How to Bead Lace

By Camela Bryan
Beaded lace on a wedding gown.

Heavy alencon with the pattern outlined in shimmering pearls is the height of elegance for a winter wedding dress. A summer dress of chantilly lace beaded with sparkling crystals is enchanting on a summer evening. Beading lace takes time, but it is not difficult to do. When you do the beading yourself, beaded lace is an affordable luxury. It is easiest to bead the lace before the dress is made, but you can also enhance a ready-made dress with beads. Beaded lace can also be used to make jewelry and home accessories.

Thread a beading needle with a yard of thread which matches your lace. Knot the ends of the thread together. A beading needle is very thin so that it will fit through the hole in a bead.

Bring your needle up at the point where you wish your first bead to be. Pull the thread out as far as you can. Do not bead the sheer parts of the lace, your knot will pull through.

Thread a bead on your needle and pull it all the way down to the fabric.

Push the needle back through the lace directly below the bead.

Continue to sew on beads in this way following the pattern of the lace. If you wish the beads to lie right next to each other, like a string of pearls, stitch back through the previous bead and bring the needle down into the fabric below that bead instead of below the bead you just added.

Tip

Add sequins to your beading by bringing the needle through a sequin, through a bead and back through the hole in the sequin.

Bugle beads may also be used.

About the Author

Camela Bryan's first published article appeared in "Welcome Home" magazine in 1993. She wrote and published SAT preparation worksheets and is also a professional seamstress who has worked for a children's theater as a costume designer and in her own heirloom-sewing business. Bryan has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Florida.