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Adding beading to your collages


Peace Like a River is a mixed paper and fabric collage that I made a few years ago.  It looks pretty crude to my eye now, but at the time I was just beginning to explore the cross-over between beading and collage.  Anyway, no matter what the relative merits of this piece are, I did take some process shots at the time, so I thought it might be worthwhile to share them with you and go through the steps.

Hopefully your own experiments will be more of a masterpiece than this one ;-)

1.  I added beads randomly to a piece of muslin that I had previously painted.  You can use any method for painting that appeals to you, and of course you can also have an advanced plan for your beads if you wish!  If the fabric is too soft, iron on a small piece of lightweight fusible interfacing behind where you'll add the beads. 

2. Create an image transfer on muslin, using the transparency and inkjet method, or whatever method you desire. Here is a round-up of all image transfer tutorials.

3. Use a few dots of fabric glue or a few stitches to tack down the pieces of your collage.  I have tacked the beaded fabric to a sheet of handpainted watercolor paper (torn), attached those to a piece of commercial fabric as the frame, and placed the image transfer on top of the pile.  

4. I added some cross stitches done with embroidery floss and a few more buttons and beads to stitch the piece together.  The background fabric was spray-glue mounted to a piece of mat board...not necessarily what I would recommend doing today.  The final step was to add the lettering with a brush style Pitt Pen.

Copyright 2010 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Thanks for sharing something that didn't come out as "picture perfect" as you had envisioned it, Cyndi.

That gives some encouragement to us neophytes.

I really liked it in the 2nd photo as well as with the lettering added. For me, the dark background overwhelmed the focal point.

Thanks too for sharing the technique.
Cyndi L said…
I've got plenty of stuff that didn't come out right, Eileen! I don't think any of us *ever* get past that stage ;-)
Limarea said…
This is really cool, and adds a nice touch to the piece. Thanks for the tips. And btw it looks absolutely fine to me ;)
Cyndi L said…
Thank Limar. Well, it's not an "epic fail", but it's not my favorite piece either. I keep thinking I'll remove the top piece and bleach the background to a lighter shade, but somehow I never get around to it :-)