How to Add Beading to a Dress

By Kittie McCoy

A few well-placed beads can dramatically up the glam factor on a plain dress. You can use crystal or metal beads to reflect light and make your dress sparkle, or just simple seed beads to add a splash of color. Look for inspiration at craft stores, which usually carry a large selection of beads. While beading is not a complicated process, it is time-consuming, so plan ahead if you want to wear your embellished dress for a special event.

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Customize your dress with beading.

Step 1

Place the dress on a flat surface with the area you want to attach the beads to facing up. Insert a piece of cardboard into the dress to separate the front from the back.

Step 2

Thread a size 12 Sharps sewing needle with beading thread. Tie a knot in the end of the thread. Beading thread is thinner than all-purpose thread, so you can pass it through the hole in the bead several times.

Step 3

Slide the needle inside the dress and push it through the fabric where you want to attach the first bead.

Step 4

Place the bead on the needle and pull the needle all the way up, until the knot reaches the back of the fabric.

Step 5

Push the needle down through the fabric right next to the bead and pull the thread tight again.

Step 6

Repeat the process of pushing the needle through the bead and back down through the dress until you have three stitches holding the bead in place.

Step 7

Make a small stitch with your needle inside the dress, just behind the bead. As you begin to pull the thread taunt after this stitch, it will form a small loop inside the dress. Guide the needle through this loop and pull it tight to create a knot and tie off the thread.

Step 8

Repeat steps three to seven until all the beads are attached to the dress.