Create Wearable Art with Beads and Denim

A note from Cate: Today, we have a special guest blogger, Jennifer VanBenschoten, who is the editor for Beading Daily. Jennifer is here to give you ideas for using beads to turn your jeans into wearable art.

beaded art to wear
A little bit of bead embroidery goes a
long way to turn a pair of my favorite
jeans into wearable art clothing!

Beads make fabulous jewelry, as we all know, but there are so many other crafts that you can do with beads! One of my favorites is using beads to embellish clothing.  

Since I wear jeans pretty much every single day (one of the perks of working from home), I love to dress them up with special embellishments. Using beads to embellish your favorite jeans is a fun weekend beading project! Before you get started, here are a couple of tips to help you along:

  • Choose a pair of dark wash jeans for a dressier look.
  • You can use a small amount of fabric paint to trace your design on your jeans before you start to stitch. Another option is to use a white crayon that can be rubbed off gently after you've finished your beaded embellishment.
  • When looking for places to embellish with beads, try to avoid places on your jeans that will get heavy wear such as the back pockets and ankles. Stick with places like the front pockets for your fashion art.
  • Use a small piece of Ultrasuede or leather to secure your knots on the inside of your jeans. This will keep your beading thread from pulling at the fabric of the jeans and coming loose.
  • For beading thread, use a braided thread like Fireline or Wildfire. These beading threads are more likely to hold up with heavy wear and repeated washing of your bead-embellished jeans.
  • Care for your jeans by washing them on gentle cycle in your washing machine, or put them in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase before washing to extend the life of your beaded embellishments.
stitching art to wear clothing
Use a tiny bit of Ultrasuede to anchor
your knots when stitching beads
on your jeans.

You can make so many different kinds of wearable art with beads and found objects. Whether you're making fabulous mixed-media jewelry or embellished art to wear, it just goes to show that these versatile little bits of glass can be used for just about anything! (And just imagine all the compliments you'll get on your newly embellished beaded jeans!)

If you are ready to start experimenting with these kinds of bead crafts and mixed-media jewelry, then you'll want to check out Beadwork magazine. It's full of page after page of wonderful ideas and instructions for beading techniques!

Beadwork, June/July 2012

Want to practice some bead stitch skills and make some amazing beaded jewelry at the same time? Then you'll want to make sure you subscribe to Beadwork magazine. Every issue is packed with beautiful beaded jewelry projects using peyote stitch, right-angle weave and many more favorite beading techniques!

And with Beadwork magazine's 15th anniversary celebration going on throughout 2012, you're sure to find inspiring and challenging beading projects all year long. Subscribe to Beadwork magazine and don't miss a single issue!

What other bead crafts do you enjoy? Leave a comment and share your favorite bead crafts with us in the comments section below.

Bead Happy,


Art to Wear, Blog, Fabric Art


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