Experts warn DIY bead bracelets on TikTok pose a fire risk

girl on tiktok making bead bracelet
Experts warn not to attempt this at home (Picture: @.swaggybratzdoll/@gianna_fernandez146)

TikTok has taught us many life lessons over the past year. 

We’ve learnt how to cook incredible pasta dishes, fitness hacks and numerous hair and beauty tricks. 

But one of the latest DIY videos doing the rounds is how to make a bracelet out of colourful plastic beads. 

A number of users have posted videos showing how they use straighteners to heat craft beads together, to form a 90s-inspired accessory.

Demonstrated by @gianna_fernandez146 in a short clip, the bracelets can be created by putting the beads next to each other in between the plates of a straightener. Then, when the heated appliance is pushed together, they are flattened and stick together by default. 

She then adds: ‘Last carefully shape them (warning they are very hot).’

However, this DIY method isn’t without its safety risks.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson told ‘Hair straighteners get extremely hot, so it’s really important that you use them carefully and only for the reasons they are intended for, or you risk starting a fire.

‘If you use hair straighteners for any other purpose, you could also damage it. If the wires are loose, or if there are any other signs that they could be damaged, don’t use them.’

Another video from @.swaggybratzdoll shows what can happen when this goes wrong, as the melted beads cause her straighteners to fuse together. 

Richard Fewings, managing director of crafts retailer Cosy Owl, explains how this is dangerous in many ways.

He adds: ‘The trouble with creating these rings straight on hair straighteners would be that a) the beads could easily get too hot with possible fire risk and b) the molten plastic could damage the irons.

‘I should also mention the burn risk associated with directly placing the beads onto the straighteners and then picking them off with bare hands without any protective gloves.’

Richard does, however, suggest a different way the look can be achieved – one that most of us will be familiar with from childhood.

He adds: ‘An alternative and safer method to creating the DIY rings would be similar to the children’s toy Hama Beads.

‘Instead of using hair straighteners, you would use an iron to melt the beads with ironing paper.

‘If you don’t have a protective sheet to use – greaseproof paper would be a good alternative. Remember to switch the iron off once you are done and take great care.’

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