Sunday, April 7, 2013

Easy DIY Studded Bikini (or any bathing suit)

Here is an extremely simple DIY, which hopefully becomes more simple with the tricks in this tutorial, that I've been meaning to post *forever*.
Launching the ADOPT line to raise money to meet requirements for adoption (catch up HERE) has taken a huge chunk out of our time. Each piece takes a long time to make and is consuming weekends, evenings... everything. So many apologies! It's worth it though- this is not a complaint, just an explanation :) But hopefully we're back on track now. I have a lot of studding tutorials in the future, lately they're inspirational. The only downside is that fingers often feel a little sore afterwards!
I was walking through Target a long while back and saw a little studded bikini. It was really cute, but I already had the exact black piece at home and have such a massive collection (which I never even wear) that it was useless to buy another.
Making one would be super easy though.
I really struggled with whether or not to stud my black bikini. It's nearly the same cut as this one from Target, only nicer (sorry, Target!) and more expensive so if I ruined it, that would stink. In the end, I used an old zebra print suit, which seemed to go well with studding anyway. I recommend sticking with a solid colored suit, though. Patterns take away from the impact of the studs.
Here's the original, available from Target HERE. I almost did the massive amount of studding, but it just seemed too overwhelming for me. You can do it, though!
Here's a shot of the studs from behind. Be sure to fully close the studs so that you don't get poked during beach time fun. That would be pretty painful. I got my studs from Hobby Lobby. They were on sale with one pack of 30 costing less than a dollar! Normally they're $1.67 ... I buy a lot of studs. One more thing before we delve in- after poking the studs through, I treated the holes using Aileen's permanent sewing bond and a toothpick to prevent any fraying/ripping on the suit. 
I tried to take close up shots here, but am afraid you can't see. It will go much easier for you if you start by marking an even line across the suit with a fabric pencil. There's nothing worse than uneven studs. Simply measure how far down you want the studs to be, and then mark little dots sporadically that distance down and connect them with a line. For example, if you want them 1/4 inch down, every inch or so make a dot 1/4 inch down from the top. Then connect all of the dots. That's the easiest way I know of to get a straight line. 
Once your line is in, poke all of your studs through at even distances. You can stack them one on top of each other or space them out at as I did. If you want to make it easier to poke them through, or if you're putting them back to back and need them to be very accurate, poke the hole through *very carefully* with an X-acto knife first. Make sure the suit is on a flat surface that can be poked on (such as foam board) when poking through, don't hold it in the air. You'll get more accuracy as well as cleaner lines without risk of injury. 
Another change I made was to also stud the bottoms. Originally I was going to do a row of studs on each side of the tie, but in the end just did one row on the front facing sides. I may go back and add another in. Since my bottoms were ruched, this was a little more tricky, but I still followed the same pattern of tracing a straight line and then putting the studs through. I also went very glue-heavy here as well to make sure the bottoms didn't tear. 
Here's the finished look! Be sure to wash the fabric marker off with water and a washcloth when you're all done. And you should always hand wash swimwear and lay flat to dry- but this is even more true when you've subjected it to studding. 
Are you ready for warmer weather? I am. The beach, sunshine, open windows and long walks are all calling to me. Plus I took my roller blades home with me after a visit to my parents' home and can't wait to try them out! Look for another beach-related post (we're revisiting last year's wraps!) Wednesday! All the best and as always, thanks for reading! 


  1. Just found your blog through a random day of surfing and you have some great DIY's. Thanks for sharing!

  2. With all your beach cover ups and diy bikinis you're the summer diy expert! :)

    1. Haha! And the best part is that I never go in the sun!


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