Before I begin, I think I need to explain what Hama Beads are. My fiancé was very confused about my excitement when this advent calendar arrived. I then spoke to a few friends about it and half of them were all “OMW, I remember those!” and the rest asked, “what are those?”.
Hama Beads are small cylindrical tubes of plastic (beads) that you place on a pegboard. You can make any 2D design you like depending on the shape and size of your board, and the colour of beads you have available. The design is then ironed so that the beads melt and fuse together.
Growing up in South Africa, Hama Beads were never really a thing. I remember seeing ones that stuck together with water, but the real McCoy was very hard to come by. I was fortunate to have them because my Danish grandmother would send them to me for Christmas.
I only had one large square pegboard and 10 different colours of beads but that didn’t stop the fun at all. I spent hours each day drawing my own patterns on graph paper and then turning them into real objects.
I dreamed about owning a heart or star shaped pegboard one day, and some of the clear, glittery beads that I saw in my pattern book – but this didn’t become a reality for me until I turned 26 years old, and was living in the UK.
When Hama Beads emailed me regarding this advent calendar, I was suddenly an eight-year-old again. It was honestly one of the best emails I have received this year because I had completely forgotten about my magical Hama Beads from 1998, until now.
I have since bought almost every pegboard shape available and have 100 000 beads neatly stored in a plastic tub under my bed. Clear, glitter AND glow in the dark ones too! I am living my eight-year-old self’s dream.
Hama Beads Advent Calendar
This kit contains around 5 000 midi beads, 5 small pegboards (round, square, star, heart and hexigon), 6 midi bead supports and the advent board with 24 seasonal designs hidden behind numbered doors.
Each day you get to make a new pattern and there are enough beads should you wish to make more than one of each design. You can hang them on your Christmas tree, in the window, on the fireplace mantel, etc. You could even use them as gift tags or glue them onto cards. The possibilities are endless.
The little design prints are quite small and if you are anything like me, you will lose the little squares, so I suggest buying a jotter pad and making it your own pattern book. You could draw the designs yourself or paste the little cards in it.
5mm graph paper works really well because the midi beads are 5mm in circumference, so you can draw a pretty accurate, to-scale design on it. Just remember that whatever you design, will come out in reverse, since the side that you iron becomes the back of the object.
If you, or your children have never experienced the fun of Hama Beads before, then this calendar is a really awesome way to explore it.
If you end up loving it (you will) then you can go wild at Christmas time with their larger packs of beads in seeming endless colour options. They have so many fun pegboard shapes available too, such as dragons, unicorns, cars, flowers, you name it.
It will keep the kids busy for a good few hours each day, especially if you buy, or print out some graph paper for them to create new patterns on. There are also apps that you can download on your phone to create patterns. My favourite one is Bead Studio.
If I haven’t convinced you enough about this calendar, then maybe the price will.
It only costs £16!
..and it’s available on Amazon Prime.
It’s very affordable, in my opinion, and worth every penny.
If you’d like to view or buy more items from Hama Beads, be sure to check out their online shop.