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How to Create Fabric and Paper Beads

Personalize jewelry even more with handmade beads designed by you! These fun fabric beads can be as unique as you want them to be, and are a great solution for scrap pieces of fabric or paper. Make your looks truly one-of-a-kind with components like these. We'll show you how to take your fashion forward in these simple steps.

Find a sample of fabric you would like to work with. You can use any fabric that does not have a tendency to fray (or treat fabric with sealant before cutting the edges), or you can use paper. We made our beads with a batik fabric.
Cut out your desired number of pieces. You can either make oval-shaped or tube-shaped beads. For the oval-shaped beads, cut your pieces into triangles about 6 ¼ inches long that are 16mm wide at the widest part. For the tube-shaped beads, cut your pieces into rectangles as wide as you want the finished bead to be. (The length of fabric determines width of the bead.)
Use a toothpick and wrap the fabric around the toothpick. When making the oval beads, start with the widest end of the material.
Wrap the fabric/paper around the toothpick a few times, keeping it nice and tight. Keep the edges neatly aligned while rolling. If making an oval bead, keep the material centered as you wrap.
Place a few drops of adhesive down the strip of material. It will spread out as you continue to wrap, so use it sparingly.
Continue wrapping the material. Use your judgment to add more adhesive when needed. Stop wrapping when you have about ½ inch left. Spread a thin layer of adhesive on the end, making sure to go all the way to the edge of the material.
Finish wrapping the material. Hold the end in place for a moment while the adhesive dries to ensure it won't unravel.
Carefully pull the bead off the toothpick. Check the hole and make sure none of the material is folded inside. If this happens, use the toothpick to poke into the hole and push the material back so the bead will be easier to string later. Let dry completely.
If you plan on embellishing the beads any further (i.e. coloring the beads), do so before applying the sealant. You can experiment with things like markers, paint pens, white-out, stamping kits and Gilders Paste to personalize them.
Once the glue is dry and final aesthetic decorations are completed, place the bead on a toothpick and use a paint brush to apply a thin layer of sealant all the way around the bead. Be careful not to get it into the hole.
Rest the toothpicks vertically by placing them in Styrofoam or another similar surface, and allow the beads to dry completely.


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