My love affair with felt beads started with a necklace that my husband bought me for my birthday a few years ago. It is in varying tones of pink and orange interspersed with gorgeous glass lampwork beads and has been much worn and loved and commented on.
There is something so tactile and delicious about felt beads – I love the shapes and the texture and of course the colour! When I make my heart-felt necklaces I hand knot (with ribbon) the individual felt beads along with some gorgeous resin beads I have found in my travels.
Here are the basics of how to make your own felt beads……
What you’ll need:
- A little carded wool (called wool roving or wool top)
- A bowl of warm water with a little dish soap added
- A towel to protect the surface your working on
1. Start by pulling a little piece of fleece from your roving.
2. Wind the wool in a little ball shape like you would with yarn. Try to wind it tightly to avoid creating wrinkles in the finished bead. Your bead will shrink during the felting process so you have to start with a bead slightly bigger.
3. Dip your dry ball in the warm water and start rolling it gently between your palms like you would with a clay ball. As the bead starts to felt you can add a little more pressure. When your bead is firm and felted, and has reached the size you want rinse it well in cold water and let it dry.
4. To make oval shaped beads, just roll the bead flat between your palms instead of in a circular motion.