Heather Thomas

How to Make Fabric Beads from Yo-Yos

Heather Thomas
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Duration:   16  mins

Most quilters are familiar with yo yo’s as being a great way to use up small scraps of fabric to create a larger quilt or coverlet. Heather Thomas shares another fun way to use yo yo’s by creating beads. Learn how to make fabric beads that can be used on quilts or turned into unique pieces of jewelry.


As with other yo yo projects, this one doesn’t require many materials or tools. Heather shows how to make a small yo yo with a scrap of fabric and a circle template. She explains how any round object in your sewing room can be used as a yo yo template, with each different item creating a different size. For this quilting tutorial, Heather is using a silk fabric, however any fabric of your choice can be used to make yo yo’s. She also explains which type of thread she uses and why, and also why it is beneficial to start with a longer strand of thread than you might think necessary.

Sew a Yo Yo

Heather shows how to sew a yo yo using a running stitch technique. After she demonstrates how to sew the yo yo she explains how to make fabric beads by simply stuffing the yo yo’s. She then shows how to stuff the yo yo using a technique that ensures a smooth surface.


Once the fabric beads have been sewn, it’s time to embellish them. Heather shows how to use several different kinds of decorative beads to embellish the stuffed fabric bead. She also explains how her beading techniques differ depending on if the finished product is being used on a quilt or as a piece of jewelry. Once you’ve learned how to make fabric beads and have embellished them with beads or other bead embroidery, Heather shows how to either stitch it onto a bead cap to be turned into a piece of jewelry, or how to sew it on to a quilt as a fun embellishment.

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