A Bead, Indeed!

Fiber Art Beads

Want to add dimension and lots of visual interest to your projects? Fiber art beads will do the trick. There are many ways to create these little gems, but here is the way that I make them.

You will need the following supplies:

plastic drinking straws
fabric glue
fabric scraps
assorted yarns or fibers
craft wire, 22 or 24 gauge

Begin by cutting your straws into 1 1/2″ widths (or whatever size you desire). Cut fabric scraps on the bias about a quarter inch wider than your straws and about 4 inches long. Dab a little fabric glue on the straw and begin wrapping the fabric around it. Reapply more glue as you wrap the fabric.

Wrapped Bead

Wrapping fabric around plastic straw

Check to make sure the fabric is completely secured with fabric glue. This add stability and a little stiffness to the beads.

Wrapped Straw

Wrapped Straw Piece

Cut some stands of various yarns or fibers. Place a small dab of fabric glue at one end and secure the end of the first yarn. Wrap the yarn around the bead in a spiral motion. Secure the end with fabric glue. Repeat this step for additional yarns.


Secondary yarns

Wrapped Yarns

String craft wire through the center of the straw and wrap it around the exterior of the bead, leaving about a one inch tail. Twist the tail around the center wire to secure.

Twisted wire

Wrapped Craft Wire

Measure out about 10 inches of wire from the end of the bead and cut.

Cut wire

String various size beads onto the wire and begin wrapping them around the bead in a spiral motion. I like to string a few beads at a time, wrap, and then repeat the process until I come to the opposite end of the bead.

Stringing beads

Stringing Beads

Once the beading is complete, push the wire end under the original wrapped wire and twist it back on itself to secure. I like to push the end of the wire into the bead so that there are no sharp edges on the surface of the bead.

End wire

Securing End of Wire

You may like to experiment with Angelina “fabric” rather than cloth. Also, try wrapping ribbon rather than fabric. Metal beads and other embellishments can be used in place of glass beads. Craft wire comes in many colors, so don’t limit yourself to silver and gold.

Note: I want to thank you again for your many comments, emails, and prayers for my family during this difficult time. My mother’s condition remains the same; we just take it one day at a time.



Time Treasured


  1. quiltpixie said,

    October 29, 2007 at 8:17 am

    thanks for the photos — I’ve never tried fabric beads, but your tutorial makes them see easy and fun 🙂

  2. Sandy said,

    October 29, 2007 at 8:31 am

    Welcome back. The bead is wonderful, and the directions great as usual. Sorry about your Mom. Sandy

  3. October 29, 2007 at 10:33 am

    Thanks so much for taking the time to do the tutorial – wonderful ideas!

    I hope things get better and better. The hardest time is when you can see no progress. You and your Mom are in my thoughts.

    All the best,

  4. Ann said,

    October 29, 2007 at 10:37 am

    So lovely to hear from you again. I hope that things are not too bad with you. Lovely beads.

  5. Meg said,

    October 29, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    Glad to see you are back working on things that bring you pleasure. I hope things are stable with your Mom. My thoughts have been with you, I spent 5 weeks at the hospital with my day June/July and today after 4 months he is going home after rehab.


  6. Jeanne said,

    October 29, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    Great to see you posting again! Thanks for another super tutorial.

  7. Barb McG. said,

    October 29, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    So good to hear from You! I have missed your insights and wonderful ideas! Thanks for all you do and God Bless you!

  8. Waltraud said,

    October 29, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    So good to see you here again. I wish you and and your mother the best!

  9. Barbara (Holland - EU) said,

    November 1, 2007 at 4:28 am

    Great to see you posting again! Thanks for another inspiring tutorial.
    Best wishes for your mother’s recovery.

  10. Eliza said,

    November 2, 2007 at 4:16 am

    Welcome back, I’ve missed your bloggs and look forward to many more. Dark days do pass into light, just seems like it takes forever.
    I’ve made beads from old magazines and nail varnish, I’m going to try your method, the effects that could be achieved seem endless and exciting.
    take care

  11. Doreen Kinkade said,

    November 2, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful tutorial. My thoughts are with
    you and your Mom.

  12. November 7, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    I’m a fan of paper beads, but haven’t yet tried making beads from scraps of fabric, for some reason. I really like the use of yarn/fibre to wrap, and the slight sparkle of the wire. It’s a great tutorial, too — thanks for taking the time to do the photos and write it all out. I’m going to bookmark this one!

  13. Bina said,

    November 10, 2007 at 11:06 am

    glad to see you back on-line. Best wishes to you and your mother.

  14. Hikmatun said,

    November 12, 2007 at 10:07 am

    Very nice infos!! So nice to learn, keep up da gud work and all the best 🙂

  15. Jen said,

    November 13, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    Those are awesome! They look like they work quite well as flies for fishing too. Very creative.

  16. Nathalie L. said,

    November 27, 2007 at 2:14 am

    I am happy, to read you again. Thank you for your work.

  17. November 29, 2007 at 12:17 pm

    Thank you so much for the tutorial. I’ve seen these done but your photos and instructions make it so much easier to do! I will give these a try.

  18. Toni Brown said,

    January 31, 2008 at 8:46 am

    Howdy — I’m new to your blog, and yesterday I was tagged … I decided to tag NEW (to me) people and maybe open up some connections that way. Details are on my blog: http://undertones-artgypsy.blogspot.com
    You’ve got so many fabulous things to check out on your blog — I’ll be back back and back again!

  19. Fitzy said,

    February 18, 2008 at 8:40 am

    Hope to see you blogging again soon, am missing your blog!

  20. Lisa said,

    March 15, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    I like the look of this technique cos it doesn’t involve a heat gun like the other beads of made. Thanks for sharing. I love all your crafty ideas and that is why on my blog I’ve given you the You Make my Day Award

  21. lisa said,

    March 25, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Thank you for this. I’m going to try it soon!

  22. Joan said,

    December 3, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Just found your blog, its wonderful –I hope your able to continue. I do know what your going through-my MIL had a serious stroke and we were in the same place you are now. This is so hard, but it will pass and life will go on. Thanks for sharing your ideas –Joan

  23. fancypicnic said,

    January 8, 2009 at 4:03 am

    Thanks for this – the beads are great!

  24. vivian said,

    February 21, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    A friend sent me a link to your site. Your work is imaginative … great colour and designs.
    I’m sorry to hear that your family is going through difficult times. Last year, I lost my dad to a major stroke and then my mom through a series of strokes. I still miss them daily. At 92, one knows that the time will come for them. They were wonderful parents and left me much wisdom and love. Although difficult, those days are precious. My best wishes to you and your family.

  25. laurie sharp said,

    May 22, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Thank you for the tutorial! Looks like fun!

  26. eleonor said,

    May 30, 2009 at 9:53 am

    just found your blog and i am overwhelmed by it. so beautiful works and your tutorials – they are great. Thank you for teaching all that to us.
    i hope you are fine but dare not ask about your mother. i hope you will continue with your blog one day!
    i send you my best wishes and blessings

  27. Pussyfoots said,

    March 19, 2010 at 6:00 am

    A great project. I can’t wait to try it. I’m always looking for new ideas. Thanx for taking the time to post. Diane/Pussyfoots

  28. Anesha said,

    June 27, 2011 at 3:14 am

    Sorry to hear about your Mother, it must be very hard for you. Thank you for your review of the Bernina 44QE . Your work is amazing and hope you visit often. 🙂

  29. Anna said,

    July 15, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I really like the beaded work you have done with this. I will try this as well. Thank you for the insite!


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