Saturday, 3 September 2011

Fabric Beads

While I was away Paul also coated these fabric beads with diamond glaze so they were ready for me to thread today. I've had this pendant a while now but felt it needed more than the leather string it came on. I like making fabric beads as there are so many types and textures you can produce. These were the 'rolled paper beads you made at school ' type which are dead easy since I thought of rolling them round the very thin straws you get on the side of drink cartons. Putting the bead caps on them gives a nice finish and adding the chain allows you to change the finished length of the piece.

Fabric beads
Thin straws
Bead caps
Pretty fabric(cotton works well)
Decoupage glue
Diamond glaze(or other dimensional adhesive)
jump rings
Pair of clasp fittings
Thin beading wire/string

  • Cut a strip of fabric the width of a finished bead and longer than is likely to be necessary
  • Roll it tightly around the straw until the bead is the required width for the bead caps cut the strip
  • Unroll the strip and use it as a cutting guide for the remaining beads
  • Make each bead by rolling a strip of fabric around a straw and glueing the end in place with decoupage glue.
  • Cover the bead with decoupage glue and leave to dry
  • Trim any excess fabric from ends by sliding the bead along the straw. Do not remove straw
  • Leave bead at end of straw
  • Make the beads harder and shinier by giving them one or two coats of dimensional adhesive letting each coat dry thoroughly 

  • Glue bead caps in place on top of beads

  • Slide straw out of bead and glue second bead cap in place (or cut straw with craft knife if you have plenty or it does not move easily)
  • Wedge beads upright with newly glued bead caps uppermost until glue dries

  • Push a needle through each bead to clear any glue from the bead caps
  • Lay out the beads on a bead board (a piece of card folded in an M shape makes a good substitute)
  • Decide on the finished length of the necklace

  • Measure the length of beads you laid out and take this length away from the finished length
  • Halve this amount and cut two pieces of chain this length
  • Tie on a piece of beading wire to one end of a chain and thread the beads
  • Tie the other chain onto the wire close to the last bead but leaving enough wire so the necklace is flexible
  • Thread the ends of wire back through two or three beads and trim
  • Use jump rings to fix fastenings onto the end of the chain


  1. Very nice & Informative blog about bead fabric trim.

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