fabric beads and how to create them easily - ideal activity for young children to seniors

Fabric Beads - how to make them

Tags: art fabric, beads, embellishment, fabric scraps

The other day I was playing around with embellishments and remembered way back when I made fabric beads. It was a long time ago but I remembered it being a whole lot of fun so decided to make some more and share the process. They are so easy to make and it will be another fun activity I can do with my granddaughters.

Instructions for Creating Fabric Beads

What you will need:

  • scraps of fabric
  • straws
  • PVA or fabric glue
  • an old rotary cutter blade in your rotary cutter (scissors can also be used but may flatten the bead somewhat)
  • plastic sheeting to work - it gets a little messy!

I cut strips of fabric. The longer the strip the fatter the bead will end up. The wider the strip the longer the bead will end up. I cut out a couple to show you the difference. You can see one strip is short and wide (approximately 1 1/2" wide by 4" long) - this will make a longer bead - and the other is long and narrow (approximately 1" wide by 10" long) - this will make a thicker bead.

strips of fabric cut for fabric beads

cut strips and taper them

You can also see that I have tapered the ends. Leave the first half inch straight and then start tapering it off to a point or almost a point.

Lay the strips out on something to protect your board. I used a piece of cooking paper or parchment paper and then coat it with glue. It can be a little messy. I used a fabric glue and a popsicle stick to spread it. You can also use double sided tape if you have it on hand. I didn't today so went with the glue.

strips of fabric with glue applied to the wrong side

apply glue

Next I took a regular straw and placed it at the wide end of the strip. Press it into the glue and pull the glue right back to the start of the strip.

straw positioned at wide end of fabric

position a straw at wide end

Then roll the straw over half a turn. Make sure the start of the strip is glued to the straw.

check fabric has adhered to straw

check fabric has adhered to straw before rolling it up

Now roll it up. Use your finger to keep the roll tight as you turn the straw.

roll up the fabric around the straw

roll it up

Make sure the tail is glued well in place.

fabric bead rolled around the straw

fabric rolled in place

Using an OLD rotary cutter blade, cut the straw off close to the fabric. Yes the straw stays inside to give some support to the bead.

rotary cut the bead to size using an old blade

rotary cut using an old blade

Now that was easy right? 

straw trimmed off

straw trimmed off

Here are my two beads. The long skinny strip formed the bead on the left. The short wider strip formed the bead on the right.

>my two fabric beads

my two fabric beads

I made a few more too.

>fabric beads

more fabric beads

It was fun even though a little messy making these fabric beads but the fairy frost fabric made them real cute (hard to see in the photo but they have a definite sparkle. I wonder what fabric I should try next.

I could make a whole jar full of these ready for my next embellished project but for now, I might simply organized some fabric strips ready for the weekend when my granddaughters are here so they can make their own beaded necklace.

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