Soutache: Attaching Around Beads

See the tabs below for all products and tools used in this technique, plus any additional tips that may be helpful to you!

Attach Soutache around your beads to create intricate patterns and shapes. Choose from polyester, rayon or textured metallic cords!
Inspiration LevelBeginner
Approximate Finished Length3mpty
Printer-Friendly
Tip 1With this technique, you can use any size and shape of beads you desire.
Tip 2With this technique, use one length of soutache to surround the beads, or use multiple layers of soutache for a more decorative look.
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Step 1

Cut two pieces of soutache to approximately 6 inches. Cut an 18-inch piece of beading thread that matches the soutache, tie a knot at one end, and thread a beading needle.

Step 2

Stack the desired number of pieces together, and line them all up. Insert the needle into the soutache trim. ALWAYS insert and pass the needle through the center channel of the cord, through the visible seam.

Step 3

Pull the thread snug, pulling the pieces together, but do not pull tight enough to distort the shape. In the finished design, only the sides of the soutache will be visible.

Step 4

Stitch several more times away from the knot to attach the cords together. Stitches can be from 1/16-inch to 1/4-inch apart, and the tension should not be pulled too tight.

Step 5

Position the bead next to the cord, bring the thread up through the bead hole, and pull snug.

Step 6

Shape the soutache around the bead, and poke the needle through both pieces, being sure to pass the needle through the center channels of all the cords.

Step 7

After adding the bead, continue stitch through the soutache cord several times.

Step 8

Shape the soutache around the bead. The stitching should reach all the way around the bead, back to the hole at the center. Stop with the needle and thread on the outside of the stack of cords.

Step 9

Stitch several times back and forth, underneath the bead, through all of the cords, to pull the cords together and around the whole bead.

Step 10

Add a second, smaller bead.

Step 11

Shape half of the cords around the bead, and pass the needle through all of the cords to anchor them in position.

Step 12

Stitch several times through the soutache cords, moving away from the bead just added.

Step 13

Flip the piece over to the back and shape the soutache around the bead and pull it across, behind the back of the large bead.

Step 14

Stitch through the cords on the back a few times.

Step 15

Bring the needle up through the cord, next to the large bead, to anchor the ends on the back to the overall structure.

Step 16

Insert the needle back down through the piece, near to where you came up through the front, so the stitch ends up hidden between the cord and bead.

Step 17

Stitch through the cords on the back, then push the needle back to the front, close to the large bead.

Step 18

Repeat steps 16 and 17 several several times to anchor the ends securely on the back.

Step 19

Trim the cords close to where they are anchored down, being sure to leave at least 1/8-inch between the anchoring stitches and the ends.

Step 20

Coat hypo-tube cement on the cord ends to stop them from fraying.

Step 21

Stitch through the cords, until the needle is coming out of the unfinished side of the design, directly across from where the smaller bead was added on the first side.

Step 22

Repeat steps 10-20 to add the second smaller bead to the design.

Step 23

Knot and trim off the remaining threads.

Step 24

Congratulations, you have learned how to surround a bead with soutache cord!

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