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.

Things You'll Need

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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


  • If you are adding a complicated beading pattern to your dress, use a tissue paper pattern to guide you while you work. Draw the pattern on tissue paper and pin it on top of the dress just before you begin beading. You can push the needle right through the tissue paper as you attach the beads. When you finish, rip away the tissue paper to reveal your beaded dress.