Tools & Resources for DIY Belly Dance Costumes

Toos & Resources for DIY Belly Dance CostumesWant to try my tutorials yourself but don’t have the tools?


On this page, you’ll find all my favourite tools and vendors for costuming making! 😀


*Please note that some of the links here are affiliate links. This means that at NO additional cost to you, I will earn some commission from the vendors if you make any purchase. This does NOT mean I list some random products here. I want to have a resource page that is truly helpful to you, and so I am going to list only products that I have used or are very similar and most importantly, ones that I found helpful. My being an affiliate also means I get coupons and discounts from the vendors that I can share with you. The little commission I earn from here helps me run this website (pay for hosting, technical support, fabric and materials I use in tutorials etc…) and keep the contents free.


Having said, no pressure to purchase anything from the list below. These are just my recommendations based on my own experience for those who want some guidance 🙂


Sewing Tools


Sewing Machine

Brother sewing machineMy first sewing machine was Brother LS-2020.

  • One of the simplest, modern sewing machine you can find
  • Inexpensive (I bought it for about $80 CAD)
  • A great beginner sewing machine. 🙂


I tried to find the picture of this exact model online, but wasn’t able to find it. But the picture to the right (Brother XL2610) is a very close model as mine, but my machine had even fewer stitching options.

Then I upgraded my machine to Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 and I ADORE it!!!

  • This one runs very smoothly
  • Comes with a whole range of presser feet – I particularly love the narrow hem and walking foot!
  • and an extension table – super useful when sewing long skirts!
  • Easy to thread
  • Lots of fun stitch options


If you are in the United States, is a great place to shop and compare sewing machines. Use coupon code “fivepercent” to get 5% off your purchase 🙂 (But I’d also check Amazon to see if I could get a better price!)




Measuring and Cutting

Rotary Cutter & Mat
– I LOVE my rotary cutter! Cutting fabric is my least favourite things to do when making costumes, because I am terrible at cutting a straight line or following a line.

  • Makes cutting fabric super easy & fast!
  • Cut nice straight lines
  • Save money by getting Rotary Cutting Set. It comes with a rotary cutter, cutting mat, and a clear ruler.


Clover Wonder Clips – I don’t know how many times I’ve mentioned these clips on my blog and inside my courses!

  • Use these clips in place of pins
  • Keep the layers of fabric flat (unlike pins that make fabric wavy)
  • Great for when you try on a costume in progress – they hold pieces temporarily, and don’t poke you. Plus it’s super easy to make minor adjustments!


They come in small and large, and I find it very helpful to have both sizes 🙂


Decoration Tools


Gem-Tac Glue – I often get asked what glue I use to glue on small rhinestones. My absolute favourite is Gem-Tac!

  • Dries hard and holds rhinestones really well.
  • Dries clear.
  • No weird smell

I used to use E6000, which is good too, but now I prefer Gem-Tac because it doesn’t smell like E6000 does 😉


And I highly recommend you use Gem-Tac with…


Glue syringes

Glue Syringes – Hate how messy glue gets? Pour in some Gem-Tac in a glue syringe, and you’ll have a much easier and clear time applying rhinestones!

  • Easy and clean to use
  • You can apply the right amount of glue precisely



Click here to see my tutorial on how to use glue syringes!

How to Use a Glue Syringe - rhinestone applicator




Recommended Online Shops for Beads & Rhinestones


Shop Dreamtime CreationsDreamtime Creations – Looking for rhinestones? Dreamtime Creations has Swarovski, Preciosa and their very own Spark, all of which are great quality for dance costume making.

  • Great selection of rhinestones – Swarovski, Preciosa, Spark
  • Good pricing (if you are looking to buy small quantities)
  • Fast shipping (FREE with over $75 purchase in the US, otherwise $2.99 for the US & Canada!)


Click here to see my comparison of Swarovski, Preciosa & Spark rhinestones from Dreamtime Creations!

Preciosa vs Swarovski Rhinestones Comparison - Where to Buy Rhinestones



Har-Man Importing – Running a costume making business? Need hundreds of rhinestones? Then you may find better prices from a wholesaler 🙂

  • Great pricing for bulk orders
  • Amazing selection of Swarovski rhinestones
  • They also sell quality beads!



Sewing Classes


Belly Dance Costume Making 101Belly Dance Costume Making 101 – If you’re new to the world of belly dance costume making, you can find all the basics to get started in my FREE course!


  • Beginner friendly projects!
  • Make an easy top, accessory, skirt….and more 🙂


Click here to join the free course!



Professor Pincushion – Her YouTube channel is awesome if you want to know specific techniques like how to sew a rolled hem or how to work with chiffon. Nice quality videos.


Shushanna’s Bellydance Costume Tutorials – I have already mentioned Shushanna’s website a few times on my blog, but I have learned so much from her tutorials before I started Sparkly Belly. Her approach is very precise, complete with all kinds of formulas that help you make your costumes perfectly and professionally. – The amount of information on Shira’s website blows me away. In addition to tons of detailed information and tutorials on costumes, this website has many articles on belly dance techniques, music, cultures…everything.



Sparkly Belly’s Secret Studio – This is a page where I share all of my free patterns and other resources, and only Sparkly Belly subscribers can access the page. Sign up below and get access!

Click here to access the secret page!



Sparkly Belly’s Premium CoursesSwirly Belt - Sparkly Belly Premium Course – Want to create a more professional-looking costume? Something more elaborate? Want a bit more challenging project?


  • Make more professional & expensive-looking designs
  • More challenging projects – explained step by step
  • Get lifetime access to the course content


Check out Sparkly Belly’s Premium Courses and learn to make perfectly-fitting, professional costumes!




DIY Website & Online Marketing for Belly Dancers


From time to time, I get asked questions about creating websites and online marketing.


If you are a belly dancer building online presence or going professional, you need a website 🙂 Here are my recommendations for making your own website.


My DIY Website Tutorial 🙂 – I tried my best to explain website making in a plain language. Set up a website in 4 simple steps!


Video Making Guide – You can’t explain your dancing just with words. Film your dance and instructions and share it with the world! Learn how here.


Belly Dancer in Business eBookBelly Dancer in Business: Practical Tips on Online Marketing & Business for Artist Oriented Minds – You know you need to build an online presence to be a successful, professional belly dancer today…but not sure how?


  • eBook packed with practical and actionable tips
  • Learn how to build an online presence and create a following
  • Learn how to add income streams to your belly dance business – so you can keep doing what you love and make a living!




Have any other suggestions or want to see other recommendations? Comment below 🙂


And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter so you get access to the subscriber-only Secret Studio and get new DIY’s and costuming fun in your inbox!


Click here to sign up!


Thanks for reading, and keep sparkling! 🙂


  16 comments for “Tools & Resources for DIY Belly Dance Costumes

  1. October 30, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Do you have any sources for appliques to recommend? A friend recommended one source for appliques, on Etsy, but I’d like to find more. I have some very beautiful appliques that I only have 1 or a few of, and would like to find similar ones. Could I bead and sequin it? Yes…I started with Native American/First Nations beading techniques after all. 🙂 But, appliques are faster. 🙂

    • Mao
      November 3, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      Hi Shakira! Good question. So cool that you know First Nations beading techniques! They are so beautiful.
      Unfortunately I don’t know any particular source… I’ve picked up some from a local fabric shop, but I’ve been making my own mostly. Having said, I’m thinking to sell appliques in the future, so that may be added to the sources 🙂 In the meantime, if I find or hear about a good applique vendor, I’ll add it here.

      • Neva Mikula
        December 16, 2017 at 4:15 pm

        It’s been “a while” since I purchased from them, but I’ve always purchased sequins and appliqués from Sidney Coe, Inc, in the Garment District of NYC.

    • October 26, 2016 at 6:41 am has appliques, this is a close out place so they may not have the quantity that you want but I always find great appliques and trim there at a reasonable cost

  2. Tamara
    December 18, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Check this place out! They have a number of different appliques available in different colors and even some really beautiful rhinestone appliques.

    • Mao
      December 21, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Tamara! This is a great resource 😀

  3. Kim
    October 22, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Thank you for sharing these precious info with belly dancers around the world, Mao.
    ♡♡♡ You are g-r-e-a-t !!! ♡♡♡

    • Mao
      October 23, 2016 at 6:58 pm

      Aw thanks so much, Kim! It’s my pleasure! 😀 Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see on my site.

  4. May 6, 2017 at 5:17 am

    Hi Mao, I’ve recently joined your followers and am loving it! My comment to you today is that I am not able to find the free Craftsy class on Mastering Zipper Techniques. 😕 I’ve found one for a fee, is that the same class? Thank you. I look forward to all the great advice you can offer me!

    • Mao
      May 6, 2017 at 11:34 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Tina! And thanks for letting me know about the course. Looks like they’re not offering it anymore 🙁 But if I remember correctly, the one with a fee ( appears to cover more zipper styles than the free version 🙂 I’ll update the list above.

  5. June 28, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Hi Mao, love your site and all of your ideas and generous sharing of resources. I am trying to find a site that can help me fit my costumes to my body– in terms of proportions. One of the main problems I have is bras: I gotten ideas on how to fit the bra so it doesn’t gap— but what can I do About costumes I have purchased ( for a lot of money) when the bra width is just too long. I’m petite and the bra goes from my neckline to the middle of my ribs. Also I have 2 Bellas bedluhs— and the top is also too long. Thanks for any help you can suggest!

    • Mao
      June 29, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Thank you, Judy! Let’s see… first, you may find this post useful:
      For bra cups that are too wide, if the appearance of the bra cups bother you, you could add thick shoulder straps that continue down across the cups to the bottom of the cups. These can offer a bit more coverage and support, which would help close any gaps around the area.
      Send me photos of your bedlahs to and I’ll be able to better explain or offer more ideas 🙂

  6. August 1, 2017 at 8:49 am

    hi dear,thanks for share,
    is it possible to sewing the lace trim on the clothing that i want to DIY by myself.
    cause i saw some good lace trim on
    it give me some ideas for the diy clothing.

    • Mao
      August 2, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      My pleasure! Yes, definitely. You can sew lace trim on clothing by hand or sewing machine. That’s one of my favourite ways to add fun to my clothes 😀

  7. December 15, 2017 at 4:40 pm


    • Mao
      December 15, 2017 at 4:49 pm

      Oh how sweet, Judy! That would be an exciting project! 🙂

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