How to Make Fabric Covered Beaded Necklaces – Studio5 Time!

by Kim on November 30, 2009

Good Monday morning! Are you ready to start a fun project this week? Here’s one I think you’re going to love because it takes minimal materials and time, yet has fantastic results!

I had the opportunity to show how to make these on NBC/KSL’s Studio5 program today! Check out the video below!  We
also including the  step-by-step photos on how these trendy (and oh-so-cute!) necklaces and bracelets were put together!


Materials Needed:

  • 1/8 yard fabric
  • wood beads or marbles
  • large safety pin & a straight pin
  • sewing machine
  • wire-trimmed ribbon (optional flower)
  • toggle (optional)

Step 1: Measure around your bead and add 1/2 inch. This will be the width of your fabric strip. Since my bead measured 2 inches around, I cut a fabric strip 2 1/2″ x the length of the fabric (45″).

Step 2:  Right sides together, sew a 1/4 inch seam along the long side of fabric. Do not sew the short ends at this time. You are doing this in order to form a tube.

Step 3: Attach a large safety pin to end of tube in order to turn the tube right-side-out.

Step 4:  Find the middle of your tube by folding it in half. Place a pin there.

Step 5:  Insert a bead or marble into the tube. Push it through the tube until it stops at the straight pin.

Step 6:  Tie a knot right next to the bead. Remove pin and tie a knot on the other side of the bead. This becomes your center bead and an equal number of beads will be placed on each side of that middle bead. Continue to tie a knot inbetween each bead.

Step 7:  To finish the ends, simply tuck the raw edges inside of the tube and topstitch. I used a different colored thread just for clarity in the photos, but I’d suggest using the same color thread as your fabric. 

Now, you can leave this as is…or…you can embellish it even more with a flower (or two!)  Fabric flowers are so popular now. And while there are so many different ways to make them, I’m going to show you an extremely EASY way to do one from ribbon! And did I mention it is super cute?!? ;)

Here’s what you want to look for: wire-trimmed ribbon! You know the kind — you’ll find it all over the Christmas aisles of any store, as well as in the ribbon department. 

All you need to do is pull the wire from one of the ends. See what happens? It starts to GATHER your ribbon! Of course, this is exactly what happens when you have a basting or gathering stitch along one side of fabric. But by using wire-trimmed ribbon, you save yourself a step! (I always love that!)

Keep tugging and watch that ribbon ruffle!  Then take a needle and thread and sew the layers together (a little dab of hot glue works, too!)

Here are some more photos of what we did with ribbon flowers! We used the same gathering technique on fabric, tulle, mesh, and more. Plus, take a look at some variations that 2 of our team members, Sherrie and Rachel, created with this simple necklace technique!

Have fun!


1 sandi 12.01.09 at 4:46 pm

It said on Studio 5 that was a free download of the making the beads, etc. I can’t seem to find it.

2 admin 12.01.09 at 4:49 pm

Hi Sandi!
This blog post has the step-by-step instructions for making the necklace. So there is nothing you need to download for this project. Let me know if there’s anything else I can help answer. I’m glad you found us!

Kim :)

3 Shannon 12.01.09 at 7:35 pm

great idea! and how simple! thanks!

4 Brenda 12.02.09 at 8:54 am

How is the double strand made? (turquoise & black )

5 Kim 12.02.09 at 8:59 am

Hi Brenda! That double strand is made with 3 different tubes. (2 are the beaded part and 1 is the portion that wraps around the neck). They are joined together with a sewing machine and then a flower is placed over that joined part to cover those stitches. Black ribbon was wrapped around the other joining part as a decorative look, as well as another way to cover the stitches. I hope that helps! :)

6 Britney 12.02.09 at 9:14 am

Wonderful tutorial! Thanks so much. I do have a question…what’s the best way to attach the flowers?


7 admin 12.02.09 at 9:20 am

Hi Britney – great question! I’ve done it one of three ways.
1) Needle and thread
2) Hot glue
3) my favorite: with an alligator clip. I glue an alligator clip to the back of the flower. That way I can just clip it onto the necklace I want, but it’s not permanent. Then if I want to use that same flower on a handbag, or somewhere else, I can simply unclip it and be able to use it again.

I hope that helps!
-Kim :)

8 Christine H. 12.03.09 at 1:28 am

I love this…I have a ten year old step daughter who is just going to love this…Thanks!!

9 Gina 12.03.09 at 1:59 am

This is a super cute idea! I think I’ll make one of these for myself! ;) I love that black and white one with the red and black flower. I think I already have the perfect fabric for this. Thanks for the instructions.

10 Jean Lowenberger 12.03.09 at 4:28 am

I was thinking when they were making the necklace wouldn’t it be funny if the bead/marble didn’t fit? And there it was, great idea turn it around and work from the other side! I wondered why they didn’t find a smaller bead or marble?
The possibilities are endless you know!

11 valarie lewis 12.03.09 at 4:48 am

It didn’t occur to me when I had seen these before that you would work from the middle outward. It was kind of funny when the bead got stuck and they had to turn it around and go in from the other side. If you made your tube a little wider, you could probably use graduated sizes of wooden beads too. Looks like fun!

12 Heather 12.03.09 at 5:19 am

Great tutorial! To answer the question, Brooke and Kim had to turn it around and go in from the other side when the bead got stuck. I’d love to make this project for my mom – she deserves something beautiful, heartfelt and handmade, and this sure fits the bill!

13 Tina 12.03.09 at 5:25 am

To anwser the questions. They turned the tube around and worked from the other side. I’m making one of these for my sisters.

14 Debbie 12.03.09 at 5:57 am

I love this. I’m going to be making a lot of these. My 6 yr. old dd can help also. And the flowers can be used many places. I think I could even follow the steps to make them out of fabrics, by running a gathering stitch instead of using the wire.

15 Mindy 12.03.09 at 6:25 am

This is such a GREAT idea! I can’t wait to try one! ANSWER: They turned the tube and put it in the other side!!! Thanks for the great tutorial!

16 karen wilson 12.03.09 at 6:38 am

What a great project! I am going to make these for friends and family.

17 Tammy 12.03.09 at 6:41 am

Really cute and different! I think my mom would love one of these.

18 heather b 12.03.09 at 7:04 am

I want to make some for myself :) and my mom..she loves funky jewelery

19 Maureen 12.03.09 at 7:08 am

I really like these necklaces and ribbon flowers. They are so pretty and look super easy to make. The answer to the question is – they put the bead in from the other end of the tube.

20 Diana Frakes 12.03.09 at 7:12 am

They used the other side. This is a great necklace I am going to make a couple for my good girlfriends.. Thanks for the step by step info…

21 Peggy 12.03.09 at 7:30 am

These look like so much fun to make! Can hardly wait to make some for my friends. Answer to the question is they used the other end!

22 Kimberly 12.03.09 at 7:32 am

hee hee hee… I love the switching to the other side trick when the bead didn’t fit! Exactly what I would have done :-) This looks like such a fun idea! I’ve never made a bead necklace before, but now I’m tempted to run to the store for some supplies! In fact, I may need to go right now!

23 Sara@HappyBrownHouse 12.03.09 at 7:41 am

Atleast you were quick on your feet and turned it around to the other end. Way to roll with it Kim!

24 Tiffani 12.03.09 at 7:53 am

I thought it was great that you were able to turn it around to the other side to get the bead in. I love this idea, I’ve already made three. My daughters love them too. Thanks for sharing how to make these great necklaces.

25 Danielle R 12.03.09 at 8:03 am

I am making one for my mother and aunt, they will love it!!!

26 Misty 12.03.09 at 8:04 am

Adorable! I think my daughter and I will make these this weekend as gifts for some friends (hers & mine!) And to answer the question, when the bead wouldn’t fit they turned the necklace around to the other end and put the bead in that end.

27 Laura Pearce 12.03.09 at 8:10 am

They went from the other end when the bead got stuck :) What pretty necklaces. And the supplies for them are readily available to most crafty types :)

28 Robyn 12.03.09 at 8:14 am

So pretty. I want to make one of these for my daughter. She would love it.

29 Jenny 12.03.09 at 8:54 am

CUTE!! answer – turned the tube around to get the bead in.

I would love to make one for my mom – and for my friends!! so easy!

30 gramma grammie 12.03.09 at 9:26 am

I’d like to make these in various colors and prints in a long string as a special present to drape on my friends’ Christmas tree at her decorating party!

31 Connie T 12.03.09 at 9:33 am

Question and the answer just put the bead into the other side of the tube of fabric….and Brooke said she shouldn’t have put on her hand lotion right before….lol…I love it…and that is a wonderful of the better ways I have seen it done…

32 Jacki Singer 12.03.09 at 9:41 am

Brooke and Kim put the bead in the other side and it worked. Lotion and fabric (especially silky) is hard to handle. These are soooo cute! I needed an idea for a sub for santa gift. Wouldn’t someone just love receiving this?

33 Deborah Wuest 12.03.09 at 9:46 am

These are gorgeous! I plan on making one for my hard to buy for teenage niece!

Thank you!!

34 Amy Hinojosa 12.03.09 at 9:48 am

This is just a perfect gift for my sister

35 Kerrie B. 12.03.09 at 10:56 am

They slid it into the other end. :)
Great idea and I think I will have to make a few of these as stocking stuffers for my girls. Love that these will be perfect for my 11 year old who is super sensitive and can not wear most jewlry, she will be so excited and whipping these up for herself and friends in no time.

36 Dina 12.03.09 at 11:39 am

I’d like to make one for my aunt

37 Bethany 12.03.09 at 11:41 am

hehehehe…you used the other end, lol! Great come back! ;)

I’m really thinking about making these for my sisters and mom this year-I think they would love it!

38 Margaret 12.03.09 at 12:41 pm

They used the other end when the first side did not work.

39 Margaret 12.03.09 at 12:41 pm

I think my MIL would love one of these necklaces.

40 Hayley 12.03.09 at 1:28 pm

Super cute. I have tons of scraps this would be perfect for! And not to mention some wooden bead garland that was too faded to put on the tree this year…hmmm you’ve got me thinking :) Thanks Kim!! I posted this on on my blog too.

41 Alease G 12.03.09 at 1:40 pm

I totally love the necklaces. I want to make some for gifts. When they couldn’t get the bead in one end they turned it over and used the other end.

42 Sarah in MO 12.03.09 at 1:47 pm

Those are cute and SO easy!

When the bead didn’t fit at one end, the tried the other end – which worked.

43 Barb Hale 12.03.09 at 2:04 pm

I know my 2 great nieces will love this necklace!

44 Beth 12.03.09 at 2:19 pm

Great fix to a possible problem … turn it around and use the other end. That is until you need to even the necklace out.

45 Jenn @ FFP 12.03.09 at 2:54 pm

She flipped it around to slide it through the other end!

46 Pam 12.03.09 at 3:17 pm

She turned it over and used the other side… Thanks!

47 Becky 12.03.09 at 3:42 pm

You went from the other end to get the bead in.

48 mirabella 12.03.09 at 4:07 pm

they turned the tube upside down and tried the other end! these are fabulous! i plan to make some for my sil’s and visiting teachers! thanks! abrazos, mirabella

49 Carolyn Hutchinson 12.03.09 at 4:58 pm

Turn it around and try the other side. Quick thinking, girls!

50 Crystal 12.03.09 at 8:27 pm

The tube had to be turned around to get the bead in.

51 Elizabeth 12.04.09 at 12:30 am

They turned the fabric around and then they were able to get the bead in.

52 Rachel 12.04.09 at 9:44 am

They tried the other side of the fabric tube for putting the beads in when the bead got stuch in the first side.

53 Kelly 12.04.09 at 10:15 am

I think I am going to try this one!! Thanks
They turned the tube over and put it in the other side.
okoraf at netscape dot net

54 happy 12.04.09 at 4:40 pm

They turn it around and go make it from the other side. I will make one for my self and two for my girls.

55 Adena 12.04.09 at 6:57 pm

Turn it around and go from the other side, it’s one of those “a-ha” moments of it being so simple, why didn’t I think of that.

56 Laura 12.04.09 at 10:04 pm

They put the bead in the other side of the tube. This shows how important a consistent seam allowance is!

57 Connie Jordan 12.05.09 at 10:33 am

Is this where we answer the stocking question? If so, when they couldn’t get the bead in the tube they turned it and went in the other end!

58 Sheila C 12.05.09 at 10:47 am

When the marble got stuck they turned the tube around and went in from the other side.

Great idea!



59 Karen 12.05.09 at 6:03 pm

They turned the tube around and inserted from the other end! And, I want to make one of these for my daughter … from some African fabric, if I can find it, or maybe some batik!

60 Marci 12.06.09 at 3:06 am

My mom would love this! I’m going to make her one. I love the flower idea. So simple and cute!

61 Alisha 12.06.09 at 8:59 am

Gorgeous! I definitely need to make one of these!

62 Jaime B. 12.06.09 at 9:03 am

I can remember my Grandmother wearing a necklace like this! I can not wait to make one for me. That is right I will finally make something for me.

In the video, they turned the tube around and inserted from the other end.

63 Dolly 12.06.09 at 9:35 pm

I can’t wait to try these. I’ve got some girlfriends that would really them.

64 Jennifer C 12.07.09 at 8:39 am

They put it in the other end. BTW, I’m so making some of these for myself. I think I’ll mention it to my MOPS group craft organizer too. They look simple enough for us to do there.

65 Melissa 12.08.09 at 11:18 am

That is soooo cute! I can see my tween daughter loving me making her one of those. Thanks for the very detailed instructions too!

66 Deborah K 12.08.09 at 4:32 pm

they turned the tube around & went from the other side. I’m going to make one for me

67 Carrie S. 12.09.09 at 2:10 am

My mother is VERY active in the Red Hat Lady organization. I can TOTALLY see her wearing and LOVING this!

68 betsyk 12.09.09 at 10:49 am

I’m really looking forward to making one (or more) of these necklaces. I even linked this tutorial to my new, work in progress, blog, I also added the graphic and link to the holiday DIY Gift Series. I hope somebody heard that, because I’m having a heck of a time figuring out how to access all these little prize contests!


69 Vicki Arnold 12.10.09 at 2:47 pm

I love making gifts for Christmas, but was a little stuck this year for my sister. Not anymore! This is something right up her alley. Thank you!!

70 crystal 12.11.09 at 12:45 am

Great tutorial and video. These are amazing and endless possibilities. I want to make one for my grandma and me:)

71 Janelle 12.11.09 at 11:21 am

THANK YOU! This is exactly what I was looking for! Merry Christmas!

72 Andrea McMann 12.12.09 at 6:10 am

This is fantastic!! Thanks so much for the idea and wonderful video demo! To answer your question…When Kim and Brooke couldn’t get the bead in the tube, they tried the other side. That’s good to know because I definitely plan on making lots of these myself!! And your method for making the flowers out of ribbon totally rocks!! Thanks again! :D

73 Kimberly 12.14.09 at 8:55 am

I was just going to let you know that your timing was perfect! I made one of these for my mom whose birthday was Dec. 4th. She loved it! It was fun to make and turned out really cute! Thanks so much!

74 Coodas Corner 12.14.09 at 12:23 pm

Not only are they great necklaces, I think they would make great “garland” for a Christmas tree! I think they are adorable.

75 Kristen 12.14.09 at 2:25 pm

I’m making one for my sister-in-law. so cute!!

76 Gloria Elswood 12.15.09 at 12:24 am

They turned the tube to the other end. I will make these for my neighbor girls who call me grandma since theirs do not live nearby. How fun!

77 Kelly O. 12.15.09 at 6:35 am

they put the bead in the other end when it wouldn’t fit on one side :)

78 Natalie 12.15.09 at 1:04 pm

They swithched it and worked from the other side! (answer to question)

79 Froma Sommers 07.08.10 at 7:28 am

Threaded other side. Love the necklaces.
Great Tutorial

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