How to sew your own beads on your wedding dress

Updated April 17, 2017

A wedding is an important day in any woman's life. She is the star; everyone watches her and what she is wearing. If you are the bride, your wedding dress will be your most important purchase. Dresses adorned with beads, pearls and crystals may be out of your price range or too elaborate for your taste. But you can purchase these decorative items and enhance your own dress with the sparkle you want.

Plan your design. You can work freehand, from a pattern or use the lace that covers the dress as your template. If using a pattern or working freehand, use the seams and darts in the dress as a starting point. They will give you a straight line to work from. Sketch what you wish to do on a piece of paper first. Decide where you want the beads, pearls or crystals to be placed.

Order your beads, crystals and pearls. Order more than you think you will need so you'll be sure to have a sufficient supply. Keep in mind the strength of the dress fabric; the heavier it is, the more beads, pearls and crystals it can hold. Delicate fabrics, such as chiffon or silk, require a light touch with adornments.

Sew your beads onto the dress starting at the hemline. Thread the beading needle with the beading thread and bring it up through the dress material from the back. Place a bead on the thread and gently push the bead down until it nestles against the material. Bring the needle down through the material just next to the original hole. Bring the needle back up through the dress in the same spot, pass it through the bead and back down. Tie a knot using the loose end of the thread. Bring the needle back up through the material right next to the bead and continue sewing the beads onto the dress according to the pattern. Be sure to tie a knot at every other bead to prevent them from falling off. The double stitching will also help to keep them from becoming loose.

Sew crystals and pearls onto the dress per the pattern using the same technique explained in Step 3. Sew crystals onto edges of ruffles for added sparkle. Pieces of lace can be embellished in the same manner. Steam wrinkles out of the dress after the entire design has been completed.


Keep pattern from going under the arms of the dress as this could be uncomfortable while being worn. Attach leftover crystals to veil for more sparkle.


Allow enough time to finish the beading on the dress. The project should be started at least several weeks before the wedding.

Things You'll Need

  • Beads
  • Pearls
  • Crystals
  • Beading needle
  • Beading thread to match the dress
  • Wedding dress
  • Beading pattern or lace (optional)
  • Paper and pencil for sketching (optional)
  • Scissors
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About the Author

Based in Wisconsin, Danita Fausek’s 30-year working career includes jobs in administration, construction, remodeling, teaching quality processes and art classes, and event planning. With a degree in photography, she ran her own business for more than 15 years. In addition, Fausek has immersed herself in various hobbies including gardening, needlecraft and jewelry making. She brings all of this expertise to her writing.