Peyote Stitch



Peyote Tubular

What to do with all those beautiful beads? Peyote stitch!

Seed beads come in every color of the rainbow, so why not learn the most versatile stitch for turning them into gorgeous jewelry and more? Use peyote stitch to make two-dimensional flat pieces or tubes in any diameter. With beads, needles, and beading thread-and these instructions-you can make anything from bracelets, necklaces, and pins to heirloom holiday ornaments and glittering decorative vases.

The Best of Bead&Button: Peyote Stitch Beading Projects brings together 30 of the most outstanding projects in peyote stitch that have appeared in the pages of Bead&Button magazine over the past ten years. In these pages, you will find beautiful jewelry, amulet bags, colorful beaded beads, and home décor items-all presented with clear descriptions, drawings, and photographs to help each step of the way.

Learn to make exquisite projects with ...

• Elegant Cellini spiral tubes

• Versatile and amazing "Wonder Beads"

• Wood forms and the "bead around the bead" technique

• Off-loom beaded picture charts

• Free-form increases and decreases to cover any shape

• Fringing, ruffled edges, and special embellishments

• Projects with pearls, gemstones, crystals-all your favorites!

From the fundamentals in the illustrated Basics section to the inspirational Gallery of pieces by talented bead artists, The Best of Bead&Button: Peyote Stitch Beading Projects offers an essential introduction to the magical possibilities of peyote stitch.

Circular Peyote Stitch

Best of Bcod&Button magazine

Peyote Stitch Beading Projects

Compiled by Julia Gerlach

O 2005 Kalmbach Publishing Co. All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced in part or in whole without written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations used in reviews. Published by Kalmbach Trade Press, a division of Kalmbach Publishing Co., 21027 Crossroads Circle, Waukesha, W1 53186. These books are distributed to the book trade by Watson-Guptill.

Printed in the United States of America

05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 1098765432 1

Publisher's Cataloging-In-Publication Data (Prepared by The Donohue Group, Inc.)

Peyote stitch projects : from the pages of Bead 8s button magazine.

p.: ill.; cm. (Best of Bead 8< button magazine) Includes index. ISBN: 0-87116-218-0

1. Beadwork--Patterns. 2. Beadwork--Handbooks, manuals, etc. I. Title: Bead 8c button.

TT860 .P49 2005 745.582

Managing Art Director: Lisa Bergman Photographers: |im Forbes, William Zuback Project editors: lulia Gerlach, Pam O'Connor

Acknowledgements: Mindy Brooks, Terri Field, Lora Groszkiewicz, Kellic Jaeger, Diane Jolie, Patti Keipe, Alice Korach, Tonya Limberg, Debbie Nishihara, Cheryl Phelan, Carrie Rohloff, Carole Ross, Candicc St. lacques, Maureen Schimmel, Lisa Schroeder, Terri Torbeck, Elizabeth Weber, Lesley Weiss

These designs are for your personal use. They arc not intended for resale.

All projects have appeared previously in Bead&Bntton magazine.


Introduction 4

Basics 5

Gallery 9


Peyote ribbon lariat 14

Easy peyote tube necklace 15

Alternative circular peyote start 17

Embellished peyote tube necklace 18

Two- & three-drop peyote bracelet 19

Two-needle peyote start 21

Snake trail bracelet 22

Silver sensation bracelet 24

Peyote-framed pearl bracelet 26

Peyote window bracelet 29

Bejeweled peyote bracelet 32

Wood rose necklace 36

Captive cabochon pendant 40

Ruffled brooch 42

Cellini spiral necklace 46

Free-form bracelet 48

Shaped necklace 51

Russian leaves pendant or brooch 53


Lacy beaded beads 58

Bead around the bead 60

Wonder beads unveiled 63

Beaded buttons 66


Medicine bags 70

Tribute to the rain forest 75


Collectible catch-alls 80

Beaded tassels 82

Freeform peyote vase 85

Spiral vessels 88

Breathtaking ornaments 92

Contributors 95

Index 96

Peyote Circular


When BeodHButton magazine began publication in 1994, a period of exuberant discovery and experimentation had begun in the bead community. Interest in traditional beadwork had revealed to a new generation of bead artists a wonderful array of off-loom beadweaving stitches from American Indian, African, Russian, and other cultures. With enthusiasm, artists began to adopt these techniques to make innovative works of art and ornamentation.

Breakthrough works such as Virginia Blakelock's Cellini spiral necklaces (demonstrated by Deb Samuels on page 46) and Wendy Ellsworth's rapid-increase peyote-stitch vessels (page 90) expanded everyone's conception of what was possible. These and many other novel applications of traditional techniques were first introduced to the world at large through the pages of BeodStButton.

Peyote stitch, sometimes called gourd stitch, is a beadweaving technique adapted from Native American traditional beadwork. Many bead artists consider it foremost among their creative tools. It creates a sinuous fabric by closely nestling the beads next to each other. When a highly uniform type of cylinder bead was introduced to the American market by Japanese bead companies Miyuki and Toho, the tight weave of peyote stitch took on a new relevance. Artists could create sleek, glittering surfaces that exactly rendered charted designs. These beads gave a centuries-old stitch a new-millennium look.

Within these pages, you will find works that draw from the rich traditions of the past and those that look to the future. Selected from 11 years of publication, the very best designs have been included in these pages: beautiful jewelry, bags, and objects that make this traditional stitch supremely relevant for today's bead artist.

Several of these projects are expressly oriented to the process of peyote stitching, providing techniques and methods to help you devise your own version of the work-with the benefit of the artist's expertise. Others give you step-by-step guidance for replicating a piece of jewelry or artwork.

Whichever road you take, you'll appreciate the many resources BeadEtButton consistently provides: a comprehensive "Basics" section, detailed materials lists, clear how-to photographs and figures, and the confidence that all our projects have been tested by the editors. Take some time to browse through our "Gallery" section for inspiration and then get started on your own peyote pursuit.

- The editors of Bead&Button

4 Hit Bat of BeodftButton t-



Conditioning straightens and strengthens your thread and also helps it resist fraying, separating, and tangling. Pull unwaxed nylon threads like Nymo through either beeswax (not candle wax or paraffin) or Thread Heaven to condition. Beeswax adds tackiness that is useful if you want your beadwork to fit tightly. Thread Heaven adds a static charge that causes the thread to repel itself, so it can't be used with doubled thread. All nylon threads stretch, so maintain tension on the thread as you condition it.


Come out a bead and form a loop perpendicular to the thread between beads. Bring the needle under the thread away from the loop. Then go back over the thread and through the loop. Pull gently so the knot doesn't tighten prematurely.


Make a loop and pass the working end through it. Pull the ends to tighten the knot.


1 Cross the left-hand cord over the right-hand cord, and then bring it under the right-hand cord from back to front. Pull it up in front so both ends are facing upwards.

2 Cross right over left, forming a loop, and go through the loop, again from back to front. Pull the ends to tighten the knot.


Cross the right end over the left and go through loop. Go through loop again. Pull ends to tighten. Cross the left end over the right and go through once. Tighten.


1 A ladder of seed or bugle beads is most often used to begin brick stitch: Pick up two beads. Leave a 3-4-in. (8-10cm) tail and go through both beads again in the same direction. Pull the top bead down so the beads are side by side. The thread exits the bottom of bead #2. String bead #3 and go back through #2 from top to bottom. Come back up #3.

2 String bead #4. Go through #3 from bottom to top and #4 from top to bottom. Add odd-numbered beads like #3 and even-numbered beads like #4.

3 To stabilize the ladder, zigzag back through all the beads.

4 Begin each row so no thread shows on the edge: String two beads. Go under the thread between the second and third beads on the ladder from back to front. Pull tight. Go up the second bead added, then down the first. Come back up the second bead.

5 For the remaining stitches on each row, pick up one bead. Pass the needle under the next loop on the row below from back to front. Go back up the new bead.


1 String one bead and loop through it again in the same direction (remove the extra loop and weave the tail into the work after a few rows). String beads to total an even number. In peyote stitch, rows are nestled together and counted diagonally, so these beads actually comprise the first two rows.

2 Even-numbered beads form row 1 and odd-numbered beads, row 2. (Numbers indicate rows.) Put the ring over a form if desired. Go through the first bead to the left of the knot. Pick up a bead (# 1 of row 3), skip a bead, and go through the next bead. Repeat around until you're back to the start.

2 To begin row 3 (the numbers in the drawings below indicate rows), pick up a bead and stitch through the second bead from the end. Pick up a bead and go through the fourth bead from the end. Continue in this manner. End by going through the first bead strung.

3 Since you started with an even number of beads, you need to work a "step up" to be in position for the next row. Go through the first beads on rows 2 and 3. Pick up a bead and go through the second bead of row 3; continue.

3 To start row 4 and all other rows, pick up a bead and go through the last bead added on the previous row.

To end a thread, weave through the work in a zigzag path, tying two half-hitch knots (see p. 5) along the way. Go through a few more beads before trimming the thread close to the work. To resume stitching, anchor a new thread in the work with half-hitch knots, zigzag through the work, and exit the last bead added in the same direction. Continue stitching where you left off.


Start as for circular even-count steps 1-2 above. However, when you begin with an odd number of beads, there won't be a step up; you'll keep spiraling.


1 At the point of the increase, pick up two beads instead of one. Pass the needle through the next bead.

2 When you reach the double bead space on the next row, go through the first bead, add a bead, and go through the second bead.

2 When you reach the point where you went through two beads, pick up one bead; continue peyote stitch.


1 String an even number of beads to equal the desired circumference. Tie in a circle, leaving some ease.


1 The gradual increase takes four rows. At the point of the increase, pick up two thin beads. Go through the next high bead.

2 When you get to the two thin beads on row 2, go through them as if they were one bead.

3 On row 3, place two regular-size beads in the two-thin-bead space.

Gourd Stitch Ruffles Cabochon


1 At the point of the decrease, don't pick up a bead. Instead, go through two beads on the previous row.

2 When you reach the point where you went through two beads, pick up one bead; continue peyote stitch.

4 When you get to the two beads on the next row, go through the first, pick up a bead, and go through the second.


TWO-DROP PEYOTE STITCH Work two-drop peyote stitch just like peyote stitch, but treat every pair of beads as if it were a single bead. 1 Start with an even number of beads divisible by four. Pick up two beads, skip the first two beads, and go through the next two beads. Repeat across, ending by going through the last two beads.



To join two sections of a flat peyote piece invisibly, begin with a high bead on one side and a low bead on the other. Go through each high bead, alternating sides.

2 String the second bead of row 2 and go through the next-to-last bead of row 1. Continue through the new bead of row 2. Repeat this step for the entire row.

2 Pick up two beads and go through the last two beads added. Repeat across the row. To end, go through the first two beads added on the previous row. Continue adding rows to reach the desired length.


1 String the required number of beads for the first row. Then string the first bead of the second row and go through the last bead of the first row and the first bead of the second row in the same direction. The new bead sits on top of the old bead and the holes are horizontal.

Russian Peyote Stitch

TWO-BEAD BACKSTITCH 1 Thread a needle and decide which area to bead first. Tie a very small knot at the end of the thread. To attach the thread to the fabric, sew into the fabric two bead lengths from the beginning of a beading line. Sew up through the fabric at the beginning of the beading line.


A spiral rope is formed by stitching a shorter row of "outer" beads around a longer row of "inner" beads. The tension between the two rows is what causes the beads to twist.

These instructions show how to make spiral rope with two sizes of beads: size 8°s for the inner beads and size 11°s for the outer beads. You may also use beads of a single size, like all 11°s. In that case, you would string fewer beads for the outer beads (i.e. four beads for the inner row and three for the outer row).

1 String four 8s and four 11s seed beads, leaving an 8-in. (20cm) tail.

2 Go through the four 8°s again in the same direction.

3 String an 8° and four 11°s. Go through the last three 85s of the previous stitch and the 8s just added. Keep the tension firm as you work. Each new loop of beads should sit on top of the previous one. Repeat until you reach the desired length.



2 To start beaded backstitch, string two beads and lay them along the line of beading on the fabric. Sew down through the fabric right in front of the second bead. Bead straight lines until you're comfortable with the stitch.

3 Sew up through the fabric between the two beads. Carefully tighten the stitch by giving the thread a little pull where it emerges from the fabric. Do not pull too hard or the material will pucker. Now go through the second bead in the same direction.

4 Repeat steps 2-3, continuing to follow the beading line. To end a thread, sew into the fabric after the last bead. Sew up between the third and fourth bead from the end. Knot around the thread between the third and fourth beads. Go through a few beads in the beaded line and knot again. Go through a few more beads, pull on the thread slightly and trim close to the beads.


1 Hold the crimp bead using the tip of your chainnose pliers. Squeeze the pliers firmly to flatten the crimp. Tug the clasp to make sure the crimp has a solid grip on the wire. If the wire slides, remove the crimp bead and repeat the steps with a new crimp bead.

2 The flattened crimp should be secure.



1 Position the crimp bead in the notch closest to the crimping pliers' handle.

2 Separate the wires and firmly squeeze the crimp.

3 Move the crimp into the notch at the pliers' tip and hold the crimp as shown. Squeeze the crimp bead, folding it in half at the indentation.

4 The folded crimp should be secure.


1 Hold the jump ring with two pairs of chainnose pliers or chainnose and roundnose pliers, as shown.

2 To open the jump ring, angle the tips of one pair of pliers toward you and angle the other pair of tips away.

3 Reverse the steps to close the open jump ring.

3 Reverse the steps to close the open jump ring.


1 Make sure you have at least 1 '/« in. (3.2cm) of wire above the bead. With the tip of your chainnose pliers, grasp the wire directly above the bead. Bend the wire (above the pliers) into a right angle.

2 Using roundnose pliers, position the jaws vertically in the bend.

3 Bring the wire over the top jaw of the roundnose pliers.

4 Keep the jaws vertical and reposition the pliers' lower jaw snugly into the loop. Curve the wire downward around the bottom of the roundnose pliers. This is the first half of a wrapped loop.

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