How to Make Batik Fabric Beads and a Necklace: DIY Jewelry Tutorial
Are you looking for a unique way to add to your jewelry wardrobe without spending a fortune or too much time? Try making these batik fabric beads and turning them into a stunning necklace.
While the beads can be made out of any fabric, they look particularly nice when made out of batiks. Using this type of fabric gives them an earthy, almost tribal or ethnic feel.
This is a simple and quick project that only needs a few supplies. You'll have a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry that shows off your sense of style without breaking the bank.
What About You?
Do You Enjoy Working With Batik Fabrics?
What You'll Need
To make the beads you will need the following supplies:
- Strips of batik fabric in the colors of your choice, each cut approximately 1" X 4". You'll need 1 strip of fabric for each bead and the amount you need depends on how many you will be making.
- Seed beads
- Fabric glue*
- Chopsticks or some other narrow round implement, like a pencil or knitting needle
- Needle - I used these . Because of the seed beads you want to make sure your needle is small enough for them to fit. quilting betweens needles size 10
- Strong thread
- Leather cord necklace (if you are making a necklace)
*Note about the glue: Make sure to follow the instructions on the glue you are using. I used a strong fabric glue and needed gloves to protect my skin.
Making the Beads
Step 1 - Start Forming the Bead
Working on a protected surface so it doesn't get glue on it, start forming the fabric bead around the chopstick.
Put a little bit of fabric glue on the tip of a toothpick and coat the one end of the fabric strip. You don't need a lot of glue.
Step 2 - Roll the Fabric
Pulling gently so there is no wrinkling, roll the fabric around the chopstick until it is completely done.
Step 3 - Finish the Fabric Bead
Once you've finished rolling, add a little more glue to the end so that the fabric doesn't unroll. Smooth down end gently to secure.
Step 4 - Let Bead Dry
Once done, set the bead aside to dry. Before you do, make sure to give the bead a gentle tug to make sure it's not stuck to the chopstick. Sometimes a little glue will ooze out.
Check the instructions for the glue you are using to see how long it will take to dry. You don't want to start adding beads until the glue is set.
Step 5 - Start Adding Seed Beads
Using your needle and strong thread of your choice, thread the needle and tie a knot at one end.
Bring the needle along the chopstick up through the center, or the hole, of the bead and bring it up where you want to place your first seed bead.
Note: Use a thimble to add the beads. It can be a little tough sewing through the fabric layers and even tougher when sewing through the portion that has glue on it.
Once you have brought the needle through, add a seed bead.
Bring your needle down through the fabric, immediately adjacent to the bead you just added.
Push the needle along the inside of the bead and come up at the next point that you want to add another bead. I space mine about 1/4" apart.
Step 6 - Continue Adding Seed Beads
Keep adding seed beads, working your way around all of the fabric.
Step 7 - Finish Adding Seed Beads
Your last bead should be added near the edge so that it will be easy to tie off.
- When your final bead is in place, secure it by bringing your needle through the fabric to the chopstick and then bringing it back up as closely as you can to the last bead you added.
- Take your needle and sew a tiny stitch under the bead, grabbing some fabric. Pull the needle and thread through until you have a loop. Form a knot using the loop and gently tug to secure. The knot will be hidden by the bead.
- Snip the thread off as closely as possible to the knot.
The Finished Bead
Video Demonstrating the Bead Making Process
I have created a video to show you the bead making process from start to finish which I hope you find helpful.
Making the Necklace
This necklace can be made in any size and with as many beads as you choose. The specifics for this necklace were:
- 29" long leather cord necklace
- 24 finished beads
Start adding beads to a cord necklace of your choice and in a pattern that is appeals to you.
Close the clasp and you are done.
You have a unique necklace that you'll be wearing for many years to come.
I love my new necklace and I have to admit that I'm a little bit addicted to making these beads. They are so easy to make and they are a portable project that I can do anywhere.
I hope you enjoy this project as much as I have and that you'll be showing off your new jewelry soon.
© 2018 Claudia Mitchell