Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Zirrly A Homeschool Crew Review

Do you have kids who like arts and crafts? My kids love arts and crafts and are always begging me to do them. For the last few weeks we have created several items from Zirrly with their Super Beads Mega Pack for review.
Zirrly has a plethora of unique crafts on their site. Zirrly has been around since 1956. They even offer craft kits for special need kiddos which is something that I love due to my daughters disabilities. She gets to have fun while working on her fine motor skills.
Super Beads Mega Pack
Not all craft fuse beads are alike. My kids love making things with your traditional fuse  beads out there. (Especially my 15 year old special needs daughter) You know the ones you have to put iron paper over over them. Plug in a hot iron to get them to bond together. I really dislike the smell of them fusing together-burnt plastic! Yuk! I usually over iron them and they are smooshed and uneven.
This is how it usually looks in my house with fuse bead projects. My daughter pulls out the fuse beads unknowing to me. Next thing, I hear is, “mom can you iron this together.” Mom says, “Not know I’m getting dinner ready.” So we forget about them and they get scattered all over the floor due to many reasons.  Or we move them and put them up on a shelf and forget about them. Then the cat eventually finds them and they end up scattered all over the floor. With both scenarios my daughter ends up crying because she worked so hard and took a long time creating her craft. Sigh. 
What makes Super Beads Mega Pack so different?
Instead of an iron you use water. What a concept the water actives them to fuse together! The designs aren’t as stiff as your traditional fuse beads. If they break you can fix them with water! That’s not the best part in my opinion.
The beads don’t come off the board as easily. They fit quite tight on the board. Not that they are totally cat proof. They stay in place while you’re creating your masterpiece. They use a tool to remove them if you put the bead in the wrong place. The finished project looks much cleaner and glossy when you use water. No more over ironed fuse beads. The beads are safe and non toxic.

The Super Beads are thinner than your traditional fuse beads, and they are slightly slanted inward on the outside of the beads.

Super Beads Mega Pack comes with:
4,500 Super Beads
2 Mini Spray Bottles
4 Designing Boards
1 Design Tool
20 Assorted Design Templates in the pack- Which has 4 templates of same 5 Designs

The designing boards have tabs on them that are used if your using the design templates.

 The templates fit into the boards snugly. You just need to line them up correctly with the grooves on the designing board. Fold back the flaps first on the design templates. Press them into the grooves. Now your ready to create!
If you look closely at the Super Beads you can see a slight line on them. At first I found it difficult to find them but, after doing a dozen or more beads we could see the line easily. The lined end should face UP when on the designing board. The beads fit tightly on the design board, you can use your hands over them and press them down to make sure they are level and straight.
If you place a bead in the wrong place or upside down, there is a Design Tool to remove the bead. Remember I told you the beads fit on the board snugly, which keeps them in place and not falling out if you hit it by accident. How many times have you had to start over with your traditional fuse beads because of them coming out of the pegs? So frustrating! The Super Beads held up with a cat knocking them off the table overall. Lets just say that 65% of the beads stayed in place when our cat decided to test this theory. I don't recommend testing the theory as the cat found it intriguing.

I found that if you go straight down when using the tool and then go at an angle the beads pop out fairly easily. It took the kids and me a few times to perfect the Design tool to remove the beads.

You can see the Design Template under the Design board easily. 

Now, you are ready to spray your masterpiece with the water. Fill up your water in the spray bottle if you haven't done so already.

Make sure you remove your Design Template before you spray. We forgot about it the first time. Which the template survived thanks to it being a thicker paper. 

It's all about the amount of water you spray! I want to emphasize that point. As parents we always tell our kids to not give up and to keep trying until we can do it. This is your chance as parents to show by example. It's no different than riding a bike for the first time, sometimes it takes a few tries to get it to work. Now its time for you parents to shine by example. You may hear a few frustrated reports but, I promise you that once you get the amount of water sprayed on it will work beautifully each time. I actually prefer the water fuse beads over the traditional fuse beads now. These are simple to use and so much easier pulling out a spray bottle of water than a hot iron! 

First, I would recommend a paper towel under the Design Board. It is recommended that you hold your sprayer 1 1/2" from you design. You want to spray a fair amount of water starting at the top of the design and work your way to the bottom. Don't drench it! After you have sprayed the design tip board, lightly shake the board to remove any excess water. The Design Board has holes in it for draining also. Let dry for 60 minutes. Keep in mind that humidity and other factors can affect the drying time or how much water you sprayed. It's important that you let it dry completely before removing the design. My family found that you can leave it overnight  to sit. However, we noticed that it was a bit stiffer and not as flexible when removing. Life happens and sometimes other things came up that prevented us from removing it.

Grab your nifty Design Tool as it also works for lifting the design off the board. Make sure your design is completely dry. Very carefully lift up the edges going around the circumference of it. Usually after we lifted up the edges we could pull the rest off by hand. If not continue with your Design Tool.

Here's the neat thing about Super Beads. If when lifting up your design and it breaks, you can put it back on the board to repair it! Remember it's all about the amount of water! Just spray the section and let it dry! If by chance to design breaks down the road, just put in on the board and spray and wait for it to dry.

As you can see from the picture above if you drench the beads they get mushy looking. They dry hard but, they don't have the smooth design that it is meant to be. My daughter with her special needs had a harder time doing the water as she tended to drench it. My son in the next photo didn't have any problems getting the perfect amount of water.

Make sure your hands are dry when handling the beads. After you have removed your design wash your board, tools, and hands with soap and water.

My son created several unique designs and a few of the Template Designs.

My daughter wanted to make a snowflake design. We had to adjust the design some as all the beads need to touch to make them fuse together. She also made the cupcake and apple design.

Here is some of the designs the kids made by looking up design patterns online.
As you can see my kids have been busy. This is just a few of the crafts my kids have made. It amazes me how much my kids love making these.

My kids only complaint was that they wished the package of the Mega Beads came with not four of each of the same designs. They would have preferred different ones. Which this might be a good thing in a class room or for a larger family. My kids even looked on the Zirrly website to see if you could purchase a pack of all the template designs. They don't and it would be great if the template designs could be bought in a separate package! I would have bought it! 

The good thing is that Zirrly has several kits available, you can even buy a 3D design kit. The 3D designs are intriguing.


A lot of imagination can happen with Zirrly

 Social Media:
Instagram      Tag:   @zirrly_ 
Other Homeschool Review Crew members are doing other sets from Zirrly so make a point to hop over to the other blogs to see what they created.

1 comment:

  1. You guys did a fantastic job reviewing and presenting our Super Beads. We're super impressed. Thanks so much!!!


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