Friday, October 10, 2014

Wire Wrapped Fabric Beads - DIY Jewelry Tutorial

DIY Beads

bead tutorial

These beautiful wired wrapped fabric and ribbon beads are so fun and simple to make and look like expensive art or glass beads!  They are just made from scraps of fabric, ribbon, yarn  and wire with seed bead assortments I got from Auntie's Beads:

seed bead mixes
Miyuki seed beads mixes in assorted sizes from Auntie's Beads

scrap fabric
Scrap fabric, ribbon and yarn

1) Assorted scrap fabric, ribbon and yarn; look for cool textures with shimmer!
2) Assorted wire in all colors ( I like Artistic wire from Auntie's Beads) from 20 gauge to 28 gauge.
3) Seed Beads, I like Miyuki seed beads mixes in mixed sizes from Auntie's beads.
4) Tacky glue


1) Wire cutter
2) Bamboo skewers

Step one:
bead tutorial

Start wrapping your ribbon or fabric strips around a bamboo skewer.  Here I used sheer 2" wide ribbon that has wire in it and is about 9" long. The wired ribbon is very easy to work with because you can mold it to shape.  For fabric,  I use 1" by 6 to 9" strips; it just depends on how thick the fabric is and how big of a bead you want. You can either add more or cut any excess off if necessary. You can use a combination of fabric and ribbon, lace and even wrap yarn!  If you are not using the wired ribbon,  pin your fabric to hold it together:

ribbon beads

fabric bead tutorial

Step Two: When you get the shape you want, take a yard of wire and tie or twist it around the center of the bead. Then add a few seed beads as you wrap the wire around:

how to  make fabric beads

 Keep adding beads and wrapping until there is about 4" of wire left then loop it though a seed bead  near the edge a few times to hold and then I like to coil the rest of the wire around the skewer at the end:

handmade beads
Loop the end of the wire though a bead a few times to hold.

Then repeat, adding beads to the other half of the wire. Sometimes I need to add more wire and beads. You can squish the bead and shape it to make it tighter as you are wrapping. When I am finished I like to remove it carefully from the skewer, sliding onto a head pin or eye pin with a small bead cap,  adding a dab of tacky glue to the ends so it wont unravel.  I have also cut the skewer and left it inside the bead and wrapped the excess sturdy 20 gauge wire around and formed loops to hang. (see purple bead below) You can also start with a paper coffee stirrer straw instead of a skewer and glue your fabric onto that but I didn't want to raid Starbucks just yet!

handmade bead
 I used 20 ga wire and wrapped ends and made loops

art beads

fabric bead dangle earrings
Find my fabric bead jewelry in my Etsy Shop

Be sure to check out my Etsy shop frequently for more fabric bead jewelry or fiber art and even necklaces will be coming soon!

Do you like this tutorial, is this something you could make? Comments welcomed :)


  1. Wow. Thanks for sharing. This bead is gorgeous and looks like it would be very expensive and time consuming to make, but it's not. So glad I stumbled upon this. I'm definitely going to give it a try. Blessings to you!

  2. Giggles, Thanks for stopping by, these beads are fun and addicting to make, enjoy!

  3. Thank you so much for this. I was "making" ahem, fabric beads for the last two days. They dried into ugly sticky messes. Then I found this tutorial. I just finished up some adorable beads. It's always fun when it works out and is a pleasurable experience. Wheee!

    1. Janet, you're welcome, so glad it helped! :)

  4. This is so beautiful. I just started making earrings and this is so gonna be something that I try. Thank you for sharing your amazing idea.

    1. Thanks so much Kevi, these are addicting to make! Have fun :)

  5. Hello, My name is Lori H. I have a small homegrown business in Portland Or called The Artful Beader. My niche is making paper and fabric beads. I have fashioned wire wrapped beads similar to yours. I want to say I love what you are doing, keep it up, you speak to my heart.

    1. Thanks Lori, I just found you on G+, love your beadwork! Thanks for stopping by :)

  6. this is great!!!!! I use yarn, fabric, wire and whatever else I find inexpensive to make jewelry from (as i only use my pocket money for it..!) but these ones are something I would never make if I hadn't seen your post with such a great result!!!! thank you for sharing!!!!!!

    1. You're welcome, thanks for stopping by :)