DIY Beaded Button Down Shirt

I immediately did a double take after spotting this shirt with baubles stitched down the “placket,” which I just recently learned is the term used to describe the middle section of a button down shirt. Honestly? Placket?! In any case, it’s an easy DIY and the most brilliant way to add a bit of texture and pizazz to any shirt!

 You’ll need:

  • a button down shirt
  • a mix of metal, plastic or glass beads
  • a needle fine enough to fit through the beads
  • thread

Keep the shirt buttoned. Thread the needle with about a yard of thread and tie the ends into a double knot. Push the needle through the backside of the middle of the placket.

Slide a bead onto the needle and bring the needle back through the fabric on the other side of the bead. Continue sewing beads onto the fabric using this running stitch.

After adding 5-6 beads, secure the stitch by tying off the thread with a double knot. This helps reinforce the stitch, especially with the weight of the beads. If the thread is long enough, continue to stitch on another group of beads. If the thread runs out, go ahead and cut the thread and start again with the first step.

Continue adding beads in small groups along the placket.

Stop 3/4 of the way down.

Finished!! xx

(shirt by JCrew, polish by Niyot; top image via Jak&Jil, rest of images by HonestlyWTF) 

Leave a Comment

108 Comments

  1. Lia wrote:

    Friggen genius. I must do this!
    xx
    Lia

    11.15.11
    Reply
  2. betsy wrote:

    Oh my goodness. What a great detail! I’d be worried that the placket would be too weighed down by the beads but it seems to be holding up well.

    11.15.11
    Reply
  3. KAI wrote:

    I saw this shirt a while back and instantly thought it was DIY worthy as well. You make it look so easy.

    Thanks for sharing

    texturetexture.blogspot.com

    11.15.11
    Reply
  4. That could be fun for the holidays!! Maybe a little black, white and gold color combo!!

    11.15.11
    Reply
  5. just stop it already… you guys are too cool!!! Love this.

    11.15.11
    Reply
  6. loool this is awesome! To tell the truth, when I saw the needle next to this beautiful plaided shirt, I was like “NOOOOOOOOO” :)) but the result is so great !
    thank you for sharing!
    xoxo, Betül

    http://balladofseasons.blogspot.com/

    11.15.11
    Reply
  7. Kaila wrote:

    This is stunning!!!

    SOO BEAUTIFUL!!

    Great addition to a plain shirt, definitely jazzes it up! Nice alternative to a necklace!

    xo
    http://cestclassique.blogspot.com/

    11.15.11
    Reply
  8. MARA wrote:

    Your DIY is perfect !!! Kisses

    11.15.11
    Reply
  9. dee wrote:

    This is just AMAZING!!!!! I’m sooo making this! Thank you!! 🙂

    11.15.11
    Reply
  10. Super cute!! Too much work for me, but def worth the time!

    XO Charlotte
    http://www.thefashionguitar.com

    11.15.11
    Reply
  11. Julieta wrote:

    Another amazing DIY inspiration from you!!!!!!!!! this look is so gorgeous and definitely makes the shirt look way better!!!!!!!!!!

    xoxo Julieta

    11.15.11
    Reply
  12. Ellie wrote:

    Excellent idea for a DIY, I remember seeing this from streetstyle blogs. Is there any way of covering the visible messy stitching if you wanted to wear it slightly unbuttoned?

    CHECK OUT MY BLOG:
    http://edited-by.blogspot.com

    11.15.11
    Reply
  13. Lindsay R wrote:

    gorgeous.

    Lindsay

    11.15.11
    Reply
  14. gi-gi wrote:

    I made the wrap bracelet and love it and now I must try this. Such a great way to add some panache to a blouse. Lovely!

    11.15.11
    Reply
  15. Melissa wrote:

    Adorable!

    11.15.11
    Reply
  16. july wrote:

    Wow, my must have for this winter!!!

    11.15.11
    Reply
  17. star wrote:

    Um… awesome!

    11.15.11
    Reply
  18. OMG I love!! one of my favorite DIYs, i have to try I hope I can do it 🙂

    http://www.dragonnfruit.com

    11.15.11
    Reply
  19. Margot wrote:

    Looks Great on you! xoxo

    11.15.11
    Reply
  20. Martina wrote:

    Amazing!

    11.15.11
    Reply
  21. DC2NY wrote:

    Love the idea, it would make the outfit so much more SpECiAL!
    Placed this project on my To-Do list!

    http://dc2nyconfessions.blogspot.com

    11.15.11
    Reply
  22. Svenja wrote:

    wow, this looks really great! 🙂

    http://svenjataviundco.blogspot.com/

    11.15.11
    Reply
  23. Tammy wrote:

    Looks great but I have to be practical. How would you wash it? Do you think you could make a removable one that you could take off to launder and put on other shirts?

    11.15.11
    Reply
  24. Plami wrote:

    Great idea! I should definitely try 🙂

    XoXo
    Plami

    http://www.fashionthrill.com/

    11.15.11
    Reply
  25. I love it! Absolutely beautiful!

    11.15.11
    Reply
  26. vanessa wrote:

    loved yours even more! way to go 🙂

    11.15.11
    Reply
  27. Ella wrote:

    WTF that’s such a great way to brighten up my day! I Love this! It would look amazing against my shiny nylon black shirt.
    http://www.dottoddot.com

    11.15.11
    Reply
  28. W…O…W….what a great idea!
    camilla

    11.15.11
    Reply
  29. Zane wrote:

    really pretty, love the idea

    11.15.11
    Reply
  30. love it! gotta try that =)

    11.15.11
    Reply
  31. Netilla wrote:

    ¡I love this! You are so talent 🙂

    I think I must do this… too shirts hanging without hope of being used again and this is a really good idea!!! thanks!

    11.15.11
    Reply
  32. LOVED this DIY! Just perfect! Easy, not expensive, clothes makeover and GREAT result! 🙂

    11.15.11
    Reply
  33. Alicia wrote:

    So pretty! Love the colour choices a lot.

    11.15.11
    Reply
  34. danielle wrote:

    this is amazing. i may try it this weekend! love it.

    11.15.11
    Reply
  35. Love this idea! Amazing!

    11.15.11
    Reply
  36. GENIUS! Looks amazing–i’m definitely going to give a try.

    http://191orchard.blogspot.com

    11.15.11
    Reply
  37. I LOVE to DIY, Please come and see my new DIY Rope belt and bracelet:) Wonder what you think:) LOve Olya

    11.15.11
    Reply
  38. Nomadic D wrote:

    Love it! Looks amazing! And just think of all the possibilities…

    http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

    11.16.11
    Reply
  39. Allison wrote:
    11.16.11
    Reply
  40. Femi wrote:

    OMG! This is sooo awesome! a lot of work it seems like, but I might just give it a try! kisses

    11.16.11
    Reply
  41. Rai wrote:

    This is gorgeous!

    I think when I do it (because this is inspiring!) I will do it to an appropriately wide piece of ribbon or fabric and fasten some pens to it so I can easily remove and use with other shirts.

    11.16.11
    Reply
  42. Este wrote:

    You could use this idea for other parts of the shirt also, for example the collar or the cuffs!

    11.16.11
    Reply
  43. Rachel wrote:

    This is kind of genius. I’m going to find a button down shirt to do this to.

    11.16.11
    Reply
  44. J Umm wrote:

    i love this!!!!
    STYLE DECORUM

    11.16.11
    Reply
  45. marina wrote:

    I love it!!

    Te cojo la idea para poner tu blog y tu idea cuando haga el post de DIY!

    nos seguimos?

    besos
    http://www.onemoreshoes.blogspot.com

    11.16.11
    Reply
  46. Gorgeous. Love this.

    Fashionable Collections

    11.16.11
    Reply
  47. What a fun idea! It’s a great way to liven up a shirt that you’ve gotten bored of rather than throwing it out. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    11.16.11
    Reply
  48. That’s beautiful!

    11.16.11
    Reply
  49. Kate Jones wrote:

    Aw, but I loved that J. Crew shirt even before you beaded it! Such a cute idea!

    11.16.11
    Reply
  50. Wow, that’s awesome!

    11.16.11
    Reply
  51. Gigi Colon wrote:

    You guys never fail to bring us such subliminal posts! Deff doing this DIY!!!!!

    11.16.11
    Reply
  52. lily wrote:

    it’s so refreshing to see a new and innovative DIY! very cool.

    Oh – Fancy That.

    11.16.11
    Reply
  53. nicole wrote:

    I loved this so much that i did one with wooden beads on a white shirt!thanks for the idea!!

    11.16.11
    Reply
  54. cool , i like the shirt combine with the beading craft …..thanks
    http://www.coniefoxdress.com

    11.16.11
    Reply
  55. Candy wrote:

    OMG i love this! I now know what to do with all those shirts I never wear!

    Candy
    http://www.tayloranddemolish.tumblr.com

    11.17.11
    Reply
  56. Valerie wrote:

    This is awesome! I will definetely try this 🙂

    11.17.11
    Reply
  57. You girls always make this stuff look so flipping easy!

    11.17.11
    Reply
  58. OMG that is such a great idea. I definitely have to do this 🙂

    – Sara @ Gameday Stylist
    http://www.gamedaystylist.com

    11.17.11
    Reply
  59. Buse wrote:

    amazin ideaaa

    11.17.11
    Reply
  60. Vanessa wrote:

    I should do this!!!!

    Vanessa

    http://thepinkmateproject.blogspot.com/

    11.19.11
    Reply
  61. Martina wrote:

    I like so much this collar http://www.dannijo.com/product_info.php?products_id=733 why don’t you do a DIY? 🙂

    11.21.11
    Reply
  62. Agata wrote:

    wow, why didn’t I think of that before?! Thanks a lot! 🙂

    11.22.11
    Reply
  63. Abigail wrote:

    Lovely! And I want to try it!
    But, I was wondering how the weight of the beads doesn’t pull the shirt forward? The beads look as if they start lower in the photo of the shirt being worn than in the folded photo.
    Thanks!

    11.22.11
    Reply
  64. Talia wrote:

    Goody! I have a Chirstmas project – at last- .

    11.22.11
    Reply
  65. Beautiful idea! I guess it works on old t-shirts or even underwear too 😉

    11.22.11
    Reply
  66. Juli wrote:

    You could sew the beads as shown onto a strip of ribbon or seam binding which has been cut to your desired length. When finished, sew buttons (the same diameter as those on the shirt) onto the BACKSIDE of your finished beading. lining the new buttons up with the button holes on your shirt. Button the strip to the shirt (beading facing out, buttons facing in). Removable to wash shirt, or use on another shirt. No messy stitches visible!!

    12.2.11
    Reply
  67. Summer wrote:

    Hi Juli, that would be perfect except if you attach it in the buttonholes that are already on the shirt, you can’t button the shirt. Otherwise, it’s a good idea.

    12.5.11
    Reply
  68. Jennifer wrote:

    @Ellie
    you could cover the inside stitching wth silk of grosgrain ribbon attach with pliable washable fabric glue and that would reinforce the stiching also

    12.10.11
    Reply
  69. Ashley wrote:

    If you were to do this to a button down, how would you wash it? by hand? just wondering before doing this lovely diy!

    12.11.11
    Reply
  70. Grace wrote:

    This looks AMAZING!

    12.13.11
    Reply
  71. Melissa wrote:

    I love this! I took one of my boyfriend’s shirts and tapered it to fit me. Now I think I will add beads to the placket!! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

    2.3.12
    Reply
  72. Divya N wrote:

    Lovely shirt…I am planning to make it 🙂

    2.4.12
    Reply
  73. Lala Rot wrote:

    If you love this, you will certaily love my Tumblr!

    lalarot.tumblr.com

    2.20.12
    Reply
  74. cath wrote:

    I don’t even like to sew but I have to try this!
    how do you wash it after you sew beads on it though?

    3.1.12
    Reply
  75. cath wrote:
    3.1.12
    Reply
  76. Ange wrote:

    Love this! Doing it this wekend! Thanks <3

    5.22.12
    Reply
  77. Great diy, I have to try this.

    Jewelry Rage

    6.10.12
    Reply
  78. Diane wrote:

    Who makes the beads ? I live in an area with poor selections!
    Thanks,

    8.23.13
    Reply
  79. Very energetic post, I likmed that bit. Will there be a part 2?

    12.13.13
    Reply
  80. whoah this weblog is wonderful i like studying your articles.
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    12.30.13
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  83. Hello…

    I like your new shirt style, its really really looking good. Keep it up….

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  86. Hi there

    I am putting together a Love to Sew bookazine in which I am featuring the best bloggers/website for DIY. I would like to ask your permission to use the first and last image of the DIY beaded buttoned down shirt. I will credit Honestly WTF with the images. If you are agreable please can you send me the high res images for these?

    Thanks and kind regards
    Julie
    Julie Bonnar, editor Love to Sew

    5.27.14
    Reply
  87. Mags wrote:

    Such a cool idea! I’m going to try it. Thanks!

    2.13.15
    Reply
  88. Selena Childs wrote:

    I really like the details on this shirt! Reminds me of the shirt that I just purchased on fixateboutique.com. They gave me 20% for it being my first purchase with them and everything! I think you should go see if you like some things!

    3.13.15
    Reply
  89. micksterct wrote:

    Love the play on blue. Plaid so perfect for FALL It;s the DIY Necklace that really makes this shine

    micksterct
    https://www.coolonsale.com

    9.28.15
    Reply
  90. Just love this. It seems to be very easy. Thank you for sharing the way. I’m going to try this.

    12.8.15
    Reply
  91. LOVE that shirt and how you’ve styled this whole outfit! Hope you had a lovely time

    5.13.16
    Reply
  92. Wasay Khan wrote:

    This is stunning!!!
    BEAUTIFUL!!
    Great addition to a plain shirt…

    http://www.spazeapparel.com/

    4.11.17
    Reply
  93. Mette wrote:

    This is beautifull 🙂
    Thanks for sharing

    3.8.18
    Reply