Bead mats are made out of utility fabrics that are very soft and thick, usually with a velvety feel. They come in a range of sizes and colors, so you will probably find one that suits your preferences. Larger bead mats of up to 14 inches in size can easily be cut down with a pair of scissors to the exact size that you want. Bead mats can be found at most local bead shops, and they are also sold online by bead supply companies.
If you can't find a bead mat, you can also make one from scraps of utility fabric like Vellux. Try your local fabric store and see what kinds of remnants they have for sale. Choose a fabric that is thick and has a velvety surface to prevent beads from rolling off.
A bead mat is easy to take with you - just roll it up and stash it in your bag. You can also park your needles in the mat, but make sure to take them out and store them properly before you roll up the mat.
- Easy to find at most local bead shops and craft stores
- Light colors make it easy to see your beads
- Easy to take with you
- Less expensive than other beading surfaces
- Can be made with fabric remnants
- Bead mats should be placed on a table or other stiff work surface