Beaded Button Fobs

Stephanie Novatski 2004

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Ever wanted something special to identify your sewing tools?  I wanted something other than a small embroidered "pillow" as a fob, so I created these beaded fobs.  They are constructed in almost the same manner as beaded buttons except a piece of plastic and batting is used as the form.  To make a beaded button, simply substitute a dressmaker's covered button form for the plastic and follow the manufacturers directions to compete the button.  Here are the instructions.

  • Fabric
  • Interfacing or paper
  • Beads
  • Beading needle and thread
  • 1/2 yd 1/8" ribbon
  • Narrow decorative trim (I recommend no larger than 3/8")
  • template plastic and thin batting or Covered button kit such as Prym or Dritz
  • Fabric glue and Fray Chek (optional)
Step 1: Chose the size of your Button/fob (I used 1 1/2") and draw the outline on the interfacing or paper. Mark the center of the circle. Place on WRONG side of your fabric. For the fob, you will be making 2 of these. On some button kits, a template is provided to cut the fabric. I suggest you take the button top and trace around it.
Step 2: Baste in contrasting thread on outline. This is your beading guide. You DO NOT want to bead outside this line.
Step 3: The fun part! Bead your design inside the circle. Don't forget to make 2 of these for your fob.
Step 4: When beading is completed, turn to wrong side and remove excess interfacing or paper. If you used paper, it will tear away easily.
Step 5: Trim excess fabric to about 1/2" of beading. If making a button, use the template if provided by the manufacturer. Cut same size circles out of template plastic(2) and batting (2). Glue with glue stick one layer of batting to each piece of template plastic
Step 6: Baste in a running stitch no larger than 1/4" around beading. Place stitching about 3/8" from edge of beading. Knot thread with a large knot before beginning stitching. Do NOT cut thread.
Step 7: Place one of the button or batting/plastic rounds on wrong side of beading with plastic side showing. Center on stitching.
Step 8: Pull basting stitching tight to gather excess fabric. Turn over and check that your stitching is in the center. If you need to straighten, loosen gathers, reposition, and pull again. When it is perfect, carefully make a knot to hold gathers and cut thread. If you are making a button, apply the button back per the manufacturers instructions. These usually snap in place. And you are Done!!!
Step 9: You should now have 2 beaded disks. You are ready to construct your fob.
Step 10: Fold your 1/8" ribbon in half and glue the ends to one of the disks. I recommend stacking the ends as shown.
Step 11: Using the Fabric glue, glue the disks together. Do not skimp on the glue -- try to get as close to the edges as possible. Place under a weight and allow to dry.
Step 12: Glue your trim to the center side edge of the fob as shown starting at the ribbon all around the outside. If your trim has a tendency to fray, apply FrayCheck to both ends before applying to the fob.
Step 13: Once the trim is glued on YOU'RE DONE

Please share pictures of your finished buttons and fobs. I used different sizes of pears and seed pearls on mine. With all the different beads available today, the possibilities are endless! We would love to see yours!

NOTE: You could also construct two buttons using the button kits for the fobs. If you use the kit, make sure you remove the piece that is used to attach the button to fabric. I chose to make my fobs using the plastic because they were lighter and softer plus you have the option of varying the size. You can also make one side and apply to a cq piece

Other Beaded Button Examples:

Sun Button: This button was made using a button kit. I glued a real button to the center of the fabric, added the beads all around it and also in the center and over the button. I then completed the button per the manufacturers instructions, added additional beads using the outer beaded edge as a base and glued feathers to the back for the "corona". It is now ready to apply to a CQ piece.
This is also a beaded button. I started with the cameo and made a template of plastic about 1/2" larger all around. I then glued the cameo to the center of the fabric and beaded around it with pearls. I constructed the button as above and added a beaded "ruffle" to the edge.
I constructed this the same as the fob, but I did not bead the back side or add trim to hide the seam.
Another beaded button using a button kit. This button used pearls and seed beads. The seed pearl border was added to the competed button.
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