There are so many brands on the market nowadays. Because we use different brands and can discuss them here I write about Prp (Plaströrpärlor).
How it started
How it started with NABBI
In the early 1960s a man in Munka-Ljungby, Skåne Sweden, started to chop plastic tubes into small pieces so that they could be used as beads.
They got the name NABBI and quickly became popular in all ages. Small children used them to make naclackes, bracelets and things like them, just putting beads on threads. Older children and adults sewed or woved with them.
They made table mats and similar objects. They most skilful made bowls and other ornamental objects, eg. baskets. Someone started to melt the beads together and then it became important that the material was appropriate to heat. Munkplast began early to make NABBI of polyethylene, which all now know is not dangerous to heat.
On the picture here you can see how to sew prp-bands.
- On the top you can see how to sew a band with an even numers of beads. To the right of the band, you can see how it looks like at the edges.
- If you want to make a band with odd number of beads, you have to sew around the thread every time you come to one side.
How it looks like you see on the blue band.
When you know how to sew strips, you can proceed with greater things.
This basket is made of three bands of different sizes. They are sewn together and the handle is reinforced with masking tape.
The smallest children began to make bracelets and necklaces.
They can be varied at infinity and is an incredibly fine job, to train the children in many skills.
When someone found out that one could stand beads up and glue them on a backing, there were more uses for prp-beads.
In addition to glue beads on cardboard sheets and Masonite pieces one could eventually use frames, which fitted exactly to the pegboards.
Because Munkplast early started started making NABBI of polyethylene the opportunities of use expanded.
Then it became possible to iron the beads together easily and safely.
It became popular to make pärlplattor, a popular employment for children in kindergarten, daycare and other activities for children.
Plates can be made with grooves, so you can have characters who can stand up.
To the left is a horse with a rider. The horse is made of three pieces which have been put together and the rider is laid on the small round pegboard. If you want the toys more durable, you can iron the pieces on both sides. To the right is a luminous ghost. It is laid on the small square pegboard. One piece is the body and the two pieces are bones or support.
One of the many benefits of polyethylene, is that it is so easy to shape when it is hot and then so sturdy when it is cold.
I made this angel in 1998 on a large round pegboard. It was ironed and then formed and shape while it was hot.
Such a nice Swedish invention was of course copied. It took just about 10 years before the first copy came and now there are several.
That is the reson I decided to call them prp (plaströrpärlor).
If you have bad experiences of plastic beads, it's likely that you used a carelessly made copy.
Even minor characters could be nicer when formed a bit. A butterfly can decorate its place on a wall (hide a stain). It may be a coaster if you fill the whole pegboard (pärlplatta). If you shape the wings slightly upward when the figure is newly ironed, it may get a more natural appearance. If you then mount it on a stick, it can be a decorative ornament in a flowerpot or elsewhere
More and more adults found that you can do so much with prp. In 2005, Munkplast introduced Photo Pearls, which is a program with which you can pärlifiera ie convert image to bead pattern using a computer program.
You can use your own pictures from a digital camera or scanned photos. The drawing programs clipart pictures are often good and nice. For Christmas, Easter and other holidays you can find illustrations in many places. The size of the finished image, you can decide yourself.
Pictures, photoas, text and patterns © Copyright Emo Persson