Kristal’s Top 5 Tips for Making Fabulous Fiber Beads
Calling all fiber-holics! Dig out your yarn and ribbon stash (or here’s a great excuse to buy more) and let’s make some beads! Personally, I’m a jewelry gal. I like to make it, wear it, gift it, sell it…you catch my drift. Since I’m in love with yarn and those cute little ribbons popping up all over the place, I had to figure out a way to transform them into jewelry.
AT RIGHT: Flower ribbon earrings by Kristal Wick
So, here’s my latest course on that very topic. You’ll have a great time with this quick and easy technique. Here’s a perfect opportunity to use up those precious yarn scraps that aren’t enough to knit or crochet an entire piece but you simply can’t toss!
Long ago, I started “collecting” yarn even though I didn’t knit (sound familiar?) and hung the skeins up in my studio for color inspiration. I was a glass artist at the time and craved working with a softer material and left drool marks in every yarn shop I visited. But it would take 10 years to actually learn how to knit with my yarn collection! Now I try to use fibers in every unusual way I can. So many of our Interweave jewelry instructors and contributors knit or crochet as well as create jewelry such as Jill Wiseman, Kinga Nichols, Tammy Jones, Anne Potter, Cynthia Thornton, Julianna C. Avelar, and Tammy Honaman. So, I guess I’m in good company with these beady peeps! Join us, won’t you? Dig out your squishiest skein and read on for my Top 5 tips on making your own fabulous fiber and ribbon beads!
1. Raid your yarn stash for your fave remnants
Use those small lengths of fiber you’ve been saving! They’re not long enough to use for a full-length project, but you still can’t part with them. I know the feeling. This is the perfect technique!
2. Black or clear straws rock!
You can find many colored straws in the market, but my faves are black or clear. Sometimes the straw may peek out or the straw edge may show. The black or clear straws give a nicely polished look if this is the case. Of course, brightly colored straws that match your fabric or fiber are fun to play with as well.
3. Smooth operator
Be sure to use smooth fabric-type ribbons like satin. Grosgrain does not work with this technique. Also skip the wired edge type ribbons; they can be difficult to roll.
4. Wrap your ribbon
When wrapping your ribbon around the straw, you can get a rather sizable lump if you wrap the ribbon around too many times. In order to avoid this, you can measure the straw circumference and cut a piece of ribbon just long enough to wrap around the straw without overlapping it.
5. Give it a cap!
Turning these beads into gorgeous jewelry is easy; you just need two end caps or components that are larger than the bead hole. I like to use round or bicone shapes. Swarovski crystals and pearls are the perfect size, and of course I use any excuse to get more crystals.
Top 5 Video sneak peek!
Get your creativity moving with Kristal with these great finds in the store!