Artwork, Maker Mojo

Maker Mojo: Mixed Media Fabric Beads

I teach a jewelry class and we are always looking for innovative (and inexpensive!) ways to create showstopping beads, necklaces, earrings and other wearables.
A favorite project of the students enrolled in the course is always making lampwork beads, so when I was brainstorming a way for them to create other beads, I knew I wanted a finished product that was as visually appealing as the lampwork bead with significantly less skill involved.


Enter: mixed media fabric beads.

These beads are perfect for a necklace, to embellish a mixed media artwork, or create a hanging assemblage. The options are truly unlimited with these. I obviously chose some really eye-catching neon colors, but I also imagine these coming together and making some really stunning earth-toned wearable pieces.

Supplies:

  • Metal Mandrel or Kabob Skewer
  • Tulle
  • Yarn
  • Thin Wire (I used 32 Gauge silver)
  • Various seed and bugle beads
  • Scissors and pliers

Step 1 – Cut your supplies! Cut a length of tulle (fabric will work, too!) of about 1.5″x15″. Cut a piece of yarn and a piece of wire approximately 12″ in length.

Step 2 – Wrap the fabric around the mandrel in a tight figure 8 pattern.


Step 3 – Tightly wrap the yarn around the tulle in a random, yet even fashion.

Step 4 – Stab the wire into the bead.

Step 5 – Tightly wrap the wire around the bead while simultaneously threading beads on the wire.

Step 6 – When you’ve exhausted your length of wire, twist it tightly around a bead so it’s secure.

You can put several beads on one mandrel and they’re incredibly quick to make! Get creative with these. I’m already working on a set of these which I plan to assemble into a hanging mobile with other strips of fabric and seed beads.

Other materials that would work well for these beads:
Lace
Textural Yarns
Scrap fabric
Burlap
Jute
Embroidery Floss
…the list goes on. The weirder, the better!

If you use this tutorial to create your own beads, share your success with me on Instagram by using the hashtag: #mixedmediafabricbeads

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you have ideas for future projects, things you want to know, or any questions, hit me up on Instagram @averykasperart.

Advertisements

1 thought on “Maker Mojo: Mixed Media Fabric Beads”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s