I bet you all know Hama Beads - the little plastic beads that you iron to melt them together into one solid piece - but do you know Aqua Beads? The idea is very similar but there's no need to get the iron out (or be wary of little fingers coming into contact with it) because, as the name suggests, they magically stick together with water.
This particular set is extra-special because it is Hello Kitty-themed. Not only does it have a series of Hello Kitty designs to make, it also has a very snazzy pink Hello Kitty box to keep all the little beads safe. Very cool, according to Juliette !
She jumped straight in, deciding to make one of the Hello Kitty designs featuring the cute feline character.
You just slot the chosen cardboard sheet into the little plastic board and you're ready to go. The board is full of little holes, like a peg board, so you can place the little round beads into position on top of the design.
The kit comes with a little dropper tool but we found it just as easy to use your fingers to drop and roll the beads into place.
Once the beads are all in place, you use the little enclosed spray bottle to squirt water all over the design then leave it to do its magic. Unfortunately, when Juliette went to pull it off the board, it all fell apart. She was quite disappointed so I helped her put it all back together again (we managed to salvage the beads and reuse them and some parts of the design even stayed complete) and this time, we used lots more water, totally soaking it, and left it for longer (overnight). She was gutted when the same thing happened next morning. We found this very strange because we've never had a problem with Aquabeads doing this in the past.
Juliette was pretty fed up and didn't want to have another go straight awayso we put it away and jetted off on holiday. I decided to recruit Pierre for another attempt today.
We carefully put our beads into place, although I have to admit, I'm not entirely sure what this is supposed to represent. A doughnut, I think ?
Pierre sprayed the water and we crossed our fingers and put it to one side for about an hour.
This time, there was no problem whatsoever and the design came off the board easily in one piece.
I don't know why the first design didn't work - maybe the hole in the middle helped the second design stay together (although I would have thought the opposite would be true) or maybe the white beads expand less or myabe the weather was too hot - I honestly don't know - but we'll definitely be having another go because, when it works, it's great fun. The kit contains over 600 beads so we'll be able to make many more designs, and I've no doubt we'll be buying refills in the not too distant future too.
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £14.99
Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.
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