Sneaky Craft: Hama Beads - Red Ted Art's Blog : Red Ted Art's Blog

Sneaky Craft: Hama Beads

| May 2, 2011 | 17 Comments

Before I write ANYTHING and bore you with my rambling, the kids LOVE the Hama beads. They made them straight away  the day we got them and then again were at it first thing the following morning. What can I say, save for HOORAY!

Hello hello! A quick sneaky craft for you: Hama Beads! I remember these from my childhood (I love the smell of the melting beads) and remember making tons of flowers. However, since entering the blogging world, I have heard these referred to as the “Devil’s Spawn”… mmmh. Not too good, is it? I have been eyeing up Hama Beads for a while, thinking about if and when I should give these a go with my two.

I was chatting on twitter with @merrilyme who has a “Craft Merrily” online shop (amongst others) and she was telling me how even the littlies can have a go. Especially since now there are special “Maxi Beads” for younger children. She sent us two packs – a clown and a dinosaur. LOVE the dinosaur. HATE the clown (I have a clown thing), but Red Ted saw both and just said “wow wow wow” over and over again. And we had to make them STRAIGHT AWAY.

Now…. Red Ted is 3yrs and 3 months. He was surprisingly good. And only needed 2-3 pointers here and there. The template has “handy” shadings for where the mouth goes and the eyes. Also, if you want to, you can place the template over the pattern and you can place you beads on top. Red Ted did not want to this, but preferred “looking at the pattern” next to it. I was surprised

a) how good he was

b) how much he liked doing it

c) that he FINISHED it

d) that we even snuck in a bit of counting

Pip also had a go. She, of course just placed the beads wherever. But I still thought she did a fabulous. And Red Ted completed it for her later.

(PS don’t you just love the fact that The Englishman is ironing in the background?! Hehehe)

I like that there were plenty of extra beads, which we have put in a jar, either for playing with (more dexterity practice) or for making some simple bead bracelets at some point!

We then ironed it. Did I mention we got our spangling new Morphy Richards ComfiGrip Iron and super duperShirtmaster IroningboardMorphy Richards is desperately trying to make me more House Proud… I am desperately trying to stay undomesticated. Hehehehe you will have to try harder than that: The Englishman LOVES the new ironing board – it really does help him board his shirts better – more space and the iron is a great “shirt shape”. Red Ted LOVES the new ironing board, because it “looks like a ladybird”. And I LOVE the new ironing board, as there is plenty of “surface” for me to spread out anything crafty that needs ironing – like the Hama beads. It also provides a fab background for my “craft photo” shots. I think 1 – 0 to the non domestic wife I am… The Comfigrip Steam Iron is rather clever looking. And The Englishman has begged me not give it to his brother as a House Warming present. Ok, maybe I will try ironing a shirt with it too. But just one of Red Ted’s. And psssst, don’t tell anyone I did so! 1 – 1 to Morphy Richards… one step closer to being domesticated.

Back to the Hama Beads.

So, I ironed the Hama beads. They did their melting magic and I handed them back to the children. I haven’t seen either piece since!

Now, to the great Hama debate – is it REALLY Devil’s Spawn?

Well,  I think it depends on how you look at it: if you want this to be a “perfect activity” – then do not let an 18mth have a go.  Beads will land on the floor, templates will get knocked (meaning starting all over again).  Yes, I am sure, that at some point the “artwork” will fall apart and there will be some tears. But then I will just iron them again. If you are doing this for some colour, dexterity, pattern recognition and a bit of counting fun, then these are PERFECT. Also a great activity to help concentration. I think it is worth giving them a go at least once in your home and see whether you kids like them or not. If not, use the bead as beads, if yes, then create more Hama pictures. Get Maxi beads for the wee ones and regular ones for the older kids!

I am most definitely tempted to buy some again… I did not think I would say that, but I do think we will be getting more.

If you buy them: don’t have too high expectations. Stay calm and ENJOY. “Worse case scenario: the pattern is not made, but you have fun playing with lots of colourful beads”. The children will love them. And that is all that matters.

If you fancy trying them out, have a chat to @MerrilyMe or take a look at her website:


Craft Merrily

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Category: Kids Craft, Reviews

Comments (17)

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  1. Hazel Edmunds says:

    Hama bead art falling apart? It happens all the time, especially with the legs and arms. My answer with the kids in my craft club is to back them with felt or funky foam glued on by means of a strong contact adhesive. Don’t know what you’d call that in the US but I mean the smelly stuff that you put on both surfaces, leave to almost dry and then put together. The backing can be trimmed with sharp scissors after the glue has dried.
    I have a camel one of the kids made me several years ago and it’s still in one piece!

  2. I am not a craft kit person. Most of the crafts we do are from recycled materials, etc., but I discovered Hama beads when I was in Norway last summer. My 5 year old loves them and even my just now three year old can do the projects (and certainly the ones with the maxi beads). Yes, it is troubling when the project falls off the table and there have been tears. One thing
    I have done between project completion it put a large piece of clear packing tape over the project until it comes out again.

  3. This looks like fun! I like that it works with small motor skills.

  4. HELEN JESSUP says:

    My kids love Hama beads, especially my 8yr old daughter who will happily spend hours making designs and lining them all up for me to iron, sometimes they get knocked before I get around to ironing them, sometimes they break. And what to do with all those creations? Give them to the Grandparents to use as coasters, they love them!

  5. Merry says:

    Ironing on both sides for things they want to play with really helps. Maxi Beads can cope with MASSES of ironing and be really solid so are great for playing with.

    I am so glad they liked them :)

  6. Isil says:

    I had bought the ones in Ikea and although my daugter is 4 and a bit,she gets bored and needs some help. They are very small beads. Good that maxi ones are availble.

  7. Red Ted Art says:

    Yes, my 3yrs old is hooked!!! Loves doing them! And think we may do the ironing on both sides trick!


  8. Red Ted Art says:

    Isil – yes – all kids are different, so maybe she just doesn’t like them? Or maybe the Maxi beads would work for her!

  9. Don’t think we ever ironed maxi beads! Looking forward to getting them out again here.

  10. Isil says:

    Yes,I will give them a try.

  11. 1-1! That’s very promising for us :) In 11 months you’ll be a fully kitted out domestic goddess 😉 Sounds like the Shirtmaster ironing board has gone down particularly well – glad you like it! Maybe we should add it’s crafty credentials as a selling point! We hadn’t thought of that before. Good luck with the iron when you get going with it :)

  12. Jen says:

    My 5 year old LOVES these and will play with them for HOURS. At Christmas we made a bunch of stars and left a hole to string ribbon through and hung them on the Christmas tree.

  13. Vicki says:

    My daughters aged 5 and 3 encountered Hama beads for the first time at a pre-Xmas play group and were hooked – I\’ve now ended up spending a small fortune on beads as they get through them so quick, and they want all the different colours. It is a great activity and keeps them occupied for hours (barring the ocassional nervous breakdown over a knocked over design). The main problem I have is what to do with the finished things – one daughter has now made about 30 seahorses…. and the other is working on an enormous number of things… I\’m wondering whether hama beads plastic is recyclable – maybe I could \’lose\’ a few of the less artistic efforts into the recycle bin.

    As far as ironing is concerned, if you follow the instructions they seem to come apart really easily, so I always iron both sides, and \’overiron\’ them once they\’re off the pegboard, as the kids don\’t mind if the beads blur.Do be careful not to overiron too much while still on the board as I\’ve discovered it is possible to start to melt the pegs!!

    As far as running repairs are concerned, don\’t bother trying to glue them, just re-iron any bits that fall off.

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