Beads are beautiful. If you can incorporate these beads as a functional things to your clothes, it will be so great.Attaching beads as buttons adds a special texture to your garment.
It is great that you get beads in different colours, shapes and textures, much more than you get buttons. Triangular shaped, heart shaped, cylindrical shaped, so many shapes and colours.It takes only a simple trick to transform these beautifully shaped beads into buttons suitable for your clothes.
You can easily sew the small buttons of sizes 5 – 6 mm like pearls, wooden beads , glass beads into the garment straightaway. You sew it up like you would a regular button. They look like buttons, they behave like buttons. One thing you have to ensure is that the buttonholes for these small bead buttons should be smaller than what you would make for a similar sized regular button.
Problem arises when you have beads larger than that. Bigger beads of size 8 -12 mm needs a shank.
Best way is to make a thread shank. You need a thread shank so that the bead button is slightly raised from the surface of the cloth.
How to Make a shank for a bead button
Thread your hand needle with two or three strands of thread. Leaving about 5 inch tail ,Make a loop around the bead. Do this twice more. Make it adequately tight , but not so tight that you cannot let two needles pass through .
Make button hole stitches ( Start from the side of the needle to the other side where you left the tail) over this thread loop, tightly, like you would make for a thread bar for hooks .
After you have made the stitches completely, tie the two end tails strands making a knot. Make two knots. This will secure your stitches on the shank.
Now rethread the needle and Take it through the shank you have made and come out through the center of the shank.
Now you can attach the bead with the help of this needle.
Another slightly difficult option you have is to make your own metal shank with a heavy wire.