Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tool Time Tuesday... Handmade Fabric Beads

Happy Tuesday! Happy Tool Time. What's the most common tool we all have? Nails...nails of every size and shape...tall ones, short ones, thin ones and fat ones. Well, go raid the tool box and bring those nails to your craft room, because we're going to make some jewelry.
All you need are nails, of course...

some of your favorite fabric...

this fabric has a little sparkle in it. The size of the print or design doesn't matter much, because you will be rolling it up so only some of the design will show.

You will also need some kind of glue. I always use Mod Podge. It works great, it dries fast and it also acts as a sealer. It comes in matte or glossy. The beads you will see here are matte finish.

Below are tutorials for 2 different types of beads.
The first bead is one that is the same size and thickness all the way around. The second bead is a tapered one.
For the first bead, I just ripped a strip of fabric about 3/4 inch to 1 inch wide by 7 inches long.
  • The width of the fabric is the width of the bead.
  • The length of the fabric is the thickness or how fat the bead is.

Start by placing the wrong side of the fabric under the nail and start rolling.

I pulled the tail of the fabric with my right hand, while I rolled with my left. It kept the fabric taught.

When you come to the end, add a dab of Mod Podge or glue.

Seal the end over. I also rubbed more Mod Podge over the whole bead to seal the fabric. It still feels soft and flexible when it dries.

I then used my high tech drying system...Styrofoam and a...


When it dries it slides right off, because you only used the glue on the outside not near the nail.

Here it is! Isn't it cute? These picture were taken the next morning so they are a little brighter. If you rip the fabric like I did, you can trim the little fly aways now or leave them for a textured look.

Here is the inside tube that the nail formed. If you have a certain necklace that you want to use, make sure the nail is thick enough to make the hole in the bead fit over the bail of your necklace.

I added a sterling chain...plain and simple.

or you can put it on a leather cording with some extra beads. I just used what I had at home. I think if I started a bead hobby (another hobby) I would have to commit myself.

The next bead is a tapered one. I'm using Christmas fabric in honor of Christmas in July.

This fabric you will have to cut into a long skinny triangle. You can free hand cut scraps or honey bun strips or jelly rolls. Remember the width of the strip is the width of the bead.

I cut mine one inch wide.

This next part I just made up as I went along, but it worked great for me.
I folded the strip in half length wise, keeping the fold on the left side.

I placed my quilt ruler so the right outside edge of the ruler was at the edge of the fabric at the bottom of the strip.

Now, slant the ruler to the left until you reach the length you need. See where my finger is at the top. My strip is 6 inches long. Can you see the triangle shape under the ruler?

Here's a close up. Now I used a rotary cutter and trimmed up the ruler at that slant.

Just open up the fold and now you have a even sided triangle.

Now take your nail and start wrapping the fabric over, but make sure you start from the widest end of the fabric towards the point.

Keep wrapping until you get to the pointy end, making sure to keep things centered as you roll along.

Glue the end as in the previous bead.

and seal the whole bead with Mod Podge.

Stick in your fancy drying system again.

I realized after I cut out that first triangle out of the scrap fabric, that I had left had 2 triangles staring me in the face.

So I cut them apart...

and made 2 smaller matching beads.

Here they are all dried and ready to be worn.

Now here they are the next day in better day light. I shouldn't craft and take pictures at 1 am any more! Made the previous pictures come out yellowy.

Just add your favorite chain and some beads.

So pretty and so simple...made from scraps actually.

Beadutiful...Ok you know I couldn't resist a play on words.

Thanks for always stopping by and don't forget this week's give away for Sharing on Sunday (Christmas in July).
Talk to you soon,


  1. I can't believe how clever you are

  2. The nail worked great - love it!!

  3. So cute!! They turned out great. You're go creative :)

  4. Your creativeness blows my mind... in a good way. A very simple and quite stylish idea

  5. You are soooo clever, that is such a unique idea...as all of your ideas are.

  6. Thank you for sharing it. It's a great idea.

  7. An excellent fashion statement. Now, we need matching earrings! Using the nail was ingenious.

  8. What fun, and a clever use of those leftover scraps.
    Be always in stitches.

  9. Hola Karen, llegué a tu blog por medio de MariaQuilter. La idea del collar está genial, gracias por compartirla con nosotros

  10. Another fine idea!!! You are awesome.

  11. I always enjoy your tool time posts; today was no exception! What a cute idea; and so easy! :)

  12. I'm telling you, you come up with some very clever and creative ideas! Thanks for sharing.

  13. How cool are those. You could make these to match any outfit. Love the idea!

  14. lovely, you never cease to amaze me.

  15. Those are really pretty. My nieces would love to make those...I feel a craft day coming on :)

  16. I just love your drying system! So clever. I remember making these beads, years ago, from pretty papers.

    Where does the time go?! Have a terrific Tuesday. ~Natalie

  17. You always surprise me!! I expect every tuesday just to find your last coooool idea!
    Greetings from Spain.

  18. Love your tool time today. Fun project and I certainly have enough scraps to make a few things.

  19. If I was a scientist(thank heavens I am not) I would really like to analyze your brain...it is definitely one of a kind...so brilliant!

  20. Hi Karen, What a cute idea. I have lots of fabric scraps that I can't part with because they are a favorite print. Well, this would put them to good use.

  21. Karen~ That is a very cute idea.
    So easy too. Thanks for sharing

  22. Oh this is jeneous! I have got some beads as well to play with and now I add fabric beads! Thanks Karen!

  23. I love your tutorial! I have also seen them made with fibers wrapped around the fabric for some 'fuzziness'.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    warm quilt hugs, sue in CA

  24. I am loving this idea, Karen.

    I always love your blog and all your creative ideas.

  25. I was just looking at fabric beads earlier today and telling myself I need to make some.

    Thanks for the tutorial :-)

  26. Thanks for sharing your idea, well just in time as I am looking for a new hobby to deal with my spare time this season, indeed it's lovely and too creative, luckily I still have an extra perfect fabrics for it, making some is a must!


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment...I just love hearing from you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Related Posts with Thumbnails