If you are into DIY with fabric (anything, like sewing, embroidering, felting, knitting, crafting) I bet that you will want to make these cute fabric beads. I never like limits and I have found that with fabric beads there are no limits – there are unlimited possibilities in making these beads. I will list the most basic methods of making fabric beads and you can choose the best one for you and run riot making these with different colored fabric, fibers, threads etc.
The best thing about fabric beads for me is that I can make matching jewelry with the same fabric as my dress. You will have your own uses, once you make them.
Different ways to make fabric beads
Simple tube fabric beads
These are tube shaped beads that are made using fabric pieces cut in special shapes and then glued and shaped around thin rodes to provide the holes.
Cut out fabric pieces in a triangular shape – this is the conventional shape. You can cut it 2 inches long and 1 inch wide or any size you want. If you want a thicker bead, increase the length. If you want a wider bead, increase the width of the fabric piece.
Wrap it around a straw or a stick. I drank 2 coffees for these paper straws. You need not. Just use ordinary plastic straws you have around the house. Just remember that the thickness of the straw hole will be the hole of your bead.
Use glue liberally before wrapping the fabric around the straw. When the glue is dry cut it out. You can leave the straw inside id it is straw inside because it will give nice structure to your bead.
If you are using a wooden stick you will have to wrap plastic film over it other wise the fabric will stick to your stick. I used plastic film and then used tape to stick it around.
Wrap the fabric over this.
After it is almost dry, slide the bead out of the stick. I am using a chopstick which has a slanting size so I cannot make many beads at once but if you are using a same sized stick you can make more than one bead at a time – batch produce beads.
Cut the fabric piece in different shapes to get different textures. I cut the fabric piece this way –
And got a fabric bead in this shape and texture.
Try different shapes to see what you get. Try fabric with texture, beautiful prints, different types of weaves – each time you will get unique fabric beads.
Fabric tube knotted beads
This makes a continuous strip of beads.
Cut out a strip of fabric of width 1 1/2 inches or so – this depends on the width of your bead. Decide the fabric tube on the size of your bead- double it and add seam allowance.
You also need some big beads. If you do not have big beads, use cotton balls or aluminium foil balls or fabric scraps wound into a ball shape.
Make a fabric tube by sewing the long edges of the strip together. Turn it rightside out. Beads are inserted into this tube one by one.
Tulle/net fabric looks very nice, especially with crystal beads inside but you can use any thin fabric for this. Insert each bead and make a knot. Continue doing this.
Felt beads are quite easy to make. Get the fibers, wet them and clump them and shape into small beads. You can find the detailed tutorial to make felt beads here.
Fiber beads from fabric scraps
I got the idea to make this from this blog. To make this fiber bead, you will need to have some wire or eye pins used in jewelry making and some fabric scrap pieces and needle and thread.
Use the same color thread as fibers. It is nice to have some small seed beads to decorate the outside of the beads.
You can cut out a fraying somewhat loosely woven fabric and take out the thread (cut out selevedge to easily get the thread out)
Take out the fiber from your fabric scraps.
Twist the wire on either side into loops. Keep the fiber around your wire and sew it there in place.
Sew the seed beads on the outside.
Related post : Jewelry making supplies.
Beautiful beads can be made by wrapping cotton balls with colorful fabric pieces. You can also use styrofoam balls.
Cut out circle shapes from the fabric and keep the cotton in the middle. Turn the fabric edge to the inside and make running stitches along the edge. Tighten the stitch – this will enclose the cotton inside and form the bead, without the raw edges of fabric poking outside.
You can simply gather the fabric if you are using a cap.
Fabric Covered wooden beads
Another method is to cover already available large wooden beads with your fabric. You can cut out fabric piece which will cover the whole bead with some extra on all two sides for overlap.
On the edges near the holes you will need enough to turn them inside the hole. Make small snips on those edges.
Apply glue and wrap the bead inside the fabric. Using a sharp plastic stitch turn the clipped edges inside the hole on either side.
Keep on some plastic surface for the glue to dry.
Thread/fabric strip wrapped bead
In yet another method, you can cut out fabric strips or yarn and wrap it over cotton balls. I have scrunched aluminium foil into a ball and wrapped with yarn. Use interesting textured yarn for variety.
If you have to insert needle through your bead you will have to use cotton balls for this.
How to make earring with your fabric bead
Join two eyepins to make the center hanging wire to thread your beads. Cut out extra wire leaving enough for making a loop. Curve the top edge of the eye pin into a loop. Attach the hanging finding on this loop.