For those in the know, Perler Beads have been a staple activity for the geek hobbyist. When I came across Perler Beads for the first time, it was at the local geek craft shows. It would be several more months until I realized how easily I could do the exact same thing.
Perler Beads come a variety of colors and have a great blocky look to them which makes them perfect for making pixel art. If you Google Perler pixel art, you'll get a slew of game sprites from games like Mario, Pokemon, and Kirby. I originally wanted to replicate Chrono Trigger sprites, but decided that I'd make up my own 8 bit pixel art of my wife and I.
I started by opening up MS Paint and zooming in all the way so I could work pixel by pixel. I looked for a lot of references but decided I'd base the proportions and sprite size on Chrono Trigger. My first attempts were at a 3 quarters view, but I found that it was hard to customize the clothing.
Next I did a front view which was much easier to work with. I played around with some different outfits and actions, and figured I'd do a small series of 8 for my wife and myself. I made a few for myself, but wanted to make the bead art for my wife as a gift so I never got around to finishing the full 8 images of myself.
In come the Perler beads. The problem is, that if I wanted to buy specific colours, I'd be buying up a bunch of bags and getting way more of each colour than I need. Instead I bought a giant mix bucket and separated all of the colours into a tacklebox. This took a LONG time, but as I was a game addict, I'd do it in between rounds or during down times in raids. Even when wasting time with games, you'd be surprised how much time is truly wasted by not even playing them.
After that, I arranged the beads and used an iron and some wax paper to melt them together to get these flat art pieces of my wife. Originally I was going to maybe frame a bunch of them together with my own, but I think instead I'll buy some magnets sheets to cut up and glue to the back of the bead art. That way my son can play with pixel versions of us until he's old enough to make some for himself. Also, not sure if you noticed, but the favicon for the website is just me in my brown sport jacket.