For my simple curtains, I used the selvages off white linen for the tie-backs. In fact, I use selvages for many things such as tying up packages or for use in kids' crafts. My kids often turn those selvages into reins for horses or leashes for their softies. Selvages have so many possibilities because of their disposable nature and their strength, too...
After peering at my plain tie-backs, I decided they would look even better with some color contrast so I added fabric beads to the ends. Fabric beads are always my go-to choice for adding that little extra something to a sewn item.
I first learned to make fabric beads from the wonderful book, 'Omiyage' by Kumiko Sudo. If you are interested in making special little sewn items, this book is for you! I've owned my copy for years and I continue to turn to the wonderful projects inside for special gifts for others (hmmm, Mother's Day?!).
Fabric beads are simple to make and are one of those crafts easily done by hand in an evening. They can be added to ties of all sorts (even shoelaces)! Here's how I do it:
#1: Tie a knot in the string to be bound in a fabric bead. Just an overhand knot is fine but make sure it is secure.
#2: Cut off the extra string.
#3: Depending on the size of the knot to be covered, cut out a circle of coordinating fabric. A juice cup works great...
#4: Around the perimeter of the circle, press a small hem under with your fingers (creating a crease).
#5: Now with your thread and needle and leaving a long tail, hem that raw edge down along the crease with a long running stitch which you will use next to gather up your stitches...
#6: Gather up the stitches a little to produce a cup shape to your future bead with the right side of your fabric on the convex (outer) side. Before pulling the gathered stitches tight, add the knot to the inside of the bead and then pull the stitches to enclose that knot.
#7: With the same thread, secure the fabric bead to the string by stitching through the entire bead & string back & forth with small stitches (I used a contrasting thread here for these photos but you should use a thread that matches the bead's fabric). If there is any additional bulk in your gathering, stitch that down, as well. When finished securing the bead to the string, knot the thread and cut off excess.
There you have it----a fabric bead!!