Wednesday 29 October 2014

Don't be tempted by cheap imitation Hama beads

I have a confession to make. The first "Hama beads" that I ever purchased weren't real Hama beads. They were these ones:

Problems with cheap Hama beads

To be fair, in my naivety I didn't realise the difference. They were shelved with the Hama bead packs in the toy shop, they looked identical to me, and most importantly, they were temptingly cheap. When we got home I soon realised my mistake. The beads were slippery, the pegboard pegs too short and the beads were easy to knock over. It was frustrating for me, and even more so for Harry. When ironed, the finished design went all brittle and easily snapped.

Fortunately I didn't let the experience put me off, and we rectified the mistake with a big box of genuine Hama beads and some authentic pegboards, and we never looked back.

Until a couple of weeks ago that is, when I was in my local craft shop stocking up on real Hama beads and I was pointed towards some new stock - very cheap kits of beads.

Don't buy cheap Hama beads

It was only £2.20 for the pack so I picked one up for Mia. It had a transparent board with a coloured template to go underneath that I thought might be good for her to have a go at. Unfortunately it was a disappointment. The template didn't  match the board, both in colours used and in the positioning of the beads. The beads were slippery and far too fiddly for Mia, (who has been coping fine with real Hama beads for months) and worst of all there weren't enough beads to even complete the design properly.

I will make one exception when it comes to imitation Hama beads. I've bought a few packets of the Picture Beads brand from Hobbycraft, and they work very well. Although at £2 a pack they are actually more expensive than the genuine standard coloured beads in my local shop, they do work out cheaper for the more specialised types of beads, for example the glittery and glow in the dark beads.

So let this post be a warning to avoid cheap Hama beads, and if you've been put of Hama beads with a bad experience of cheap imitations, please give the real ones a go, as they are so much better!

If you are looking for a way to use up some cheaper Hama beads that you've collected, I've blogged about some crafts that use melted Hama beads.


  1. Not sure I've ever used 'real' Hama beads, but IKEA's version have proved pretty good, and great value:

    1. I've never tried the Ikea beads but it sounds like they might be worth a look, thanks for sharing!

  2. I want to get into this are they pricey!? I'd rather not waste my money after reading this post so will avoid cheap cheap brands x

    1. They can be pricey, especially if you buy the sets. I find the cheapest way to do it is to buy the beads and the boards separately. The big boxes of beads last a while and are often reduced on Amazon. You can buy a big box of 10,000 for around £10 and sometimes cheaper if you find a good offer. I buy my peg boards from our local craft shop where they cost about £1.50 for a larger board, and a bag of 1000 beads all the same colour costs around £2. Boards are £2 in Hobbycraft and a bag of 1000 Hobbycraft beads is around £2.

    2. Thanks Jen I think I'll get some in for Christmas :)

    3. Glad to help and hope that you have fun with them!


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