How to bead

Introduction: How to Bead Fabric

How to bead

How to bead

How to bead

I am a self taught beader. I became interested in beading about 2 years ago when I wanted to spice up a shirt. So I went out and bought beading supplied and learned using trial and error. Then I got some beading books at a used book store; those are the best for finding cool books for making crafts!

Materials:
(1) Beads – you can sew most beads to fabric. I use seed beads because they are small but these instructions should work for most beads.
(2) Beading Needle – these are longer and thinner than regular needles so they can go through small beads like seed beads. However, they are weaker than most needles so they can bend and break more easily. Make sure you don’t use a fabric that is too thick or tough (like leather, vinyl, etc..) because it will ruin the needle.

(3) Bead Spinner – use this to quickly add beads to your needle
(4) Beading thread – you can buy special beading thread (usually nylon) that is coated and specially protects the thread from fraying, knotting and tangling.
(5) Fabric – and fabric you want to bead that isn’t too thick (if using a beading needle)

Step 1: Thread Needle

Pull the thread through the needle so the thread is double layered. Tie the ends of the thread in a knot.

Step 2: Begin Beading

Pull the needle through the fabric so the knot is on the side you do not want to bead. Put a couple of stitches into the fabric to ensure the thread is secure.

Step 3: Stringing the Beads

You can add between 1-3 beads at a time. Adding fewer beads allows for more accuracy in the designs you make. Adding too many beads is much faster but if you add more than three beads the beads can come loose which is not good.

Step 4: Stringing the Beads 2

Push the beads down to the bottom of the thread so they are touching the fabric. You may want to pull the thread taught to make sure the beads are completely touching the fabric. Again, if you don’t do this the beads could become loose and snag on something or just look ugly.

Step 5: Attaching the Beads

Lay the beads down so all the beads are against the fabric. Take the needle and push the beads back so they start where the thread comes up from the fabric. Put the tip of the needle against the last bead that was strung and pull the needle through the fabric.

Pull the thread all the way through.

Step 6: Second Set of Beads

Thread the needle back through the fabric so it comes out right behind the last bead in the previous set of beads sewn to the fabric. Pull the needle and thread through the last bead that was added to the fabric.

Now the thread should be coming out of the last bead attached to the fabric and you are ensured that there will be no gaps between the beads already attached to the fabric and the new beads you will be adding.

Step 7: Repeat.

Follow the same instructions for Stringing the Beads and Sewing the Beads.

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8 Comments

How to bead

I have a goal which is to create a collection of custom-made Chinese garments that have 14mm shell pearls (not glass, cultured or plastic) be sewn in rows onto the cuffs of sleeves. I hear that shell pearls are heavier than cultured pearls. Do you recommend a fabric that is best for bearing the weight of 14mm pearls?

How to bead

Here is a list of some of the best beginner’s free bead patterns. These bead patterns and projects are simple and quick to make, easy to bead, easy to understand, teach a variety of beadwork stitches and beading techniques.

These projects were written with the beginning beader in mind. This selection of projects ​includes a variety of beading techniques, assuring a successful first beading experience in peyote stitch, wire work, brick stitch, or bead stringing. Bead patterns and projects range from the “cute and sweet” to more refined wearables.

Tassel Beaded Earrings with Cones

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Beaded tassels take a little patience but once you get the basics down, there are so many options.

This project will show you the basics of how to join multiple strands of tassels, use a bead on the end of the tassel and use cones to cover the top of the tassel. Then it’s up to you whether you want your tassels to be simple or full.

Daisy Chain Beading Stitch Tutorial

How to bead

Is there anything as fun and summery as a daisy chain? Perfect for necklaces, bracelet or anklets. Daisy chains are always fun and easy to make. These instructions will teach you two different variations.

Peyote Stitch Heart Ring

How to bead

Practice your even count peyote with this great pattern for a wide peyote ring with a perfect heart in the middle. This pattern is simple enough for a beginning beader but enjoyable for all.

Made with two colors of size 11 delica beads, you’ll be thrilled at how quickly this pattern works up.

Tubular Peyote Beaded Tusk

How to bead

This project demonstrates how to use tubular peyote to form a decorative edge and bail for a super-trendy tusk or fang bead.

This project is quick and will teach you the basics of tubular peyote and zipping together tubular peyote to make the bail.

Introduction: How to Bead Fabric

How to bead

How to bead

How to bead

I am a self taught beader. I became interested in beading about 2 years ago when I wanted to spice up a shirt. So I went out and bought beading supplied and learned using trial and error. Then I got some beading books at a used book store; those are the best for finding cool books for making crafts!

Materials:
(1) Beads – you can sew most beads to fabric. I use seed beads because they are small but these instructions should work for most beads.
(2) Beading Needle – these are longer and thinner than regular needles so they can go through small beads like seed beads. However, they are weaker than most needles so they can bend and break more easily. Make sure you don’t use a fabric that is too thick or tough (like leather, vinyl, etc..) because it will ruin the needle.

(3) Bead Spinner – use this to quickly add beads to your needle
(4) Beading thread – you can buy special beading thread (usually nylon) that is coated and specially protects the thread from fraying, knotting and tangling.
(5) Fabric – and fabric you want to bead that isn’t too thick (if using a beading needle)

Step 1: Thread Needle

Pull the thread through the needle so the thread is double layered. Tie the ends of the thread in a knot.

Step 2: Begin Beading

Pull the needle through the fabric so the knot is on the side you do not want to bead. Put a couple of stitches into the fabric to ensure the thread is secure.

Step 3: Stringing the Beads

You can add between 1-3 beads at a time. Adding fewer beads allows for more accuracy in the designs you make. Adding too many beads is much faster but if you add more than three beads the beads can come loose which is not good.

Step 4: Stringing the Beads 2

Push the beads down to the bottom of the thread so they are touching the fabric. You may want to pull the thread taught to make sure the beads are completely touching the fabric. Again, if you don’t do this the beads could become loose and snag on something or just look ugly.

Step 5: Attaching the Beads

Lay the beads down so all the beads are against the fabric. Take the needle and push the beads back so they start where the thread comes up from the fabric. Put the tip of the needle against the last bead that was strung and pull the needle through the fabric.

Pull the thread all the way through.

Step 6: Second Set of Beads

Thread the needle back through the fabric so it comes out right behind the last bead in the previous set of beads sewn to the fabric. Pull the needle and thread through the last bead that was added to the fabric.

Now the thread should be coming out of the last bead attached to the fabric and you are ensured that there will be no gaps between the beads already attached to the fabric and the new beads you will be adding.

Step 7: Repeat.

Follow the same instructions for Stringing the Beads and Sewing the Beads.

Be the First to Share

Did you make this project? Share it with us!

Recommendations

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How to bead

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How to bead

8 Comments

How to bead

I have a goal which is to create a collection of custom-made Chinese garments that have 14mm shell pearls (not glass, cultured or plastic) be sewn in rows onto the cuffs of sleeves. I hear that shell pearls are heavier than cultured pearls. Do you recommend a fabric that is best for bearing the weight of 14mm pearls?

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Welcome to Beadaholique! If you’re new to jewelry making, this should be your first stop before exploring our other techniques and guides, which include valuable “bead-ucation” resource pages such as Stringing 101, Bead Weaving 101 and more. Read on and find instructional videos, project tutorials, and product recommendations to introduce basic skills and techniques and get you started on your jewelry making journey.

Learn to Bead Video Series

Watch our Learn to Bead Video Series, and you’ll be beading like a pro in no time! This video series introduces some jewelry terms that are essential to know, and will teach you some fundamental skills necessary for basic jewelry making. Additionally, you’ll learn how to properly open and close jump rings and create simple wire loops—both vital skills to many jewelry projects. You’ll find many more instructional beading videos on our website, ranging in difficulty so that novice and expert beaders alike can learn new skills! After you’ve finished the Learn to Bead series to get down the basics, pick up some more beading fundamentals with our Basic Beading Techniques videos, and browse our How-To Projects for instructional videos that will teach you how to make a project from start to finish.

More Video Tutorials

Beginner Projects

Our designers have hand picked their favorite beginner level projects, which are both high in style and easy to create! Find recommendations from each member of our design team below, or browse our thousands of free project tutorials. Also check out our Exclusive Beadaholique Jewelry Kits, which include written instructions and all the materials needed to create a finished project, making them perfect for beginners.

Essential Beading Supplies

After watching some videos and perusing some projects, you might have a good idea of the techniques and projects you’re ready to tackle. But you won’t be able to bead without some essential beading supplies! Below you’ll find some product recommendations for supplies you’ll definitely need as you explore the wonderful world of jewelry making. Tool kits are a quick way to acquire all the essential tools you’ll need to start beading. Plastic and lucite beads are an inexpensive option to start practicing before moving on to higher value gemstone beads and crystals. Happy beading!

How to bead

Bead embroidery is the process of stitching beads to fabric, leather or other foundation material to embellish the surface. Bead embroidery does not require many special tools or supplies beyond the basic bead weaving supplies.

The materials needed for bead embroidery are:

  • a foundation material
  • a lining (this is optional)
  • a backing material
  • thread
  • needles
  • beads

Bead Embroidery Foundation

How to bead

Unlike off-loom bead weaving stitches or loom beading where beads are stitched to each other, in bead embroidery, you stitch beads onto a fabric foundation. Since there are so many different types of beading foundation available, it is important to know which one will work best for your particular project.

Some of the different bead embroidery foundations used include imitation leather or suede, fabric embroidery interfacing, or a special product designed just for bead embroidery called Lacy’s Stiff Stuff.

Bead embroidery foundations can be found in a wide variety of craft stores, fabric stores, beading supply companies, and online bead shops.

Bead Embroidery Lining

How to bead

As part of the bead embroidery “sandwich” that you create when making a piece of bead embroidered jewelry or art, you will most likely need some kind of lining to stiffen your beadwork. Using a lining will make your pieces more durable and will help prevent the beadwork from losing it’s shaping over time.

Bead embroidery linings can be something as simple as a piece of a plastic milk jug or as specialized as a brass embroidery blank from Designer’s Findings. You should always try a variety of materials to find out which ones work best for your specific projects.

Bead Embroidery Backings

How to bead

The last layer in your bead embroidered “sandwich” is the backing. Backings don’t just cover the bead embroidery stitches and hold the lining in place; they also protect the beadwork and make it comfortable to wear.

The best choice for a bead embroidery backing is some kind of fabric. Ultrasuede and Sensuede are preferred by many professional bead artists, and even a thin piece of natural leather can be used. A good bead embroidery backing will make your piece look professional.

Beading Thread

How to bead

Beading thread is what you will use to stitch your beads to the bead embroidery foundation.

There are two basic types of beading thread that are widely used by leaders: nylon beading thread and gel-spun or fishing line-type thread.

Some readers swear by nylon beading threads for their bead embroidery. They are soft, strong, and will not create large holes in the bead embroidery foundation. They also come in a wide variety of colors and thicknesses to accommodate many types of beads.

Others prefer to use the gel-spun or fishing line-type threads. These are also strong and somewhat stiffer than the nylon threads, and they don’t come in a wide range of colors like the nylon beading threads. Some of them can be dyed with permanent markers.

Either type of beading thread will work well for bead embroidery, so it is a good idea to try both types and see which ones you feel most comfortable using.

Beading Needles

How to bead

To do bead embroidery, you can and should use regular beading needles. Use an appropriately sized needle for the beads and thread that you are using, as you may need to make several threads pass through the beads to secure them and strengthen the embroidery.

English beading needles or milliners needles are the most popular choice for bead embroidery. Their size and strength make them perfect for using with leather and Stiff Stuff.

If you have trouble threading your beading needles, there are lots of tips and hints that you can try to make the process a little easier.

Beads for Bead Embroidery

How to bead

The best part of bead embroidery is that anything goes when it comes to which beads you use. Seed beads, crystal beads, freshwater pearls, and shaped, pressed glass beads are some of the most popular choices. You can also use bugle beads and other shaped seed beads to create texture and lines in your work.

It is also possible to incorporate other more unusual beads and components in your bead embroidery. Many leaders love to include gemstone, glass, ceramic cabochons, gemstone donuts, and all types of natural beads like coral and tiny seashells. Coral branches and sticks can be included, as well as lightweight metal beads.

If there is a bead that you want to use in a bead embroidery project, with a little trial and error and a little patience, you can use just about any type of bead that you want to and create a beautiful, one-of-a-kind piece of beaded art.

How to bead

The Spruce / Lisa Yang

  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Skill Level: Kid-friendly
  • Estimated Cost: $5

The daisy chain is often one of the first bead stitches children learn because it is easy, quick, and fun. It doesn’t take any special materials other than a needle, thread, and beads. Almost any bead size and type can be used, as the number of daisy petals can be adjusted to fit around whichever size bead you’re using for the daisy centers. Round beads will form a nicer flower than cylinder beads. Moreover, the stitch will work with most bead thread, as long as it can pass through the beads multiple times.

Daisy chains make great bracelets, anklets, necklaces, chains for eyeglasses, purse straps, and more. They’re a great way to use a variety of colors from bead mixes, and you can even choose to make daisies with multicolored petals. This tutorial shows you two different ways to make daisy chains. The first style has daisies that are interconnected where each flower runs into the next one. The second version has distinct flowers. Try out each variety, customized with your favorite colors, or make some to give away as personalized gifts.

Learn How to Do Beadwork

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How to bead

The Spruce / Lisa Yang

There is no single best beading stitch for beginners to learn. Everybody is different and has a different style of learning. Some people have a hard time learning the brick stitch, while others find it to be one of the easiest bead weaving stitches.

Many people learn flat even-count peyote stitch as their first bead weaving stitch, and for good reason: it’s a very versatile stitch, meaning that you can use it in many, many different ways. It can be used to make all types of beaded necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings. It can also be used to make beaded sculptures, and it can be used to cover other objects such as rocks and flexible tubing.

How to Choose a First Stitch

Some things that may help you determine the best stitch for you to start with are looking at what materials you have to work with. If you have cylinder beads, peyote stitch will be easier and more satisfying than if you have unevenly sized glass seed beads. You may also want to consider what type of project you are interested in making. If you would like to make rope style bracelets or necklaces, spiral rope stitch is perfect for beginners, as is a flat spiral stitch. Both of these stitches lend themselves to good results with a variety of types of beads.

Most people seem to prefer to learn a stitch while they are making a project, but it can be so much easier to learn a new stitch without the expectation of making a finished project! You’ll have more freedom to play with types of beads and tension and not feel any pressure if you make a mistake. To do this, all you need to do is make a little swatch or sample of the beading stitch you have in mind. You can keep these swatches or samples as a reference for later on if you find a project you want to make and need a reminder of how to work the stitch. Or it can also show you how much you’ve improved at the stitch and remind you of early errors.

For the people that find it easier to learn a stitch as part of a project, just remember that the project may not be perfect and have realistic expectations. To do this, all you need to do is find a project that appeals to you and follow the directions. You might want to have a reference handy on the basics of a particular stitch if you haven’t worked it before. There are lots of free tutorials on the site that cover the basics of most off-loom bead weaving stitches, and you can also find basic instructions in most good beading magazines or books. Starting with a quick project will probably give you the most satisfaction—like making a peyote tube bead or even count peyote ring.

If you get frustrated with a stitch, there’s nothing wrong with putting the beadwork down and walking away from it for a little while. Or, you might ask a friend for help. You can also take your work to a local bead shop to see if there is someone there who might be able to offer some advice and guidance.

How to bead

Posted By Paul G February 6th, 2013 Last Updated on: November 25th, 2019

This project will help you learn to do applique rosettes on a small project. Beaded medallion necklaces have been popular for both men and women dancers for many generations. These instructions suggest using the new beading foundation as the material to sew the beads onto. It is a stiffened fabric that helps you keep the rosette flat while pulling the threads tight (Figure 1)

How to bead

Materials needed for a 2 inch diameter medallion:
1 – Piece of Beading Foundation 2 1/8″ x 2 1/8″
2 – 3/4″ Brass cones
1 – Soft leather thong 42″
2 – Hairpipe
12 – Crow beads
1 – Piece of leather for backing 2 1/8″ x 2 1/8″
1 – Bobbin of “B” nylon thread
1- Sharps needle, size 11

1 – Piece of bee’s wax
Assortment of seed beads, usually size 11

The first step is to decide your pattern using the color beads you have. A planning graph pattern is shown here (Figure 2) which you can use if you are doing a centered circular pattern. Use color pencils and plan the pattern. For image patterns like the turtle in our photo, draw the image out on the beading foundation with a pencil.

How to bead

Thread your needle with a length of nylon thread. Pull the needle to the center of the thread length and double over. Wax the thread by pulling it through the bee’s wax block several times with your thumb over the thread.

With either style you will be using the applique stitch shown in Figure 3. Knot the beading thread and come up with the needle through the foundation at the starting point. Usually this is at the center of the pattern. The basic step is to thread on 4 beads, stitch through the foundation, and come back up with the needle two beads back. Then pass the needle through the last 2 beads, then string on 4 more beads. Repeat the process until you return to the start of that row.

Figure 4 shows the pattern of starting the rows in the center of the rosette. Note that you start by sewing one bead into the center position.

How to bead

If you are planning an image design like our turtle pattern, usually you will start sewing the beads on the outside of the pattern and then add rows on the inside until finished. For example in the turtle pattern the outside outline row of the turtle back is done first, the turtle back is then filled in, and the head, feet, and tail are added last.

How to bead

Doing this kind of beading, you often have to select the width of the bead that will fit, especially the last few beads in a row. To finish a row, as you fit the last one or two beads in position, thread the needle into the holes of the first two beads sewn in that row. Pull the thread tight and then pass the needle through the foundation to fasten that row of beads in place.

You are ready to start the next row by bringing the needle up through the foundation in the start position for the pattern. If you need more thread, knot your thread on the back of the foundation and then make up a new thread and needle set up as discussed above.

How to bead

When your bead work is finished, trim the foundation to match your pattern. Cut out a circle of backing leather to match. Attach the backing leather to the back of the foundation covering all of your threads and knots. A little tacky glue can be used. Sew edge beading to fasten the two layer together.

How to bead

Cut the leather thong to fit the necklace over your head. Thread the haripipe and crow beads on and sew the necklace thong to the back of the rosette as shown in Figure 7.

How to bead

Finish by slipping the ends into a metal cone and crimp the top with a pliers (Figure 8).

How to bead

How to bead

This project will help you learn to do applique rosettes on a small project. Beaded medallion necklaces have been popular for both men and women dancers for many generations.