Use Vintage Beads to Embellish Clothing

Do you love beads so much that you can’t get enough of wearing them? Do you wear them even when you’re staying at home and don’t plan to go out anywhere? If beaded jewelry just isn’t enough for you, add beads to your clothing.Back in style after years of waning popularity, beads are showing up on everything from formal wear to business suits. Casual, weekend wear is adorned with beads in styles from subtle to extravagant.Not satisfied with beads adorning clothing of all types, designers and fashionistas are putting beads on accessories from bags to belts, sunglasses to hair accessories. Added to evening accessories like elbow-length gloves, silk or knit shawls, even shoes, beads sparkle at nighttime venues all over town.Although designers and off-the-rack clothing manufacturers offer clothes and accessories with beads already on them, do-it-yourself-types and craft enthusiasts can make their own beaded clothes simply and easily.Add new or vintage beads to brand new clothing, or shop in your closet for something you can update for a new look. Or try shopping in thrift or vintage stores. You may find both a vintage garment to embellish and a few strings of vintage beads to use on them.Sometimes you can find already-beaded vintage clothing at thrift shops. They can be used on the piece as-is, or removed and re-applied to another article of clothing. Beads can also be used to camouflage missing or damaged areas in garments that are otherwise in good shape.Check the jewelry counter at thrift stores and vintage shops. You can often find strings of vintage beads or earrings made of attractive beads that you can disassemble. Use them to embellish clothing, fashion accessories, or even decorative household items.Transform a plain graphic t-shirt into a unique, designer-looking, high-fashion shirt by sewing on a few beads to emphasize part of the printed design. For example, outline the letters in some or all of the words with beads. Choose colors that emphasize the part of the message that appeals to you.Or use a few beads to highlight and feature part of the picture on the t-shirt. Use them to draw attention to the part of the shirt’s message that is important to you.Use beads to create an outfit. Use in similar colors and/or sizes, and apply them to separates, like a blouse and skirt, or a pair of pants and a shirt. Or create custom accessories to coordinate with certain outfits by embellishing them all with similar beads.The possibilities are endless when making beaded clothes and accessories.Copyright Sharon Shares, 2011