Saturday, May 01, 2010

Making Fabric Beads : Demo by Lois W.

Detail of an embellished fabric bead in Lois' Persephone wall hanging (mixed media).

The full Persephone by Lois W.

From a bag of fabric scraps like this, you can make fabric beads. Some of these scraps are already backed with fusible. If not, Lois recommends the THICK version of Heat 'n Bond.

In this picture, it's a little hard to tell that Lois is rolling a triangle of fabric onto a wooden dowel or knitting needle over a hot iron. The iron is hot-side up (so be careful not to burn yourself) so it can engage the fusible.

That's how you end up with tubes like these, which can be cut down to the desired size and embellished.

This is some wire that Lois scavenged from a dead electrical appliance (a bread maker?). She is using the copper wire to embellish her fabric beads in the following pictures :

You can string other beads onto the wire and wrap them onto the fabric bead. You could also wrap with yarns.

You can also work with Kunin Felt and a heat gun to make fabric beads.

Wrap the painted, embellished felt around a wooden dowel (metal knitting needles can get too hot). YOu may need to pin it so it stays in place while you are zapping it :

A zapped Kunin Felt Bead.

This is an example of how the Kunin felt distresses and gets "moth-eaten" with the application of heat.

Some examples of composed fabric made with felt, organza, beads, metallic and acrylic paints and other bits of leftovers and scraps. Lois said these were entirely held together by just zapping it with the heat gun :

Although these look like beautiful pieces in-and-of-themselves, they could all be cut up and used to make fabric beads as described above.

This one may be on a base of painted Tyvek.

For more information, check out the following books (Don't forget to try your local public library.) :

Fabric Art Workshop
by Susan Stein

Raising the Surface with Machine Embroidery by Maggie Gray

If you make any fabric beads using these (or other) techniques, please bring them to a future mtg of CinC. Thanks for the demo, Lois.


Karen said...

Lois, I can hardly wait to see the real thing. You did a great job on the beads. Karen

Anonymous said...

Hi Michele
Your photos and commentary are great. Thank you so much for passing along the beautiful and creative items from the last meeting.