What is Pixelhobby?
Pixelhobby is a new, fun and very addictive craft. The kits make a great gift idea for Birthday or Christmas presents or buy them for a hobby for yourself or the family to do together. Below is a quick overview of the items used to create your mini mosaic masterpieces. In each kit we provide all the Pixel Squares, Baseplates, Dovetail Clips to join your baseplates together, Design Sheets and Instructions needed to complete the design. When you purchase a kit you have the option of purchasing Pixelhobby Tweezers with your Kit. We recommend purchasing a set of tweezers for first time Pixelhobby users, as ordinary tweezers can damage the pixels. These very fine flat tip tweezers work well with your Pixelhobby projects.
Pixel Squares and Pixels
There are 312 different Pixel Colours. Pixels are a soft tiny plastic tile with a matte finish. On each Pixel Square, there are 140 pixels. On the back of the pixel square in the centre you can see a number which corresponds to the pixel colour. You can also see the pixels have a small hole in the bottom of them. Pixels are removed from the pixel square with tweezers and placed onto the Baseplates, which have moulded pegs which the pixels fit snuggly onto. The design sheets will tell you where to place each pixel.
Each Baseplate is 4 inches (10.16cm) x 5 inches (12.70cm) in size. So a 1 Baseplate design would be this size when finished. Each Baseplate holds 2000 pixels and is made of clear plastic.
Pixels fit snuggly onto the pegs on the Baseplates and there is no need to secure them with glue. There is an arrow on the back of each baseplate which you can see if you hold it up to a light. Use this arrow as a guide to make sure your baseplate is facing in the same direction as you move through the design sheets.
The best thing about this craft is there is no counting or hard to read symbols. It is so easy to do. The Design Sheets tell you were to place each coloured pixel.
A Design Sheet will have either 2 or 4 design rectangles on each page. Starting with the first rectangle you lay the clear baseplate on top of it and you can see the symbols right through. Each design rectangle only uses 4 symbols for 4 different colours, so the patterns are easy to read.
Each baseplate will have several design rectangles to complete. After the first four colours are all added, you just move the baseplate onto the next design rectangle to add the next 4 colours and you keep doing this until the baseplate is fully covered. It is important to keep the baseplate facing the same way as you move through the design rectangles. It generally takes between 4 - 7 hours to complete one baseplate. Be sure to take breaks though, it can be very addictive.
For larger designs, using more than one baseplate, it is best to start off with the first plate and move through the pattern as printed. Next to the design rectangle is the baseplate number you are working on and the symbols and corresponding pixel colour number to use.
However if you want to work the design as a family, one can do, for example, baseplate 1 whilst someone else does baseplate 2 etc. You can mark the baseplate number on the back of the baseplates to help avoid confusion if you need to.
After all of the baseplates of the design are completed, the full design is assembled and ready to be framed.
1. The first page you will come to is a parts list for the design. This contains the number of Baseplates, Pixel Squares and Colours used in the design and it lists how many Pixel Squares are needed for each colour. We use this list to put your kits together. It is useful to you as well if you want to do this design again as you know what supplies to order.
2. Start with page 1 of the design sheets. You will find the page number in the top right hand corner. This will be the start of Baseplate 1, if you have multiple Baseplates to avoid confusion it is recommended you follow the design sheets in page number order and finish one Baseplate before moving onto the next. You can mark the Baseplate number on the back of the Baseplate with a pen if you need to.
3. Each Design sheet will have either 2 or 4 design rectangles. If it has 2 design rectangles start at the top rectangle, if you have 4, start in the top left rectangle.
4. Take a Baseplate and lay it over the design rectangle. It is important that the Baseplate lines up to the edges of the rectangle so you can see the symbols correctly. You can hold the baseplate onto the design rectangle with one hand however it can move around whilst placing pixels so you will find it quicker and easier if you temporarily attach the Baseplate to the design rectangle. You can do this a number of ways. You can use a small amount of low adhesion transparent glue, or use some Blu-Tack or similar reusable putty-like pressure-sensitive adhesive or take a piece of sticky tape and fold the two ends together so the top and bottom are sticky. Then you can stick these just on areas which do not have any symbols.
5. Then locate the first Pixel colour and the symbol for it, the colours are in numerical order for each baseplate, with only 4 colours used on each design rectangle to make it easy to follow. Using your tweezers detach a pixel from the pixel square and position it onto the baseplate over the corresponding symbol. Press the pixel down with the index finger of the opposite hand. Repeat until all symbols are covered with their corresponding pixel colours, then move the baseplate onto the next design rectangle. Keep the baseplate facing the same way as you move through the design, do not rotate it. It is important to place the pixels straight and to give a smooth finish you can use the base of a spoon or the base of your Pixelhobby Tweezers on a horizontal angle to push the pixels down as you go or when you finish a Baseplate.
6. Keep repeating process until all Baseplates are full and now you are ready to assemble and frame your design.
The baseplates have dovetail connectors which connect each baseplate together. For some kit sizes, such as a 4 baseplate design which is 8 x 10 inches when completed, there are ready made frames at that size so if you do not want a mat in the frame you can just connect the baseplates and place inside the frame. You will find ready made frames in most stores for the kits in 4 Baseplates, 16 Baseplates and 30 Baseplates sizes. We also offer specially made 1 Baseplate Pixelhobby frames on our website.
For some pixelhobby sizes there will not be ready made frames available so you can order custom frames from a framing company to suit the sizes you need. For Australian customers we highly recommend www.frameshop.com.au for their fast and efficient service and quality Australian made frames. They have a great online tool where you can take your pixelhobby image and see how it looks with different frames before you buy. You can either buy the custom frames at the exact size of the finished design or buy larger frames and add custom size matting inside the frames.
If you would like to use a coloured mat as well inside your frame as a border for your picture, we have found the best way is to first purchase the frame and mat at the correct sizes, then with a pencil draw on the backboard just inside the mat so you know where your pixelhobby will go, then place a good amount of craft glue on the backboard inside the pencil marked framed area and place your baseplates that have been connected onto the glued area and press down firmly, lay the mat and frame over it to make sure it fits right before it dries. Once we confirm it fits properly we leave the Pixelhobby to dry on the backboard and place something with a little weight on the baseplates to make sure they stay flat and do not buckle while they dry. The once dry insert in the mat and frame. We suggest to not frame using glass as well as it is too bulky to fit in the frame, pixels can be dusted or wiped with a slightly damp cloth to clean.
We have framed many designs from small to large ourselves so if you have any queries or problems please do not hesitate to contact us for advice.
Assembly Hints and Tips
Each Pixel Square contains 140 pixels, a small loss of pixels can occur due to handling and transport. Extra pixels are accounted for in our kits to allow for this. In order to keep pixel loss to a minimum always work on a clean, flat surface (table, tray, etc.) and store pixels when you are not using them in a suitable container or sealed bag.
For the best results, use your tweezers to keep the pixels straight as you place them. By keeping the pixels straight, the edges on adjoining plates will appear more seamless.
Wash your hands before starting the design as lighter pixel colours can be soiled, you can clean them by wiping over with a slightly damp cloth.
Use Tweezers with a sturdy, narrow tip, such as the Pixelhobby tweezers, as they make it easier to place the pixels onto the baseplate.
If your index finger becomes sore from pushing the pixels down you can also use a soft thimble.
Pixelhobby is recommended for ages 8 years and older, due to the small parts involved. Please keep out of reach of Children under 3 years as the small parts may be a choking hazard.
Be sure to take regular breaks, this is an addictive craft, and your hands and wrists can become tired after working on a design for a large amount of time without a break.
For our completed gallery and free Pixelhobby patterns for our keyrings please go to our main home page HERE.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often are new kits added?
We try to add kits regularly. Alot of the kits will be converted from the same images as our cross stitch patterns from our other website Artecy Cross Stitch. If you see a pattern on the Artecy website you would like also to be a Pixelhobby kit or if you want a different size kit for a design we have, let us know and we will do our best to get it for you
Can I convert a current cross stitch design into a Pixelhobby design myself?
Some of the Pixelhobby colours are similar to DMC cottons but many are not, there are also only 312 pixelhobby colours available. So there is no conversion table from DMC to Pixelhobby available.
In our cross stitch software we have the ability to convert the cross stitch colours for our own Artecy cross stitch patterns into Pixelhobby colours and it never converts well. Also as Pixelhobby uses standard size baseplates of 4 x 5 inches and multiples of these, your patterns would have to fit to these dimensions.
We have to actually rechart each Pixelhobby design from scratch using pixelhobby colours. So our cross stitch designs are redesigned from scratch in Pixelhobby.
Do you offer just patterns instead of kits?
At this stage we only offer kits, we have no plans to offer the patterns by themselves as in the end this will cost customers more.
What do I do with the leftover pixels from kits?
You will have leftover pixels in the kits, you can use them with the keyrings or for your own designs and just order extra baseplates and pixels as needed. The pixel squares from Pixelhobby are sustainably produced from bio-plastics. The raw materials for these bioplastics come from bio-ethanol that has been converted from sugar cane and are 100% recyclable.
Do you sell these kits anywhere else?
We opened Pixelhobby Australia in November 2009. We do sell our designs in the US through Pixel Art USA and Herrschners.
How much roughly does it cost?
It costs $10 per baseplate with pixels and the design sheets before postage. So a 2 baseplate design is $20 a 3 baseplate design is $30 and so on.
How long does it take to complete?
If you work non stop you could complete 1 Baseplate in around 6 - 7 hours. Be sure to take regular breaks though. It can be very addictive.
Do you offer custom designs from my photos?
We would love to offer this service but we are just so limited with time at this stage so we cannot unfortunately. We may offer this service down the track if time permits. In the meantime you will find the Pixelhobby software is free and easy to use for your own creations.
Can I create designs for myself from any image on the internet?
What sizes do the kits come in?
The kits vary in sizes and some kits we have in multiple sizes. Please note the smaller the design the less detail it will have and some large detailed images will be impossible to shrink down to 1 or 2 Baseplate designs. 1 Baseplate is 4" x 5" so multiple baseplates are made up of increments of this size.