How to Add Jewels and Beads to a Shirt

Two Methods:Select Your SuppliesCreate/Design Your Shirt

Take the concept of “bejeweling” your button down, stuffy cotton shirt to the next level and sew chunky jewels and beads down the button seam. You don’t need advanced seamstress skills to create this look. Just basic knowledge of how to wield a needle and thread and a wide selection of beads and jewels will help you design this hot look.

Method 1
Select Your Supplies

  1. Image titled Add Jewels and Beads to a Shirt Step 1
    Choose a button down shirt to bead. You’ll want a color and design that will compliment the beading and jewels you plan to add (or you may want to match the jewels and beads to the shirt).
    • Consider choosing a shirt that is 100% cotton as this fabric will hold the beading better than a more delicate material.
    • Pre-wash your shirt so that you have the proper fit and size prior to sewing (to avoid having the shirt shrink after the beads have been sewn onto the garment).
  2. Image titled Add Jewels and Beads to a Shirt Step 2
    Select beads and/or jewels. Visiting a bead store will be your best bet to have the widest selection. Consider bringing your shirt with you so you can see what the beads/jewels will look like before you make a purchase.
    • Make sure each jewel/bead has a hole that will allow you to sew it into place.
    • Ask the bead store clerk how the beads/jewels you select will hold up being washed.
  3. Image titled Add Jewels and Beads to a Shirt Step 3
    Obtain a needle and thread that you can use to sew the beads/jewels. Go for stronger thread since you will be attaching a bulky item to your shirt.
    • Make sure the thread color matches the beading/shirt color so the thread will be unnoticeable.

Method 2
Create/Design Your Shirt

  1. Image titled Add Jewels and Beads to a Shirt Step 4
    Lay out a bead/jewel pattern. Before you sew, lay out the beads/jewels on the shirt to make sure you like not only the pattern of beads/jewels but also the overall design you are trying to create with the beading.
    • Consider taping the beads into place while you work so you don't forget the pattern. Use a fabric tape that will allow you to adhere the beading/jewels without damaging the shirt.
  2. Image titled Add Jewels and Beads to a Shirt Step 5
    Sew beads/jewels into place. Add several stitches to each bead/jewel to ensure it is set in place.
    • Knot each bead/jewel thread on the backside of the shirt so that the knot is not visible.
    • Consider double sewing each bead/jewel for extra support.


  • Consider using beads or jewels as the shirt buttons. Find a bead that is small enough to fit through the buttonhole.

Article Info

Categories: Fabric and Clothing Decoration