Gel-A-Peel Sparkle Bead Station Review

Since discovering Gel-a-Peel last year, we’ve been having lots of fun with it, so when we were sent the Gel-a-Peel Sparkle Bead Station I knew it would be popular.

The first thing I’ll say about the Gel-a-Peel bead station is that despite the big box, it’s all quite small and compact, which is I think is great for storage and putting things away!

Gel a peel Sparkle Bead Station

The second thing is that like with many new tools it takes practice to get it right, or at least anywhere near what the beads on the box look like. But that’s part of the fun.

In the box you’ll receive the bead station, the beading rods, the gel, string and the fittings for jewellery and three sparkle gel colour tubes – enough to make around 100 beads.

Set up is very simple: my 7 year old had it set up by the time I finished reading the instructions. Simply place the beading rods into the bead station, and one at a time, use them to make your beads, then move them to the opened tray to dry.Gel a peel Sparkle Bead Station

There’s one rod that’s larger than the rest – you can use this one for creating pencil grips or larger beads.Gel a peel Sparkle Bead Station

The Gel-a-Peel gel is kind of like working with icing when doing a cake – it takes a little practice and the main thing is to make sure that it has plenty of other gel to attach to. Make it nice and thick and make sure it’s touching other gel on parts of the same bead so that it will stick together once dried. It’s important to leave the beads to dry long enough otherwise they just fall apart. I’d say leave them overnight.

Another tip is to not put the gel too close to the edge as you need to have a bit of room to click the rods out and that can be a bit tough.
Gel a peel Sparkle Bead Station

Left to dry over night, the beads can be carefully loosened and then sort of ‘rolled’ off the rods and used in jewellery and other decorative occasions where you’d use beads.

Another bonus of the Gel-a-Peel Sparkle Bead Station is that you can use other gels from other kits, as well as other accessories from other kits, so there’s lots of creative freedom.

The Gel-a-Peel Sparkle Bead Station is available on Amazon and other leading toy stores.

Lalaloopsy Jewellery Maker Toy Review

Ameli loves Lalaloopsy, so when I was asked if we’d like to be Lalaloopsy ambassadors for the year, I thought with her birthday coming up it would be a great way of spoiling her a little, without having to cost me much! Just after her birthday we received our first Lalaloopsy toy for review: the Lalaloopsy Jewellery Maker (or Jewelery Maker if you’re in the US!)Lalaloopsy Jewellery MakerThe Lalaloopsy Jewellery Maker is part of the Tinies series, meaning it comes with three small Lalaloopsy characters and one golden ‘limited edition’ one.  The Jewellery Maker is also a 2-in-1 toy, as it is a Jewellery Maker, but also a Ferris Wheel toy.

As a toy it has little tea cups with lids that the Tinies can sit in as they go on the ride, which can lead to lovely imaginative play as the children describe the ‘view’ over the ‘landscape’ from the ferris wheel. It’s also a good safety talk introduction as we discovered when one of the Tinies plunged to an untimely death when the lid hadn’t been closed, and received a spin from a ‘helpful’ little sister. (You’ll be pleased to know she was resurrected by a kiss and a cuddle).

As a Jewellery Maker, there are pros and cons to this product. I think if used in conjunction with regular manual threading of beads, it’s just a bit of fun. I wouldn’t let it be the only means of threading beads for my girls though as there’s a lot of developmental value in terms of both dexterity and hand eye coordination that happens when children try to string beads.

That said though, the jewellery maker is fun as it allows children to thread the provided plastic ‘string’ and feed beads into the receptacle, which then shakes and vibrates the beads onto the ‘needle’ feeding it onto the string. In this way kids can create a pattern and make their own jewellery.

There are enough beads for about two full necklaces, and about the same in string, but you can add any beads that have at least a 2mm hole, and you can use any safe string too, so it can be a gift that keeps on producing.

I would have liked a closing container for the beads so that they don’t end up filling up every nook and cranny of my house, but I imagine most crafty people will have something they can use.

Battery life on the Lalaloopsy Jewellery Maker seems to be pretty decent, since it only powers a little spindle, really, and it long outlives the beads. It’s unfortunate that the ferris wheel itself doesn’t actually turn when the button is pushed, but I guess when you’re threading jewellery is no time to be distracted by fun on the fairground.


I was sent this toy for free as part of the Lalaloopsy Ambassador Programme. Views and opinions are my own (or that of one or both of my daughters!)