Mr. Westlund Creates and Decorates his Room with his Perler Bead Designs

by Journalism student Grace

Doug Westlund, one of New Life Academy’s high school social studies teachers, has found immense entertainment in his beloved hobby: Perler Beads.

Perler Beads are small , plastic beads that fuse together on a pegboard to create a colorful picture or design.

“I worked this summer at Summer Blast, and kids were always doing them,” Mr. Westlund explained. “I realized you could make a lot of cool stuff with them.” Perler Beads allow you to create any picture you want. Mr. Westlund creates a variety of different Perler Bead designs.

“You can do album covers, movie posters, football helmets, and a lot of different things,” Mr. Westlund said. “You can find patterns online, and that makes it easier.”

The Perler Bead designs that Mr. Westlund creates add the perfect touch to his lively room. He has many of his designs hung up around his classroom. The Perler Beads have also made an impact on his students.

“I adore Mr. Westlund’s Perler Bead decorations,” senior Grace Karasek said. “They are a creative and original hobby to be passionate about! When I see them in his room, it brings a sense of nostalgia because I used to make them all the time when I was younger.”

Mr. Westlund finds that making Perler Bead designs can be very relaxing, enjoyable, and a great way to pass the time.

“It’s like doing a puzzle, it’s very relaxing,” Mr. Westlund said. “It takes time to put it all together. Two hours of doing it will seem like five minutes. It’s like you can zone out to it.”

Although Mr. Westlund mainly focuses on creating smaller Perler Bead designs, he hopes to one day create much bigger Perler Bead posters.

“I would like to do bigger things, if I ever get to that point,” Mr. Westlund said. “You would have to connect multiple together, and that’s much harder.”

The other teachers at New Life Academy also appreciate Mr. Westlund’s Perler Beads. He has given almost half of the other New Life teachers a specially made Perler Bead picture.

“It’s a great hobby for Mr. Westlund. I especially like his goal of making all the presidents for his room,” Mr. DeBoer said. “Mr. Westlund made me a Perler Bead coaster for my tea jar of an orange 1969 Dodge Charger from my favorite childhood TV show, The Dukes of Hazzard.”

Mr. Westlund wants to encourage other students and teachers to try out Perler Beads. It’s not difficult to create them, and it’s a fun, relaxing activity for anyone to enjoy.

Mr. Westlund states, “If you’re looking for something to be quite relaxing, especially if you like music, media, or sports, there’s plenty of things you can do. Perler Beads rule.”