First invented in 2004, Aquabeads is still a popular activity for children. While the manufacturers suggested age is 4 years and up, we feel the activity is better suited for children age six and up due to the dexterity required. It also takes a steady hand even if using the pen and a great deal of patience. Unlike the smART Pixelator, we recently reviewed Aquabeads are held together with water instead of a hot iron, making them much more kid-friendly. With the all new AquaBeads Design Studio Playset, kids can create more than twenty different patterns. The set comes with more than 1,300 beads in a variety of colors.
Aquabeads how do they work?
Choose the template sheet that you wish to make and place the sheet between the base tray and the layout tray. Now load your pen with the colors that you wish to use for your design. Loading the pen is relevantly easy and it will hold up to six different colors.
Next start to use the bead pen to delicately place your beads over the relevant space to start making the pattern shown in the template. Of course you can also free style if you like. Miss P finds it easier to use the template, while I find it easier to free style. There are simple patterns and those that are a bit more complicated such as the unicorn.
While the pen takes a bit to get use to, you can easily place the beads in the holes with your hand instead of using the included tool. Miss P and I find it easier to use our fingers to place the beads. With the bead pen we tend to knock all the other beads placed all over the place.
Once you’ve completed your design, add water to the sprayer and spray your design. Be sure not to add too much water.Then lift up the handles of the flip tray and receiver together with your fingers and turn them over quickly. Make sure the design stays on the receiver and flip the tray back. Wipe off the excess water remaining on both sides of the flip tray. Allow it to dry completely up to an hour and lift your creation off the receiver plate.
How long does it take for aqua beads to dry?
Let dry for an hour or two. Once off the receiver tray we suggest allowing to dry overnight for best results.
Parts and Pieces
The tray that comes with the AquaBeads Design Studio Playset features compartments where you place the beads in to keep them from rolling away when you are creating your bead design. Each color bead has its own compartment, so it’s easy to keep things organized. The Aquabeads case also serves as a container for the pen, the spray bottle, and the pattern cards when play time is over.
I do wish the Aquabeads deluxe studio came with a bead peeler like prior sets and a set of tweezers. We used a knife to lift our design off the receiver.
Some helpful tips that we learned
- When beads do not stick together properly, spray some more water on the back of the design and leave to dry.
- We find that using a hair dryer on the “cool” setting can be helpful if your design won’t come out of the flip tray. This is normally due to using too much water.
- Any moisture will reactivate the glue on the beads, so be sure to store them in dry place.
- Be sure to wash the layout tray and receiver together between uses for best results.
What to do with Aquabeads creations
If you are wondering what to do with your Aquabead creations, you can turn them into photos, make bracelets, key-chains, necklaces and even make bookmarks out of them. Why not give them as gifts or make ornaments for the Christmas tree out of them. With a little imagination the possibilities are endless.
Overall, Miss P had so much fun designing her own bead craft with the templates provided and the layout tray. Her father and I even joined in the activity and created some of the more difficult designs. We find the final products are quite durable, provided they have enough time to fully dry.
Use the Design Studio to make festive holiday decorations. Check out the templates for fun festival designs. Don’t forget to purchase a AquaBeads Design Studio Playset for someone on your Christmas list.
Shop Amazon for Aquabeads