If you are creative, you can conjure up beautiful things from scraps. A felt bead is one such cute thing that you can make out of wool yarn scraps.
You can make these cute little fiber beads from wool fibers – be it wool yarn or even a wool fabric scrap piece. Or unspun wool that you can buy from shops in packets for felting purposes. These felt beads are very cute and are very useful in decorating a lot of your projects or even as stringing beads for jewelry.
How to make felted beads
Take your wool fibers – if you have a mix of wool yarn of different colors, use them for eclectic beads. If you have enough beads of the same color use them like that. It is your preference – what color scheme you have in mind, what color wool you have etc.
The amount of wool you take depends on the size of the bead you want to make – it should be bigger than the bead because the bead is made by hardening the wool fibers. If you are making more than one bead, and you want them all of the same size you can weigh each amount you use for the beads and take the same amount.
You also need dishwashing liquid and 2 pans. And you should do all this near a sink – if you mind the watery mess you may make.
Fill one pan with ice cubes and some cold water and the other with hot water. Put some dishwashing liquid in the pan with hot water and make suds by moving a spoon quickly in the water.
Immerse your wool fibers in the hot water pan with the soap and then take it out and roll it in your palm as you would do a ball of dough. Then immediately put it in the pan with the ice and water. Again squash the wool in between your palms and roll. Now put it into the hot water again.
This alternating treatment with hot and cold along with the friction against your hands will change your loose wool fibers into a permanent bead shape.
If you feel that your fibers have clumped put in the hot soap water and it will soften and then you can un-clump it by agitating the fibers with your fingers and roll again. The matting resulting from your rolling action is what makes these beads. If at some point you feel that your hands are not doing the job, use felting needles to straighten the fibers to make the bead surface smooth. But usually the rolling is enough.
If there are cracks in your bead, you will have to bring the fibers apart and do the whole thing again or else the cracks will be more obvious once they are dry.
Do these immersions again and again along with rolling between your palms till you feel the hardening is complete and your bead is formed.
Rinse your bead thoroughly and Keep the bead to dry outside. For speedy drying keep the beads inside of socks and dry them in your washing machine/dryer.
Decorate your beads with small seed beads, rhinestones etc. You can even make small hand embroidery stitches on your bead.
Your bead is ready to be used on your projects.
The advantage of this bead is that you can sew it on. Use a sharp enough needle and stitch it to the surface of your fabric to embellish. For stringing these beads use a long sharp needle and take it through the center.