Ever since we discovered Gel-a-Peel last year, the girls have been huge fans. We have tried the majority of sets within the range, made jewellery, cards and decorated anything and everything the girls could get their hands on, and we’ve been really impressed with them all so far.
So when we were asked to review the new Sparkle Bead Station, I was confident that we would like it, and going by the girls reaction when I told them about it, they were super excited to try out the latest product in the range.
The Sparke Bead Station comes ready assembled, a huge bonus for me!
The idea is to turn the handle with one hand, whilst applying the gel with the other, to create various patterned sparkle beads in two different sizes. Whilst Eva demanded the first go, she found it quite difficult to turn the rod and squeeze the gel at the same time and so Megan stepped up to turn it for her.
This didn’t quite go to plan as Megan was turning the wheel far slower than Eva would have liked, and then the opposite, far faster than she could keep up with!
As you can imagine, this didn’t end well and so, for the sake of my sanity, I stepped up as Chief Wheel Turner!!
Once we had got the hang of it, it was easy to get a steady flow of the gel to create the beads, although due to the beads needing to meet up at both ends, it was necessary to use a thicker layer of gel than we have done previously. I’m sure it would have been far easier for Eva to concentrate had Megan not been sat at the side of her demanding her turn, over and over and over!!!
I was worried whether Megan would be able to manage it, especially with the sets being aimed at 8 years +, but she was so excited to give it a try!
It was so lovely to see Eva demand that she turn the wheel for Megan, giving her words of encouragement, and plenty of advice, and actually Megan did a really good job with it. As long as a child is old enough to squeeze the gel with the right amount of pressure, and keep their hand steady, I would say this is suitable for younger children too.
Once the girls had made several beads each, we left the beads to dry on the drying rack. With previous sets the gel has dried within 30 minutes at the most but, due to using a thicker layer of gel, these beads took a couple of hours to dry completely – not helped by the fact that our heating was on full whack, what is this weather all about?!
Having promised the girls that they could finish their jewellery the following day, they were very impatient to check out their creations. I was pleased to see that all of our beads had dried and although using a thicker layer may have taken longer for them to dry, it was definitely worth the wait.
Eva was over the moon with her necklace, and I was so impressed that, at just five years old, she had managed to make it entirely by herself. We now have many more beads on the drying rack this evening, and tomorrow they plan to make a bracelet each, a ring and some earrings for lucky old me!!
The Sparkle Bead Station has a RRP of £24.99 which, considering the amount of beads you can create, works out at under 25 pence a bead. That’s pretty cheap for designer jewellery!!