This post outlines the steps to create a basic beaded face cabochon.
Start with a polymer clay face. They are simple to make with polymer clay and face molds.
There are many different ways used to attach the face to fabric – including just using glue.
I sew them on. But to do that, a small “lip” of clay must formed around the face. I just push a small amount of clay (no more than 1/4″ inch) over the mold edge to form the lip.
As the lip is not visible when the beading is complete, as shown in Photo 1, it does not have to be perfect.
A quick dusting of corn starch on the face mold will keep the clay from sticking to it – and keep all those details distortion-free!
The directions for clay baking time will be on the package – there is variation among manufacturers.
Drilling the sewing holes is the coolest – because it is Dremel Time! (Although a drill will also work) A 1/32″ makes tiny holes – a 1/16″ works just as well.
Drill sewing holes on the lip – as close to the face as possible – all the way around the cabochon – about 1/4″ – 3/8″ apart.
Cut a piece of felt about 3 times larger than the face cabachon and sew it on through all those sewing holes!
Now it is time to bead!
For this project, the beads will be added in concentric circles – nothing too fancy.
Again many methods exist for this, I simply bring thread up through a sewing hole and create a string of beads long enough to circle the face.
Join the beads into a circle by inserting needle through the first three or four beads.
As shown in Photo 3, additional sewing is required to attach the beads all the way around the face.
Using the sewing holes, push needle up, over beads, and then back down the same sewing hole.
Repeat for all sewing holes.
First row of beads is now secured to both the face cabochon and the fabric.
Bring needle up though a different sewing hole and create another string of beads for the second row.
Join into a circle.
If this row of beads does not extend beyond the polymer clay lip, attach it in the same manner as the first row.
If the second row extends beyond the polymer clay lip, it may be attached by inserting needle through six beads, then down through the felt.
Using numbers for beads to make this easier, if thread went down at bead 6, bring it up a bead 3, through beads 3 – 9, down at bead 9, then up at bead 6, through beads 6 – 12…etc. Sort of a backstitch.
This backstitching securely attaches the beads to the underlying felt – and to each other.
Repeat for the next row of beads.
The final (4th) row of beads here are sewn on in a radial manner. Each was sewn on individually.
Cut the felt very close to last row of beads (approx 1/8″).
Trim to 1/16″, being careful not to cut through any threads.
Place on surface of purse or jacket or whatever item it is to be added to.
Baste with a few stitches and then stitch through final row of beads, felt, and underlying fabric. For this example, I sewed one stitch between each bead and then one stitch through each bead.
Yes, a lot of stitches, but doing so makes the felt disappear – the cabochon is sewn on very securely.
If additional rows of beading is desired, just follow the process above for each row.