Beading (Manek) Tutorial – Part 2: Border Beading

Continue from Part 1: Preparing The Frame & Canvas

After having your frame and canvas prepared, shoes-face traced out, the next step is to sew a stretch of beads along the shoes-face outline like the picture shown below.

You need:

1. Japanese seed beads size 15/0 for the border
2. Very fine needle so that it can go through the hole of the seed bead
3. White color quilting thread
4. Needle threader (The needle’s eye is so small that you will appreciate to have this threader in hand :))


The sewing method is to simply adapt the technique of back stitching, but with thread drawing through the beads on the working surface.

Pass through 1-strand of quilting thread to the needle’s eye and tie a big knot at the end of the loop to create 2-strand cord. The big knot is just to make sure that the knot won’t come out from the cross-stitch canvas. Draw the needle up at a distance of about 2 bead-length (1) from the start point (2). I didn’t take any pictures to show the start point, so please assume that the last bead on the line is the start point.


Pick 2 beads and sew it back to the start point (2). The picture shown below is pointing at the wrong place, sorry, didn’t get a good picture to show either :p I was trying to show you that I picked up 2 beads and not where I am pointing at….


This one show better, pull the beads all the way down to the canvas by the back stitching.


Complete 1 back stitch with 2 beads per stitch. Notice that the beads are crooked but stay on the line. Don’t worry, we are going to do some magic to get them straigthened up later!!!! But before the magic can begin, you need to finish beading the border until the end.

….bead…. back stitch…bead…back stitch….bead…. back stitch…bead…back stitch….bead…. back stitch…bead…back stitch….bead…. back stitch…bead…back stitch….bead…. back stitch…bead…back stitch….bead…. back stitch…bead…back stitch….bead…. back stitch…bead…back stitch….bead…. back stitch…bead…back stitch…


Once you have finished a line of border, pass the needle through all the beads along it. Please make sure that your thread is long enough to go from one end to the other.


Since the needle is not long enough for you to pass through all the beads in one go, do it in batches of about 15 beads each time.


Pull the thread and you will see that all the beads straighten up nicely… no more zigzag….


Do the same to all the borders of the shoes-face outlines.

Remark: Only the top and bottom outline need to do border bead. The sides are not required since it is going to be glued into the sole by the shoes maker. If you are making closed-toe type, there is onle one border at each shoes-face.


Now you have finished with the border, the next step is to fill up the shoes-fac with pattern….

To be continue: Part 3 – Interior Beading…..

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11 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Pingback:Beading (Manek) Tutorial – Part 1: Preparing The Frame& Canvas :

  2. Your close-up shots look excellent!! Luv them all! 😉

  3. Hi, thanks for the beautiful things you made. You make them look so easy to get them done. My kasut is like taking me ages to sew. I’m using no. 15 potong beads. The beads are so unevenly cut I find it hard to keep them in alignment. Just wondering how did you sew a pair in 12 days? Or was it 10 days? That’s amazing. Keep posting beautiful things ok…:)

    • Hi Jan,
      You are welcome. I love to share and sharing makes me happy 🙂
      If you bought the uneven beads, you will have to select and use the evenly shaped. I bought from a trusted source and their beads are awesomely even and nice. I just love them!!!!
      I worked on them fulltime, at least 8 hours a day to get them done in short period of time. The drawback was that the beading job really strained my eyesight and I have to rest for a few days after that :p

  4. Wow, 8 hrs a day, that’s like a full-time job. I envy u. I also realise that if I don’t finish my sewing fast then the interest will slowly die off. ok, will try to steal more time to complete my project. BTW, do u get your beads online or at the local stores? Thanks.

    • Exactly, not only that, once you put it down you need more determination to continue the project. I steal time from my rest time and I still have a full-time office job to take care besides my 2 kids.
      I get my beads both locally and oversea in order to meet my desired color range.

  5. Hi, could I have the above template, please. I’m a size 6. Thank you very much.

  6. Hey there, I know it has been a while since you posted on your blog re the manek shoes, but I just recently came about reading on how to get started on
    beading and found your blog to be very helpful. Is there anyway that you can email me an actual template of the diagonal straps, crossed straps for the shoes as I do not know exactly how to make them and I’m in US so will be helpful
    if you can do that for me. Thanks a bundle.

  7. Thank you so much for this great blog. It is obvious that you put in a lot of effort and take great pains to share your beautiful work. I will try out some of the things you have shared and send you photos for comments when I’m done. Take care.

  8. Thanks for generously sharing!

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