How to String Applique Sequins Beads

Updated February 21, 2017

Sequins and beads can be sewn onto garments individually or in pre-strung strands. If your design calls for rows of beads appliqueing the beads in strands is quicker than sewing each bead on individually You can buy sequins already strung together in strands. Usually you will have to string beads yourself, but sometimes you can find strands of small seed beads ready to be appliqued onto a garment.

Thread your beading needle with 30 inches of thread and knot the ends of the thread together with a small knot. A beading needle has a long thin eye that is narrow enough for seed beads to slip over.

Thread beads onto the needle until you have a strand of beads eight inches long.

Tie a tailors knot at the end of the strand of beads by tying a loose overhand knot and placing the point of your needle through the loop of the knot and into the last bead before you pull the knot tight. Hold the needle in the bead while you pull the knot tight. This will hold the knot near the last bead. Cut the thread.

Draw your applique design on your garment with a pencil or use an iron on design. Start with an eight-inch string of beads or sequins.

Thread your needle with a new piece of thread and knot the end. Bring the needle up through the garment fabric at the point where you want your first bead to be.

Thread your needle through the first bead or sequin on the strand and go down through the fabric at the same point you brought the needle up. Sew through the first bead on the string twice.

Skip four beads, bring your needle up at the fifth bead and sew through it and down into the fabric at the same point.. Keep the string of beads or sequins flat against the fabric as you sew down every fifth bead or sequin.

Sew through the last bead on the strand twice. Tie a tailor's knot on the underside of the fabric and cut your thread.

Continue to sew on strings of beads or sequins until your design is finished. If your last string has more beads than you need cut the knot off the end of the string, remove the extra beads and tie a new knot. If you will not have enough thread to tie this knot, remove extra beads and either sew the last few beads on one at a time or use a new strand to finish the design.


If the colour works, use unwaxed dental floss for beading. It is strong and flexible. For a different effect leave the strings of beads loose between the sewn down beads. This will give the item some movement. You may also sew on short strands at one end only for fringe.


Stringing your own sequins is difficult and time consuming. If sequin trim is not available, just sew on your sequins one at a time.

Things You'll Need

  • Thread
  • Beading needle
  • Beads or sequin trim
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About the Author

Camela Bryan's first published article appeared in "Welcome Home" magazine in 1993. She wrote and published SAT preparation worksheets and is also a professional seamstress who has worked for a children's theater as a costume designer and in her own heirloom-sewing business. Bryan has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Florida.