These beads are easy and fun to make with wool roving, which you can get online or wherever knitting supplies are sold. Hand-dyed wool with variegated colors is especially nice, which I can usually find at quilt shows. Chunky and textural and lightweight—it’s wearable fiber art!
- Wool roving (if you’re allergic, try acrylic or hemp roving)
- Needlefelting needles (a 5-needle punch and a single needle)
- Piece of thick dense upholstery foam
- Wood skewer
- Sharp fabric shears
- Accent beads
- Needle and embroidery floss
- Spread out some roving so the fibers are laying fairly evenly in a thin 8″ square sheet.
- Lay a couple sheets of wool on top of each other.
- Roll the wool around a skewer as snugly as possible.
- Carefully slide out the skewer and roll the wool cylinder around in your hands to smooth the fibers together more.
- Place the cylinder on the foam and use the punch needle to lock the fibers together, rolling the cylinder as you punch to prevent punching it too flat.
- Work from one end to the other until the cylinder of wool is densely matted. Use the single needle as needed to smooth out any lumps.
- Snip the cylinder into even discs (beads), about 1/2″ wide.
- Thread the beads on to embroidery floss with accent beads in between – shorter for a bracelet, longer for a necklace.
- Tie each end of the floss to a metal jewelry clasp.