Hello, everyone! CHI Staff M here! I’m sure many of you are familiar with metal idols Broken By The Scream, and those of you who came to Saboten Con 2019 were lucky enough to see them in person a little over a month ago.
If you were at Saboten, you may remember us selling an iron bead kit at the booth.
The kit contains the equipment to make little iron bead chibi versions of all the members. To tell the truth, I’ve been super interested in these ever since I first saw them in Japan, so when they brought them to Saboten, I knew I had to take one home with me.
Since the whole process might be a little intimidating, I figured I would do a little writeup of my experience making them so that anyone else interested could check it out before deciding whether to get one of their own. We do have a few available for purchase on our website right now: https://www.chaotic-harmony.net/broken-by-the-scream/broken-by-the-scream-iron-beads
The kit includes the following:
- colored beads
- pin board
- ironing sheet
- instruction sheet for the girls’ faces
- instruction sheet for how to make iron beads
- advertisement for the bead company
What you’ll need to provide
- an iron
- an ironing board
I am total beginner at making iron beads (aka perler beads), and I am by no means a super patient or meticulous person. So don’t think that you have to be super crafty to be able to do this. My hands were also shaking at first until I got used to it and then it became much easier.
So basically, the idea is to copy the design onto the pin board with the beads using the tweezers. I recommend using the tweezers because the beads are small and they will stick to your fingers. I took the time to separate all the beads by color because I’m a masochist, I guess. I felt that it did make it easier for me, but you could also just make piles on the table as needed as well. The colors you will be working with are: pink, orange, red, purple, black, white, light brown, dark brown, light gray, and dark gray. I will say to be aware that the dark grey and black look very similar (at least to me), so I recommend doing this in a bright room where you can distinguish between them.
First up was Yae! For this one, I attempted to follow the design by putting the peg board over the template and adding the beads directly over whatever color was underneath. This is a fine way to do it, but the size of the board and template is a little big different, so I found it easier to just put the board next to the template and copy row by row. I worked side to side but you could also go top to bottom. I found it best to go in a row by row method because if you try to go from the outside in or something, it will be harder to place the beads without knocking other beads over. I do recommend putting the pin board on top to at least place the first row so that you don’t end up starting too far over and not having enough room to finish the design.
So after you’ve placed the beads on the board, it’s time to iron. Use a low heat setting, and place the ironing sheet on top of the beads before applying the iron. I suggest placing the iron on for maybe 3-5 seconds and checking to see the result before deciding if more heat is needed. I think I typically applied 10-15 seconds of heat while it was on the board. Then you can use the tweezers to carefully pull the melted beads off the board. If you make it too hot before this step, the beads stick to the board and it’s scary to pull them off, but if you have applied the right amount of heat, they should come up pretty easily. After peeling it off the board, reapply the paper on top and iron it again until you have the desired look. I found that it was again probably 10-15 seconds and then it was done. It may be hot so please be careful when peeling the paper off.
I would say Io is the easiest design-wise, so if you are feeling nervous about being able to copy the template, I would say to start with her. She is pretty much completely symmetrical, and as you start doing them, you start to notice patterns that are common to all the designs and it makes it easier as you go along.
I would say Kagura is maybe the hardest design because she’s the least symmetrical, including having an eye and a half whereas everyone else has two full eyes. But I will say that her little hair flap comes out looking super cute so it’s worth the effort. I did go a little heavy with the heat on hers, but she still came out fine!
Last up was Ayame. She is also fairly symmetrical save for some bang shading that differs from side to side. So I would say that if you ranked it by difficulty, it would be: Io, Ayame, Yae, Kagura.
I definitely got more confident with it as I went on both with placing the beads and with how much heat to apply with the iron. I finished all four of them within an afternoon. If you are interested in trying it yourself please feel free to purchase your own set from the website. Considering everything that’s included, I think it’s a pretty good deal. I was surprised to see the tweezers in there!
If you’re wondering what to do with them after you’ve finished them, I decided to turn them into magnets and put them on my fridge! You could also put them on a corkboard or other decorative board or just have them leaned up against a computer or something at a workspace. Here is a shot of them as magnets on my fridge.
Here is the link to buy them: https://www.chaotic-harmony.net/broken-by-the-scream/broken-by-the-scream-iron-beads
I hope you have as much fun making them as I did!