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

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Ever since I posted my Kasut Manek (beaded shoes) here, I received several emails from readers around the world asking me how to do beading for it. I decided to post some comprehensive tutorials in this area to cover all-you-need-to-know-how-to-bead-a-Kasut-Manek.

These tutorials are going to split into 4 parts:

prepare beaded shoes frame

Here we are, at the very beginning among these tutorials: How to prepare your cross-stitch canvas…

You need:

  1. A wooden frame measuring 11″ x 14″, preferably softwood like pine so that you can press the thumb pins into it easily.
  2. A 16-count cross-stitch canvas, white color, 11″ x 14″. Sew a border of 3.5″ width with cotton fabric
  3. Some thumb pins
  4. The shoes-face shape of your foot size
  5. Pencil

If you can’t find the wooden frame, you can always substitute it with easy clip frames (38 x 30 cm) or with a big embroidery/quilt hoop of 14″ diameter. You will need to resize your canvas to suit the frame you choose, but the minimum working area must be 11″ x 14″.

As you work along the beading process, the tension of the cross-stitch canvas will get lax at some point in time, re-tensioning is necessary so that your beading work is even.


Now, come back to our thumb pins option…

Double-fold the 3.5″ border and pin down the thumb pins to secure it, 4 pins on the short side and 5 pins on the long side.


Complete all 4 sides and make sure you pull the canvas in tension while pinned down so that it is tight and firm.

prepare beaded shoes frame

Trace the outline of the shoes-face of your foot size with a pencil on your canvas. Mark the center-line. Trace both the right and left sides of your shoes-faces on top and bottom of the canvas respectively (just flip the paper pattern to change from left to right and vice-versa).  The pattern shown below is a simple casual thong-style sandal. There are several types of patterns for you to choose from, closed-toe, opened-toe, horizontal single-strap, horizontal double-straps, diagonal-straps, crossed-straps, and many more…..

Tracing beaded shoes kasut manek template

That’s it, now your framed canvas is ready for beading!!!!

Continue Part 2 – Border Beading…..

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Wednesday 9th of March 2016

Dear Joanne

I am reading your blog with interest! I am traveling to Penang, just thought if you know where can I get the design and pattern for beaded shoes?

Thank you

Craft Passion

Tuesday 15th of March 2016

Hi Ursula, There is a shop at Penang Road (Komtar side), they have all the materials and info you need. The name of the shop is Sin Seng Lee. 515-517, Penang Road, 10000 George Town, Malaysia Hope this help and happy shopping.


Wednesday 9th of December 2015

Hi Joanne, may I know how to tie a big knot for starting and ending off? And do I need to weave thread behind stitches when I end off? Please help me. Thanks a lot.

Craft Passion

Wednesday 23rd of December 2015

Hi Susan, I tie a double knot and string the needle between the 2 threads after sewing the first bead (when the needle goes to the back), this method will avoid a big knot and also prevent the knot from coming off through the hole of the bead. For the end of the sewing, I thread my needle between the sewn thread and tie double knot for secure ending.


Monday 21st of July 2014

Hello! I've recently visited malacca and was intrigued with this unique culture called nonya culture. They have these beautiful beaded shoes which is very pretty! After reading this page, I'm excited to start making one my own! Joanne, could you send me the different templates (outline) of the shoe face? I'm living in England and I can't find those here, except for the beads, that is.. Your help will definitely be resourceful to me! Cheers! Thank you so much!

Craft Passion

Wednesday 23rd of July 2014

Hi Benedette, I have stopped making Manek Shoes after this pair, sorry, I didn't keep anymore pattern with me.


Thursday 10th of July 2014

Thanks Joanne! Seems like I'll be going on an expedition soon! Another question, I understand that cross stitch fabric that you use to sew the beads on is soft and it doesn't hold still. Is there a method in which you use to firm up the shoe face so that it will have a more rigid structure?

Craft Passion

Friday 11th of July 2014

The cobbler will add layers to the shoes face when he assemble the kasut manek for you.


Tuesday 8th of July 2014

Oh yes! I live in Singapore also! Thanks