As you may have noticed, Juliette has been having great fun taking part in a variety of Gel-a-Peel challenges over the past few months, using the different products in the range for festive crafting, customising a diary and most recently making a mother's day card.
The squishy gel, that squeezes out of the pens like glitter glue, sets hard and can be used on pretty much anything, from glass and plastic to paper, wood and fabric. It can be made into 3d raised forms as embellishments or squeezed into intricate designs on plastic sheets, tracing over a pattern, to be peeled off once set to create funky jewellery.
Gel-a-Peel have a brand new product arriving on the shelves for the spring/summer 2017 season and they sent one over to The Madhouse for us to have a play with, making us one of the first people in the UK to review it ! It is a Sparkle Bead Station which allows you to design and create your own beads and beaded jewellery, as well as rings and pencil grips. The contents in the box are enough to make over 100 beads and you can easily add extra cord and Gel-a-Peel pens to make even more.
Inside the box, you get the Sparkle Bead Station with drying rack, 26 design templates, six 3D beading design rods (5 bead rods and 1 pencil rod), a ring tool, four designer tips (round and rake), plastic cording in two colours (for threading the beads onto for necklaces), 2 jump rings, 2 earring hooks and three tubes of gel in pink, blue and turquoise. There is also a cleaning tool - do not do what we did the first time we used Gel-a-Peel without reading the instructions and try to wash out the nozzles because it just makes a horrible rubbery greasy mess ! Wait for the gel to dry then use the tool to prise it out - simple ! The only thing lacking, we felt, was a storage box or compartment to avoid losing all the little accessories.
The instruction sheet gives you lots of inspiration to help you get started but then you can let your creativity take over and come up with your own designs. It's simple to squeeze the gel on to the rods while turning them (although it might take a few tries before you get the knack) and the gel gives them great texture. You do need to wait for the first layer of gel to dry before adding a different colour and it's best to leave the finished beads overnight before peeling them off the rods, so your children do need to be patient - it's actually a good life skill to learn in these days of instant gratification !
The finished designs look very funky and the earrings in particular remind me very much of the brightly coloured earrings that Juliette often buys in Claire's. Tweens and even teens would be happy to wear and show off their finished items - older girls could adapt them to be bag charms or key rings.
Gel-a-Peel comes in a wide range of colours, including neon, pastel and glow-in-the-dark, so the creative options are unlimited. It is recommended for children aged 8+, but younger children can join in if you are willing to supervise and help out (and I bet you'll join in too !) - it does required decent fine motor skills and a lot of patience though.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £24.99
for more information : http://www.gel-a-peel.com
Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.