Making Beads From Fabric

The technique of making beads from fabric involves taking scraps of material, fibers, threads, etc. and washing the bundle in the washing machine or by hand and then putting everything in the dryer where the material/fibers would get tangled. This is a fun way to use beads aside from the usual bead bracelets and necklaces.

After washing and drying, take a small amount of the tangled material, roll into a small, tight ball, pin in place to hold everything together, and then stitch the material until a tight bead was formed. Once this is complete, the bead can be embellished with seed beads.

First what you do is cut a few scraps of fabric into very, very thin strips. The goal is to have lots of threads hanging off the fabric. The trick is to have the material in very thin strips (as close to 1/4″ as you can.)

Rather than pinning the fabric/fiber into a bead shape, you can use a temporary adhesive spray (used by quilters to hold paper pattern pieces to fabric) which will do a wonderful job of holding the fabric pieces together while the ball is formed.

Once the bead is tightly sewn together, it might seem near impossible to get the wire through the bead, but don’t worry. Working your way around the bead, use colored thread to stitch the strips of material tightly together. This way if the stitches show, you could claim it is part of the design.

After the bead is stitched tightly, you can have fun embellishing the bead. It’s fun to use metallic threads of various colors which can be wrapped around and stitched through the bead. You can finish up by sewing little beads all around the bead. I have to admit, it can a labor-intensive project and take a few hours to complete, but the results are worth it!

Is there something more you would like to learn about beads or bead bracelets? Come to Novobeads.com and check out great, American made products that are fully compatible with all major bead bracelet brands!. This article, Making Beads From Fabric is released under a creative commons attribution license.

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