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Beading (Manek) Tutorial – Part 3: Interior Beading

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Continue from Part 2: Border Beading

Internal Beading  beaded shoes

After you have finished your border beading, you can go ahead to fill up your shoe face with your chosen pattern. The photo below shows you an example of my design on a thong-style sandal which I have not completed when I took the photo.

beaded shoes

I used a black color thread for this tutorial so that you can see the thread clearly. I normally use white color thread for the actual beading.
Make a big knot at the end of the doubled thread and you are ready to start your beading journey.

beaded shoes

Beading is basically the same as sewing 1/2 stitches in cross- stitch. If you have the basics of cross-stitch, you are almost done with this tutorial.
Thread-out, pick a Japanese Round Seed Bead on the needle, according to the color on the pattern chat, thread-in upward diagonally to the top right corner of the square. Working from left to right.

beaded shoes

The bead is secured on the canvas.
Tips: Upon the first thread out, leave a 1.5-inch length dangling on the wrong side of your canvas for anchoring. When you progress on the stitches, catch the 1.5-inch length under the stitches on the back of your project.

beaded shoes

Again, thread out straight below the hole of your last thread in to begin the next bead-stitching.

beaded shoes

Thread in diagonally, and you get 2 beads secured on the canvas.
Continue doing this in a row and refer to your pattern chat for changing beads color accordingly.

beaded shoes

Go down to the next row when you have reached the end of the current row. Again, pick-up a bead…

beaded shoes

Thread-in downward diagonally to the bottom left corner of the square, working from right to left.
Make sure you always stitch the beads in one direction so that they will align in the correct way for every row. I am using ////// direction, you can use \\\\\ direction, but all the up-down-left-right instruction will be in reverse form. It is best to follow my tutorial to avoid any confusion  😉

beaded shoes

Thread-out vertically from the last hole you threaded-in for your next bead.

beaded shoes

You are done with 2 rows and get ready for the 3rd row.

beaded shoes

Repeat the instruction of 1st row…. thread-in upward diagonally to the top right corner of the square…..

beaded shoes

Easy peasy, completed 3 rows.


This is the wrong side of the canvas. The horizontal thread on the top row is the 1.5″ thread anchoring I mentioned above. You can do it with or without a knot, but I prefer to knot it since it is more secure for beading work.

beaded shoes

I drew a chart showing you the direction of the beading for easy reference. If you prefer to print it, right-click on the chart, save it on your computer, and you can print it out later.
In summary:
*When you are working from left to right, always thread-in upward diagonally to the top right corner of the square.
*When you are working from right to left, always thread-in downward diagonally to the bottom left corner of the square.

beaded shoes

This one shows the beading when you need increment and decrement for the pattern.
So far so good? Great!!!!
Now, you have 2 options on how to run your pattern in the shoe’s face. You can either do it by pattern (aka by color) or by row.

beaded shoes

When you do it by color, you just refer to the pattern chart and sew all the squares that indicate that particular color. This the same as sewing a cross-stitch.
Pros of going by color:
*Handle only one bead color at a time, there would be no mess up in multicolor beads.
*If you made a mistake in the pattern, it is easy to take out the beads by color and redo it.
Cons of going by color:
*Higher rate in making mistake since you may miscount 1 or 2 squares for some instants. Humans make mistakes, right?
*It is going to be messy on the wrong side of the canvas as the thread is running all over the place as you jump the stitching from one corner to the other.

beaded shoes

If you choose to sew by row, just refer to the chart and pick up the correct bead color accordingly, row by row.
Pros of going by row:
*Lesser chance of making mistake as you can see the result instantly when comparing to the chart.
*Neater finishing at the wrong side of the canvas since you are beading row by row.
Cons of going by row:
*Have to handle various bead-color.
*It is going to drive you crazy if you find out you have made a mistake a few rows above. You need to take out all the beading until you get to the one you need to correct.

There is no absolute answer if you were to choose to bead by color or by row, you need to experience it yourself to find out which suits you best.

Happy BEADING!!!

To be continued: Part 4 – How to take a measurement on your foot ………

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Friday 13th of March 2020

Hi, Joanne, may I know when the pencil outline on either side of the shoe panel is drawn on part of a square only, do I need to sew a bead on it too? Thanks a lot.

Nancy Bishop

Friday 20th of July 2018

There is no photo of the finished shoes. Would you please post one? I love your beading design!

Justina Beh

Thursday 17th of May 2018

Hi Joanne, Lovely beading works. Looking for some templates and patterns to try. Any suggestion where to get them? Btw I am based in Penang.


Wednesday 14th of September 2016

The pattern of d slippers is so nice. Is it possible to send me the pattern. Tkq

Patricia Low

Wednesday 29th of July 2015

Hi, Joanne, I am new to Beading (Manek). Please advise me as to where I can purchase beads for this type of beadwork and also what type of beads should I use.

I would like to confirm that the canvas is a 16-count cross-stitch cloth.

Your kind advise, please.

Regards, Patricia

Craft Passion

Wednesday 5th of August 2015

Hi Patricia, I guessed that you are from Singapore but sorry that I am not familiar where to get beading materials in Singapore. I have been to People's Park and saw a few craft shops there, perhaps you can find them there. Determine the size of the beads before you select the correct size of the canvas. Place a few beads diagonally and align them horizontally (as the way I sewed them on the canvas in the tutorial), count the total quantity of the beads that made up 1" of length, this will be the size of your canvas count. For example, your counted 17 beads in 1", then choose a canvas size close to this number or slightly smaller in count, ie. 16 count for this case. Hope this explanation helps.