your site thru links from all free kids crafts emails I started receiving & have enjoyed what I’ve looked at so far!

    • Hello Elizabeth! Thanks for your questions and kind words. I would just wash them off from the cooking spray. I actually just was working with another Perler Bead project today, so I feel a little more equipped to answer your questions as this other project was quite a while ago. I have found that certain colors (and I’m predicting different brands) melt differently. I found some to be tight and some to be larger O’s as you mentioned. I guess I just felt fine with those results. The bowl definitely won’t be leak proof and the variety just gives a different look. Here is a link to a placemat I did a while back, and you can see a lot of variety – I hope that has been helpful. Let me know if you have any more questions.

  34. Linda Long says:

    I am a 71 yr old great grand…We lived in New Orleans in the early 70’s and had loads of Mardi Gras beads….We used metal cookie cutters or did a design on a piece of wood w/gold braid and straight pins, cover the wood w/foil…fill the design up w/the desired colors and melt in the oven…The Mardi Gras beads do have an odor but open up the house. We still have a tree, candy cane, wreath and a bright yellow star that hang on our trees.

    • That’s a really fun idea. I think I’m going to try it. I have heard you can do things in the bbq to prevent the smell from destroying your home. I will need to try this. Thanks for the idea.

  35. This is such a fun project with kids. Is this maybe the original project you were trying to find on Pinterest?

    Your bowls turned out great.

  36. Beth Erickson says:

    I have used transparent pony beads, I put them into a cake pan, bake at 400 for about 10 minutes (outside) and then take the melted plastic out of the pan. You can then lay it on top of a smaller pan… pot pie sized works great. Re heat until the plastic flexes and droops… Remove and use a heat proof glove or potholder to “encourage” the bowl to form… Once it cools, you can just pop out the pan.

    You can leave the discs flat at the end of the first step, drill a small hole and hang for suncatchers!!

    Have Fun!

    • The bowl with transparent pony beads would be super cool. I actually just did a google image search, and I love the results! Great ideas. I had seen the sun catchers too. It’s so fun to see all the varieties. Thanks so much for commenting. This is a must do for us.

  37. I was so inspired by this post! Love the bowls your girls made! I thought this would be a good 4H project for my son. I’m glad to say it was very successful and he really enjoyed it. The results are spectacular. I linked to this post here: Thank you!

  38. Where do I buy Perler Beads? Do I go to Michael’s, AC Moore, where
    Is Perler Beads a brand name or a type of bead? Thank you


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