Make Your Own Gumball Beads
For this design you will need needle and strong thread, thimble (optional), jump rings, clasp and fabric scraps. For these fabric beads I like to save the bits that your overlocker cuts off.
Step 1: Gather your fabric scraps together and pop them in the washing machine. Sending through a cycle helps matt them together.
Step 2: Take the fabric out of the machine and pull out small balls of fabric. I usually make mine about the size of uncooked biscuit dough. Let dry thoroughly.
Step 3: Thread your needle. Hold your fabric ball firmly and start stitching through the ball to secure the fabric. Initially this seems to be never ending but it soon comes together in a firm bead shape. Once you have formed the shape you may like to add a few seed beads. Repeat for all of your balls.
Step 4: Once you have finished making your beads you are ready to create a necklace. Take 1 jump ring and sew it to the first bead. Add a second bead to the opposite side of the jump ring. I prefer to work in pairs of beads before going back and joining the pairs together.
Step 5: Add the clasp of your choice and there you have your very own gumball necklace. In these photos I have used a selection of mixed pastel fabrics. If you want to make your beads in a particular colour palette I suggest you separate your colours before placing in the washing machine.
This post was first published here on 22nd March, 2009.