Saturday, 19 February 2011

Fabric covered beads


finished fabric beads

Fabric covered beads are really pretty but they are expensive and previously I always thought if I made my own I needed to use a wooden bead as a base, which in itself is pretty dear if you plan on making more than a few.  Recently I came across these polystyrene balls of various sizes which they stock in John Lewis and online and thought that I could cover the polystyrene balls with fabric using a sort of decoupage method - I tried it and it works!

So all you need is PVA glue
Polystyrene balls
Small amount of thin fabric (cotton/satin is fine)
A brush
A knitting needle

Cut small squares of your chosen cloth.

Coat a ball in PVA and put a square of cloth on your ball and smooth it down using a paintbrush or your fingers.  Repeat till the ball is completely covered in fabric.  Paint over the fabric in PVA as an extra layer which will seal the ball once it dries.  The method is a bit similar to how you do papier mache or decoupage.

You can hairdry the balls for a couple of minutes once you've made them, This gets rid of the stickiness so you can leave them on a tray somewhere to dry properly.

Your balls need a hole so they can be used as beads ( they do not come with holes in them).  Wait 'til your bead is dry and then use a sharp knitting needle to poke a hole in the bead.  (You may find that the knitting needle struggles a bit to come out of the bead and you may need to cut a small hole in the fabric as you see the knitting needle point starting to protrude slightly from the bead to create a hole to allow the needle to poke through smoothly.

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