How to Attach Beads to Clothing

Written by rebekah martin
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Beaded clothing can look glamorous and elegant when done properly. Beading is not very difficult to do, but it can be time consuming if you are covering a large amount of cloth with beads. You can either solidly cover a section of clothing or you can make designs with the beads. Both methods produce distinct looks and can even be incorporated together with the same article of clothing. You can also create interesting looks by using coloured thread with translucent beads.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Needle

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    One Bead at a Time

  1. 1

    Cut a piece of thread about 12 to 24 inches long. This is long enough to get a lot of beads sewn on but not so long that it is difficult to work with.

  2. 2

    Tie a knot on one end of the thread and thread your needle with the other end.

  3. 3

    Pull your needle up through the fabric from the backside. Pull it firmly so the knot stops at the fabric.

  4. 4

    Put a bead on your needle and push it down the needle and thread until it rests on the fabric.

  5. 5

    Push your needle back through the cloth behind where your bead is and pull it firmly so the bead is anchored. Do not pull it so tightly that you bunch up the fabric, however.

  6. 6

    Complete this process until all of your beads are sewn onto the fabric.

  7. 7

    Knot the thread on the back side of the fabric and cut the extra thread off.

    Several Beads at Once

  1. 1

    Pull your needle up through the fabric.

  2. 2

    Place several beads on the needle and push them down until they rest on the fabric.

  3. 3

    Push the needle back through the fabric where the last bead rests. This is an easier and quicker way to do straight line beading.

Tips and warnings

  • Knot your thread every few beads or beaded sections. This way, if the thread breaks, you do not lose the entire beaded area.
  • Put the fabric in an embroidery hoop. This helps keep the fabric taut and gives you something to hold on to.
  • Place the beads in a bowl and run your needle through them to scoop several onto the needle at once. This is easier than trying to thread them on one at a time.
  • You can either use thread to match the beads or thread to match the fabric--the choice is yours. Most prefer to match the fabric so the threads will blend in with the background. To create an interesting look, use clear beads and a coloured thread different from the background colour. The thread will show through the bead, creating a design under the beading.

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