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paper and fabric beads

little beads Rolled paper and fabric beads are fun to make. They can be used for making necklaces and bracelets, or for decorating other textiles as border patterns, decoration for edges, decoration on frames or parts of fringes and tassels.

The basic shape is a long, narrow triangle, but you should try different widths and lengths of triangles to produce a variety of beads.

Use coloured and painted papers, paper cut from magazines, and different kinds of fabrics. You will find that paper can be cut more accurately than fabrics, but you could iron Bondaweb onto your fabric and draw your shape on that. Take care using the iron, and cover your fabric with baking parchment. You might like to let some fabrics fray at the edges for a textured look.

rolled paper beads

Cut the long triangle from paper or fabric. Starting from the widest end, roll your bead round a knitting needle or tube. You can get a big split pin from the hardware shop and this will hold the wide end of the bead very securely.

rolled paper bead

You will need to run some glue along the centre of the bead for the last two centimetres. Hold the end firmly in place until you are sure it has stuck.

rolled paper bead

Museums often have some lovely examples of glass or faïence beads from ancient Egypt which could give you ideas for designs for your paper and fabric beads. If you use fine elastic as your thread you will not need a separate fastening.

jet necklace

Egyptian beads

drawing of beads drawings from the
Kelvingrove Museum
Glasgow, Scotland

necklace of faience beads


by Chris Berry
First published in the Young Textile Group Project Book; © The Embroiderers' Guild 1996 - 2011

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