Rolled Fabric Bead Making
Learn how you can make fabric beads that mimic rolled paper beads and recycle your waste drips from drying strung paper beads that you glaze! I will also explain how you can make them if you don't want to wait until you have paper beads to glaze and want to get right to making fabric beads. This is a great project for recycling old cotton shirts, skirts, dresses and any other cotton fabric scraps you may have lying around. If you are a quilter, you can use fat quarters that you may have already in your fabric stash. I use fat quarters myself since they are fairly cheap.
These instructions are about how to prepare your fabric for making rolled fabric beads. Once your fabric is prepared and dried, you can cut the fabric into strips, roll and glaze them just like you would any paper bead!
- Materials Needed
- White glue & water (mixed 50/50), PC-Petrifier, Vibrance or any other thin glaze you like to use to glaze your paper beads.
- Scraps of cotton fabric cut into 9x11 pieces
- Freezer paper
- Corrugated Cardboard 12x12 inches.
- Duct Tape
- Double Stick Tape
- Spray Adhesive
- Plain White Glue, not diluted
- Tools Needed To Prepare Fabric
- Tools for cutting your fabric
- Latex gloves if you don't want glaze on your hands.
- Plastic container to keep your glaze in that has a large enough opening to dip your fingers or strung beads into .
- Make your drying mat first.
- Cut your freezer paper so it is about 4 inches bigger going both ways, than your piece of cardboard.
- Spray your piece of cardboard, on one side, with spray adhesive.
- Lay the cardboard down onto the rough side or non slippery side of the freezer paper making sure it is centered on the paper.
- Cut the corners of the freezer paper off so you end up with a stop sign shape around your cardboard piece.
- Dry fold the sides to the back side of the cardboard to give the sides fold memory.
- Apply double stick tape to the freezer paper flaps, one at a time and fold them over the cardboard sides. Do this to all 4 sides.
- Cut duck tape to almost the whole width of each side of the cardboard and place it on the back side over the flaps of the freezer paper sealing in the edges of the paper. This will form a non skid surface on the back side of your drying mat.
Drying Mat Note: If you plan to stiffen many pieces of fabric, you will want to make several drying mats or you can purchase flexible cutting boards instead. I bought a pack of 3 at Wal-Mart for less than $4.00. You will want one drying mat for each piece of fabric you want to stiffen at one time.
- Prepare Your Fabric
- Cut your fabric into managable size pieces. I cut mine to about 8x11 inch pieces. They don't have to be exact. Just make sure they are just small enough to fit on your drying mat.
- Lay the fabric, pretty side up, onto your drying mat.
- Dip your fingers into the glaze, or pour a little in a tiny stream all over the fabric.
- Spread the glaze all over the fabric making sure to saturate every strand of thread in the fabric.
- Smooth it so it will dry flat.
- Allow it to dry overnight before cutting into strips to be made into beads.
Note About Cutting the Fabric Into Strips: You can use our Universal Marking Templates to mark the top and bottom edge of your fabric for cutting them into strips. I recommend printing them onto full sheet sticker paper for ease of use. No need for glue.