How to Embellish Clothing With Beads

Written by cheryl starr
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How to Embellish Clothing With Beads
Embellishments added to shoes can add flair. (beaded shoe image by Tammy Mobley from

Garments transform into a canvas for your beading creations when you add embellishments to jazz up an otherwise plain item. Shirts, jeans, hats, shoes, sweaters are opportunities to personalise and liven up your wardrobe by adding bead embellishments. Anyone can use the simple beading technique. You do not have to know how to sew to learn how to master bead embellishments. Bead embellishing makes a great craft for kids. Wear your own creations or sell extra crafty items at a craft fair and watch the profits rise.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Beads

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  1. 1

    Draw your clothing item that you want to embellish on a piece of paper. Draw the beaded design that you are considering on the paper. Sketch three bead-embellishing ideas before choosing one. Draw the final chosen design on a clean sheet of paper.

  2. 2

    Lay out the clothing item on a work surface. If it is a sweater or a skirt, or an item where you can lay beads on it, lay the beads on it to make sure that the design is what you want. If it is a hat or shoes, this is not as feasible. Laying out beads on the clothing helps you to see the final product.

  3. 3

    Turn the item inside out. Mark the places that you will be placing the beads using the tailor's chalk.

  4. 4

    Thread the needle using cotton thread that matches the garment on which you are sewing the beads. Use a denim needle if you are embellishing jeans. Tie a knot at the end of the thread.

  5. 5

    Pull the thread from the underside of the garment to the outside of the garment where you plan to position the first bead.

  6. 6

    Slide the needle through the first bead. Pull the needle back through the garment, to the underside of the garment, as close to where the needle went out of the underside of the garment in the previous movement. This stitch will position the bead in place. Repeat this movement with the needle two more times to reinforce the strength of the bead. The bead will hold stronger if it has three strands of thread within it, holding it in place than it will be only having one strand of thread. Once you secure the bead in place, thread the needle beneath some thread on the underside of the garment and loop it up through itself, tying a double-knot in the thread.

  7. 7

    Repeat Step 6 until you have as many beads on the garment that you desire.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a low-temp hot glue gun to add other embellishments such as sequins, mirrors and other embellishments to garments.

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