How to Convert an Image Bead Pattern

Written by katherine kally
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How to Convert an Image Bead Pattern
Beads for image patterns (lace and beads image by Tatiana Belova from

You can easily convert images into bead patterns with computer software or by hand. Computer software is the fastest way to convert an image, but the software and required peripherals can be costly. The least expensive way to convert an image into a bead pattern is to use graph paper. Each square in the graph paper represents a bead colour, so you can fill the rows with beads that correspond with the colour. Another way to convert an image into a bead pattern is to use iron-on transfer paper. Transfer an outline or the entire image to fabric and stitch the beads in place.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Image
  • Copier
  • Translucent graph paper
  • Tape
  • Coloured pencils
  • Transfer paper
  • Fabric
  • Iron

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    Using Graph Paper

  1. 1

    Make a copy of the image, especially if you are converting a photo into a bead pattern. The original can be damaged during the conversion process.

  2. 2

    Attach a sheet of translucent graph paper over the top of the image with tape. Tape around all sides of the paper to hold the two sheets firmly together.

  3. 3

    Colour in the blocks on the graph paper with coloured pencils that correspond to the colours in the image. If a block contains two different colours, select the one that will best identify the image.

    Using Transfer Paper

  1. 1

    Copy the image onto transfer paper with a copier.

  2. 2

    Place the transfer paper facedown onto the surface of the fabric you intend to bead.

  3. 3

    Heat the paper with an iron according to the package directions. The image will transfer onto the fabric and become the bead pattern. Peel the transfer paper away.

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