So sorry. I just wrote an awesome blog post and then lost it. How does that happen? Let’s try one more time.

My aquaintance with fabric began when I was about 5 years old. I learned to embroidery and then at 12 graduated to making my own clothes. I love fabric, always have. That must be what led me to the interior design field where I specialize in window coverings.

Anyway, I said I’d give you some tips on creating fabric beads. While it looks easy, it does take a little practice and effort.

First you need some inspiration. I get mine from nature. I love our desert southwest with it’s vivid colors and exotic plants and animals, so I mostly create in earth tones, but can be coaxed into creating with pink or purple by a needy friend or relative. Fortunately, others love these colors too.

Painting fabrics gives you the chance to express your creative urge or make just that perfect color for a project you have in mind. I am very fortunate to have oodles of fabric to choose from, so I don’t often have to do this, but I have been known to embellish what I have wih metallic paint, glitter, crystals, wire or beads.

Next you need cotton or silk fabric about a foot square–a little goes a long way, acrylic paints, foam brush (about 2 inches wide), spray bottle filled with water–a little hand sized one, newspapers or newsprint and an iron and ironing board.

1. Make sure your paint is the consistancy of skim milk. If too thick, add a little water and shake well.

2. Now, lay the fabric out on several sheets of newspaper or newsprint and lightly spray with water until evenly wet, but not dripping. Wet the foam brush also.

3. Now comes the fun part. Squirt spaint on the fabric and spread with the foam brush. Continue this process until the fabric is evenly coated.

4. Once that is done, place the fabric on a new stack of paper so that soggy paper doesn’t stick to the back of your fabric, or you can hang it to dry. Step away from the fabric. You can’t hurry this process. Maybe now you want to paint a new piece a different color.

5. Now that the fabric is completely dry, iron the back to set the color. You are now ready to embellish the fabric.

Time to begin thinking about what you want to happen with this fabric. Think about items you can use to create texture, such as sponges or wire grid. Or maybe you want to paint a design directly onto it. Keep in mind that only little bits of the design will show after you cut and roll it. Next blog will explore this process.

Note: I am so very lucky to have inherited lots of leather samples when one of our furniture stores closed its doors. So sad it closed, so grateful for the samples. We use them on our Cliff Spirits and for beads. We also inherited many Southwest fabric samples for the Cliff Spirits. How lucky we are to be able to recycle or reclaim them so then don’t go into the land fill.

The following picture is of a Cliff Spirit made of reclaimed and recycled materials. Enjoy.