Make your own FABRIC BEADS

Step-by-step instructions on using techniques like rolling, folding, twisting, or manipulating fabric to create unique beads, that can be used in various crafting projects, such as jewelry-making, and other DIY projects.

If you are into DIY with fabric (anything, like sewing, embroidering, felting, knitting, crafting) I bet that you will want to make these cute fabric beads. I never like limits and I have found that with fabric beads there are no limits – there are unlimited possibilities in making these beads. I will list the most basic methods of making fabric beads and you can choose the best one for you and run riot making these with different colored fabric, fibers, threads etc.

The best thing about fabric beads for me is that I can make matching jewelry with the same fabric as my dress. You will have your own uses, once you make them.

fabric beads

Different ways to make fabric beads

Simple tube fabric beads

diy fabric bead

These are tube shaped beads that are made using fabric pieces cut in special shapes and then glued and shaped around thin rodes to provide the holes.

Cut out fabric pieces in a triangular shape – this is the conventional shape.  You can cut it 2 inches long and 1 inch wide or any size you want. If you want a thicker bead, increase the length. If you want a wider bead, increase the width of the fabric piece.

Cut out triangle shaped fabric pieces

Wrap it around a straw or a stick. I drank 2 coffees for these paper straws. You need not. Just use ordinary plastic straws you have around the house. Just remember that the thickness of the straw hole will be the hole of your bead.

Spread glue on the fabric pieces and curve on paper straws

Use glue liberally before wrapping the fabric around the straw. When the glue is dry cut it out. You can leave the straw inside id it is straw inside because it will give nice structure to your bead.

The fabric pieces are attached on top of the straw

If you are using a wooden stick you will have to wrap plastic film over it other wise the fabric will stick to your stick. I used plastic film and then used tape to stick it around.

stitch plastic film on chopsticks - to make plastic stick for beads with fabric

Wrap the fabric over this.

wrap the triangle fabric piece on the chopstick for fabric beads DIY

After it is almost dry, slide the bead out of the stick. I am using a chopstick which has a slanting size so I cannot make many beads at once but if you are using a same sized stick you can make more than one bead at a time – batch produce beads. 

Cut the fabric piece in different shapes to get different textures. I cut the fabric piece this way – 

A very long piece of triangle fabric piece for bead making with fabric

And got a fabric bead in this shape and texture. 

Curve the fabric piece over the straw/plastic wrapped chopsticks - make your own fabric beads

Try different shapes to see what you get. Try fabric with texture, beautiful prints, different types of weaves – each time you will get unique fabric beads.

Fabric tube knotted beads

This makes a continuous strip of beads.

fabric tube made of net filled with beads and then knotted in between

Cut out a strip of fabric of width 1 1/2 inches or so – this depends on the width of your bead. Decide the fabric tube on the size of your bead- double it and add seam allowance.

You also need some big beads. If you do not have big beads, use cotton balls or aluminium foil balls or fabric scraps wound into a ball shape. 

Make a fabric tube by sewing the long edges of the strip together. Turn it rightside out. Beads are inserted into this tube one by one. 

Make a net tube for inserting the beads

Tulle/net fabric looks very nice, especially with crystal beads inside but you can use any thin fabric for this. Insert each bead and make a knot. Continue doing this.

Felt beads

felt beads

Felt beads are quite easy to make. Get the fibers, wet them and clump them and shape into small beads. You can find the detailed tutorial to make felt beads here.

Fiber beads from fabric scraps

fiber fabric bead making tutorials

I got the idea to make this from this blog. To make this fiber bead, you will need to have some wire or eye pins used in jewelry making and some fabric scrap pieces and needle and thread.

felt fiber or make fiber to form a bead

Use the same color thread as fibers. It is nice to have some small seed beads to decorate the outside of the beads.

You can cut out a fraying somewhat loosely woven fabric and take out the thread (cut out selevedge to easily get the thread out)

loosen frayed fibers to make the fabric fiber beads

Take out the fiber from your fabric scraps.

Twist the wire on either side into loops. Keep the fiber around your wire and sew it there in place.

Sew the seed beads on the outside.

Related post : Jewelry making supplies.

Wrapped beads

wrap cotton with fabric scraps to make the beads

Beautiful beads can be made by wrapping cotton balls with colorful fabric pieces. You can also use styrofoam balls. 

se the fabric bead closed

Cut out circle shapes from the fabric and keep the cotton in the middle. Turn the fabric edge to the inside and make running stitches along the edge. Tighten the stitch – this will enclose the cotton inside and form the bead, without the raw edges of fabric poking outside.

the fabric wrapped over cotton to make easy fabric beads

You can simply gather the fabric if you are using a cap.

Another fabric bead made with wrapped fabric

Fabric Covered wooden beads

wooden bead covered with fabric

Another method is to cover already available large wooden beads with your fabric. You can cut out fabric piece which will cover the whole bead with some extra on all two sides for overlap.

wooden bead and fabric piece

On the edges near the holes you will need enough to turn them inside the hole. Make small snips on those edges.

clip the edges of the fabric that you are using to make the fabric bead

Apply glue and wrap the bead inside the fabric. Using a sharp plastic stitch turn the clipped edges inside the hole on either side.

use glue to stick the fabric on the bead

Keep on some plastic surface for the glue to dry.

Thread/fabric strip wrapped bead

In yet another method, you can cut out fabric strips or yarn and wrap it over cotton balls. I have scrunched aluminium foil into a ball and wrapped with yarn. Use interesting textured yarn for variety.

Foil and yarn for fabric bead making tutorial

If you have to insert needle through your bead you will have to use cotton balls for this.

wrap the yarn over the bead

How to make earring with your fabric bead

fabric bead, earring findings

Join two eyepins to make the center hanging wire to thread your beads. Cut out extra wire leaving enough for making a loop. Curve the top edge of the eye pin into a loop. Attach the hanging finding on this loop. 

Join 2 eye pins to hang the beads
make fabric bead earring by hanging earring finidings on eyepins

Related posts : Different types of beads ; How to make beaded buttons; How to make fabric buttons. ; Make your own bracelets with beads

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Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.
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