Creativity 521 #69 - A photo made of pearls

Posted by ~Summer~ on May 21, 2015
in ,

The first time I walked into the craft shop in Sweden and laid my eyes on this photo pearls set, I knew by hook or by crook, I had to get it. It was those kind of crafts that I love - unique, personalised, not too complex to make yet not overly straightforward such that it gets mundane.

So I bought a set, started making bead patterns out of digital images like our wedding photo, Angel's baby photo and made them as gifts for birthdays too. The word soon got around and friends started getting curious about how this was done. Soon enough, a handful of them got into the frenzy, bought the sets and started making their own patterns too. Really, anyone can do it as long as you have the starter kit and necessary supplies.

In today's Creativity 521 post, I'm sharing with you how I made Ariel a special present -  
A Personalised Photo made of Pearls!

To begin, you will need this starter kit. Now, this brilliant product is made in Sweden so that was where I got mine in the first place. The good news is that they now have stores in several countries in Europe, including Norway, France, Germany and United Kingdom (see here for the list). The bad news is for those living in Asia, you will still need to purchase this online and pay for the shipping fees (see here for list of online stores).

The starter kit comes with 15,000 beads (in 30 assorted colors), 4 pegboards, 8 adhesive sheets and a CD-Rom. Once you download the software into your computer and enter the activation code, you can start making your patterns!

Firstly, you have to upload a clear digital image, select the area that you wish to use and also the size of your final product, which can vary from 1 pegboard to as many as you wish. I usually like to keep my patterns to a square shape of 4 pegboards (2 x 2) which is perfect for a portrait and uses a total of 3,600 beads (30 x 30 per pegboard).

Next, you have to 'pearlify' your image. If you run out of certain colour of beads or like to omit some of them, you can always do so in your selection. Brightness and contrast of the image can also be adjusted according to your preference.

Once you have done so, you can still continue to make minor edits such as change the colour of a few beads here and there so that you are satisfied with the final look.

The image will be automatically switched to a mirrored one when you are done so that it will be facing the right way eventually. You can then save and print your bead patterns, as well as view and print your shopping list. The project can also be saved in your computer too in case you need to refer or print it again.

This is how the bead patterns will look like. Every pegboard pattern will be printed on one piece of A4 paper and the row and columns are indicated so that you can piece the boards accordingly when they are done.

This is how the shopping list looks like and it not only shows you the final pattern, it also indicates the colours of beads and a breakdown of how many beads you need for every colour.

Next, it's time to bead! Lay the pegboard on the bead pattern, making sure that the protruding parts match accordingly. I find it much easier to print out a coloured pattern (you can choose B&W too) so that it is easier to differentiate the colours. The pattern also indicates the colour number code (ranging from 1-30) to help you determine the correct colours.

So, all you have to do is to patiently bead by placing the right bead on the right colour code. This is how a finished pegboard with 900 beads looks like!

To make the beads stay in place, use the adhesive sheets which should fit the pegboards nicely. You might need to trim a little on the sides if you find that they overlap when pieced together.

Turn the pattern around by flipping it while pressing the beads to the board so that they do not fall out altogether. Repeat the same for all the rest of the pegboards.

So, what happens when you run out of beads or adhesive sheets? Yes, I ran into that problem which was what took me so long to start beading again ever since I returned to Singapore. The good thing is I finally managed to order the beads online from Clever Crafts which helped to ship the above over from New Zealand at a reasonable shipping fee. You can also go through the list of online stores to find a suitable supplier if you need one.

Piece all your completed pegboards together and this is how it will look.

Turn over to the back and peel off the back of the adhesive sheets carefully. Yes, they are essentially just big square pieces of double-sided tape.

Stick the beads onto a vanguard sheet, backing or any thick paper that you wish to use for your photo frame. I got my frame (40cm x 50cm) from IKEA at only $14.90! For me, I find it easier to stick them onto a big piece of vanguard, ensure that the final pattern is straight, then measure and trim the paper to fit the frame accordingly. Otherwise, I always find that my beads end up looking a little crooked.

Ta-dah! Do you like how Ariel's final gift looks? You can choose to add more decorations around your beaded pattern or leave it as it is. Now, display it in the house and let it amaze your family and friends! I'm so happy that the girls finally have one each and they now stand proudly in our living room. Never fails to make me smile when I look at them!

Do you think you will like making your own photo of pearls too?

For more DIY tutorials and craft inspiration, visit my gallery here.


To fellow bloggers who have a fun craft session, DIY tip or creative idea to share, come join in the party! Highlight and press Ctrl + C to copy my button above, include it in your post/sidebar and add your link below. I will be hosting Creativity 521 on the 5th and 21st of every month, do hop over for more inspiration. Remember: The sky's the limit when it comes to creativity!


  1. Wow, this looks amazing and you must have a lot of patience to complete it. How long did it take you to complete this?

    1. Hi Susan, for this 3600 beads one, it usually takes me 3 days, using a few hours each day. It's not that hard once you get the hang of it! :) looks harder than it actually is! Thanks for reading!


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