Top 5 Tips for Making Your Own Fabulous Fabric Beads with Kristal Wick
It’s always exciting to be in the studio filming new courses for my beady (and quilty, and fiber) peeps! I had a great time creating three new eCourses for Interweave: Fabulous Fabric Beads, Fabulous Zendoodle Fabric Beads, and Fabulous Fiber Beads. It was entertaining, educational, and really fun! There was make up, dancing and beads, lots of beads! These eCourses are based on the success of my book, Fabulous Fabric Beads, DVDs, and Downloads: Mixed Media: Beaded Bracelets with Fiber Beads, Crystals, Resin and Wire and Mixed Media Jewelry Making with Handmade Beads Crystals Resin and More!
1. 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.
2. Use fabrics with small motifs and prints.
It’s tricky when fabric shopping as you’ll select many favorites. They can be quite disappointing once you roll them up and only a slight bit of the fabric actually shows up once your straw is made. So stick with tiny patterns or themes and your beads will come out FABULOUS!
3. Always iron your fabric.
It’s easy to be tempted to skip this and get to the fun part (or is it just me?)! You will regret it later when the fabric bunches up or has a permanent crease you get to troubleshoot because it doesn’t lay flat or straight. Smooth is better! I have a dedicated iron to use for any art projects and leave my “good” iron for my crisp white shirts. Sometimes this stuff can get a bit messy and you don’t want glue or paint to get onto your good clothes when ironing.
4. Fabric selection.
Choose smooth, thin fabric types such as cottons. Check out your local quilt shop for “jelly roll” collections. These are precut strips with various complementary colors and themes. These collections make great beads since the fabrics are already selected for you. We’ve made it even easier for you with our Fabulous Fabric Beads Fabric Kit.
Jump right in and get going creating your very own custom fabulous fabric beads!
5. Can a rotary cutter be the Holy Grail for fabric beads?
You bet! You can use regular scissors for all my fabulous fabric beads techniques but once you use a rotary cutter, you may hear a choir of angels sing as it makes the process so much quicker and more precise. Trust me on this one!
Why Fabric Beads?
The main reason I first started creating fabric beads was to create a bead that was lightweight, easy to make and had delish texture and colors! Not to mention they’re very inexpensive with endless themes, color palettes and possibilities anyone can make. You don’t need experience or fancy tools. They can be your focal bead or you can mix them with other beads (my fave is to combine them with beaded beads). We even have the whole enchilada – the Fabulous Fabric Beads Starter Kit that includes everything you need to jump right in! Check out my bio for the whole beady story and come along on this fabulous journey with me!
Find more tips from Kristal in her courses available in the Interweave Store: