I did a private swapalong with mama24boyz during the recent Video Game Round 2 swap, since she wasn't able to participate. After stalking her Pinterest, I decided I wanted to do something that could be enjoyed by both her and her family as well. So, I ended up making personalized key holders/racks for her and each of her 5 kids. But of course, we need something more fun than keys to hang off of them, right?
My very initial idea was to make a giant "character selection screen" on canvas, personalized with everyone's names and a bunch of character sprites to choose from. After realizing that would be impossible to ship, I thought about it a bit more, and ended up going with individual small, rectangular-shaped canvases.
So, without further ado... bring on the perler bead video game sprites!
Mario and Peach:
Baby Daisy and Luigi (he's looking a little grey-haired, isn't he? I ran out of black perler beads about halfway through this whole project, and it took me more than a week before I could find a local store with black beads in stock. So, some of the characters were subjected to some "creative coloring") :
Link and Zelda (sporting their summer tans -- yep, ran out of "sand" colored beads too!)
Sonic and Yoshi:
Minecraft guy (or, a study in how NOT to melt your fuse beads. Turns out that our iron at home distributes heat incredibly unevenly, so when I just turned it on high and pressed it down hard, things got super ugly quickly. You can see how uneven the melt job is on the guy at left. In order to get a much more even melt, like the guy on the right, I had to constantly move the iron around, and apply pressure from all directions. Turning the heat down to medium helped, too.)
And let's not forget, good guys need some bad guys to battle, right? First up is King Koopa himself, Bowser (sporting some neon coloring today):
And finally, Ganon from the Zelda games:
Each of the smaller hero characters took around an hour or less to set the perler beads on peg boards and fuse. Bowser was about 2 hours, and Ganon took around three and a half. I am so glad I saved him for last, because I would've ended up destroying him with the iron if I had done him early on. I only have the small peg boards that connect together to make bigger ones, but you have to be very careful when ironing over the seams where two peg boards join together, or you are apt to have beads spill everywhere. This happened with Bowser and some of the smaller guys, and I would have to try and do touch-ups after the beads had already started fusing (not particularly fun). So by the time I got to Ganon, who spanned across four boards, I knew to be *very* careful with the iron.
For the key racks themselves, I took a small, rectangular canvas and painted it black. Then, my friends helped me make a ton of letters out of poly clay and a letter mold. Obviously, painting on the words would've been way easier, but I wanted a 3-D effect to add some visual interest to the key holder itself. We added a glaze to the letters to make them glossy, and after baking and cooling, the letters were glued on with Aleene's tacky glue. I found the hooks at the grocery store for I think 88 cents per pack of three, and they screwed into the wood frame of the canvas very easily while still staying firm and snug.
Each of my partner's four sons were designated as a "Player" (1 - 4), with the rack personalized with their names as well.
Her daughter (the youngest) was a "mini-boss":
And for art to imitate life, my partner had to be the boss, naturally.
(In this case, boss refers to "I run this place", not "I'm out to get the goods guys"). The boss names are an homage to Zelda bosses (I actually looked up Zelda boss names online, and tweaked a couple to fit my purposes.)
The idea is for the perler sprites to be hung from the key holder hooks with string/yarn/whatever, so that they can be easily switched whenever people want to select a new character(s).
This was SUCH a fun project to work on. Perler beads go perfectly with video game crafting, and I kinda got carried away working on all those different character sprites.