Shaped necklace

Using a wire armature provides a flexible core support for beadwork and opens up a whole new realm of possibilities. I love to design with large focal beads and wire-wrapped pendants, but I found that even 20-gauge wire and peyote tubes with size 8" beads weren't substantial enough to successfully highlight the larger pieces. While rummaging around in the basement, I came across some electrical wire and knew I was on to something. Using even-count tubular peyote, I beaded a tube around the wire. Once the ends were closed, I created a focal bead dangle with a fringe tassel and formed the wire into a necklace that would hold its shape and still remain light and flexible enough to take on and off without a clasp. Success!


If you are new to circular peyote, take a look at "Basics" on page 5. Many headers prefer to do this stitch without anything inside the tube, but beading around the wire enables you to keep your stitches tight yet flexible enough to bend.

Electrical wire with black plastic coating is available at home improvement centers. Unlike metal wire, which is sized in gauges according to diameter, electrical wire is given an AWG number. I use #6AWG wire, which is stiff enough to hold its shape and happens to fit perfectly inside a peyote tube with this bead count.

Unless you already have bolt cutters at home, bring your measurements to the store and have them cut the wire for you. The necklace featuring a Kevin O'Grady bead (at left) is 21-in. (.53m) long without the dangle. The purple example on p. 52, with beads by Alethia Donathan, is 24-in. (.61m) long without dangles.


O Thread a needle with 2 yd. (1.8m) of Fireline or Nymo. If you're using Nymo, double your thread and condition it with beeswax.

© Leaving a 10-in. (25cm) tail, string twelve beads in the following order: two color A (size 6°), two color B (size 8"), two color C (size 8"), two color A, two color B, and two color C.

© Tie these beads in a ring using a surgeon's knot (see "Basics"). Place the ring over the wire. Keep your thumb on the tail as you bead the first few rows so it doesn't get woven into the tube. © Start at the knot, and working from right to left, go through the first A bead in the ring. Pick up one A and go through the first B. Pick up one B and go through the first C. Pick up one C and go through the first A (figure 1). Continue around until you come to the first A.

© To "step up" to the next row, go through the first A on the ring and the A you added in step 4. Pick up another A and go through the next B

New C

Pattern Peyote Tubes

New C

(photo a). You'll notice the pattern starting to spiral. Keep your tension fairly tight, but not so tight that the tube won't bend. Continue until the tube reaches the end of the wire. Do not cut the thread yet.


O Cut a piece of 20-gauge wire 3-in. (7.6cm) longer than the combined length of your focal bead and spacers. © Make a wrapped loop at one end (see "Basics").

© String accent beads and a focal bead as desired. Make a small wrapped loop at the top (photo b). © You may wish to make a second, shorter dangle for the other end of the necklace.

© To make the fringe, thread a needle with 2 yd. of thread. Leaving a 7-in. (18cm) tail, tie an overhand knot (see "Basics") through the bottom loop of the dangle.

0 String an assortment of beads and crystals to the desired tassle length.

© Go through the second-to-last bead strung and back through the rest of the beads until you exit at the top fringe bead (figure 2).

0 Tie an overhand knot but do not cut the thread. Repeat steps 6 and 7, always tying a knot at the loop before beginning the next fringe. © To finish, tie a final overhand knot through the loop and dot with glue. Go through several beads on the nearest fringe and cut the thread. Repeat with the tail.


O Starting with the step-up bead, pick up one A and go through the first C. Pick up one B and go through the next B. Pick up one C and go through the next A (figure 3). The tube will quickly close. You may need to add a bead in the center of the circle to fill the space. When the end is closed, make a half-hitch knot and go through several nearby beads, exiting at the center bead. Don't cut the thread.


• large focal bead (Kevin O'Grady,, 480-874-9642; Alethia Donathan,, 808-842-7714)

• assortment of glass and silver beads for fringe and dangle

• Fireline fishing line, 6-lb test or Nymo D beading thread

• beeswax for Nymo

• #6AWG coated electrical wire

• 20-gauge sterling or craft wire Tools: roundnose and chainnose pliers, wire cutters


Don't wait until you are out of thread to add more. When you get down to your last 7 in. (18cm), go back through several beads, make a couple of half-hitch knots (see "Basics") and cut the thread. Rethread the needle with 2 yd. of new thread and tie a couple of half-hitches near the beads where you tied off. Go through several beads. Exit the same bead where you left off and continue from there.

© To attach the dangle, go through the top loop several times and back up through nearby beads. Tie a half-hitch knot and go back through the beads and the dangle loop again. Go through a few adjacent beads, tie a half-hitch knot, and dot with glue. Weave the tail back in and cut the thread. © Repeat step 1 to finish the other end. If you are using a second dangle, repeat step 2 to attach it. © Gently shape the necklace until it conforms to your neck and body. The shorter end should start just left of the center of your throat and curve around your neck. At the point slightly to the right of your throat, bend the piece in a right angle. - Mary Lou Allen

Russian leaves pendant or brooch

Russian leaves, done here in diagonal peyote stitch, have unlimited design possibilities. The leaves are beautiful on their own. When combined with other elements, they can be used to create stunning lariats, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, or brooches. Taking the versatility of the leaves one step further, I have designed a piece that can be worn as both a brooch and a pendant.

For this brooch, create each leaf individually and attach it to the surface of a flat piece of beadwork. Then attach a pin back, work a picot edge, and add branch fringe. Create a necklace by adding findings and a neck strap to the brooch.

Make the piece as lush as you like based on the number of leaves you add. Remember that an odd number is more appealing visually. I like to make the leaves in several colors, but you can make them all one color or use different shades of a color. These instructions are geared to making multi-color leaves. To make a single-color leaf, just omit the accent color.


Make the leaves one side at a time. Add veins to the center and work a picot edge around the outside. I worked the leaf with Japanese cylinder beads and the veins and edging with 14-15'' seeds.

Seed Bead Leaf Fringe

O Start at the tip of the leaf and string one accent color (AC) to the center of 1 yd. (.9m) of conditioned beading thread. The other half of the thread will be used for the second side. Go through the bead again in the same direction (you'll remove this extra pass before starting the second side). © String five main color (MC), one AC, and one MC. Go through the fourth MC toward the start (photo a and figure 1, a-b). String one MC. Go


8 0a0D>

figure 1

figure 1

Rebecca Peapples Bead


8 0a0D>

figure 4

figure 2

figure 4

through the second MC. String one MC and go through the AC start bead (figure 1, b-c). © Turn and work two MC peyote stitches (figure 1, c-d). Then make a picot by stringing one AC and one MC. Turn the piece and go back through the last peyote stitch (figure 1, d-e). Work one MC peyote stitch (figure 1, e-f). © To begin the first and following diagonal peyote rows: String one MC, one AC, and one MC (figure 2, a-b). Go back through the first MC strung, pointing toward the tip (photo b and figure 2, b-c). The second MC will be next to the AC. Work one MC peyote stitch (photo c) then one picot (photo d and c-d). Finish the return row with one MC peyote stitch that goes through the second MC strung at the beginning of this step (photo e and d-e). © Repeat step 4 eight more times. There will be nine inside AC vein points plus the start AC bead (photo f). © To work the top stem, string 4 MC (figure 3, a-b). Go through the MC bead above the ninth AC vein bead and through the first three of the four MCs to make a five-bead diamond (figure 3, b-c). Make a four-bead MC diamond above this bead with three more MCs (figure 3, c-d).

© Go back to the starting tail and ease the extra thread loop out of the AC bead before you thread the needle. Repeat steps 3 and 4. Repeat step 5 seven more times for a total of eight inside vein points plus the start AC (photo g).

© To connect the leaf sides, string one MC and go through the last AC on the first side from bottom-to-top. Continue through the first of the four beads strung in step 6 (figure 4, a-b). © Go through the MC bead added in step 8 and do one MC peyote stitch (figure 4, b-c) and one more picot on the second side of the leaf (figure 4, c-d). © Add one MC and go down through the first MC added in step 6 as well as the top center AC vein bead (figure 4, d-e). The needle now points into the center of the leaf to begin the veins.

Odd Shaped Pearls
© Complete an odd number of leaves.

MAKE THE VEINS Make the veins with 14-15" AC seeds or Japanese cylinder beads. Experiment with the number of beads you use for each vein and try skipping some of the vein-point beads. As no two leaves in nature are the exactly the same, these beaded leaves will each be different based on the way you make the veins. O String 25 beads in a loose vertical line, going into the center AC bead. (Note: figure 5 shows counts using cylinder beads.) Go through two MC beads on the left side of the inner edge as shown in figure 5, a-b. Exit the next vein bead (photo h). (Note: this photo shows that you con go through more leaf-body beads than the figure shows, if you wish.) © For each vein, string from two to seven beads, connect through one to three beads on the central vein, and string the next vein, connecting to the leaf (figure 5). Work all veins as in figure 5 or vary them as you wish.

Necklace Kare Peyote
figure 5

MAKE THE BASE Create a beaded base where you will attach the leaves. For seven leaves, the number used in this brooch, you need a base that is approximately 1 x 1 In. (2.5cm). Adjust the size of the base according to the number of leaves you make. The base can be made with most seed beads, using the beading stitch of your choice. Here, 8" hex beads were used in two-drop peyote because it is fast and makes attaching the leaves easy. When you finish the base, you may want to go back through all the rows. This makes It sturdier and also makes attaching the leaves easier.

O Leaving a tail that you will weave in later, start with a 1-yd. (.9m) length of conditioned beading thread. String 12 size 8" seeds and begin two-drop peyote (see "Basics").

© Work subsequent rows In two-drop peyote until the piece measures 1 x 1 in. (photo j). Zigzag back through the rows for added support. Weave In the tall, work two or three half-hitch knots, and dab with glue to secure.

ATTACH THE LEAVES Arrange the leaves on the base in a way that is aesthetically pleasing. Experiment before you attach them permanently. To orient the base correctly, the bead holes should run vertically along the top and bottom edges of the piece. O Attach a 12-ln. (30cm) length of conditioned beading thread to the base. Come out the middle bead in the top loop of the leaf. Tack the loop down to the base by weaving into a bead and back through the bead you exited on the loop (photo k). Weave through the bead and loop again In the same direction. Don't weave In the thread until all the leaves are attached in this way. 0 Attach all the leaves as described in step 1. © Now position the leaves the way you want them to stay permanently and tack them down by zigzagging between a bead In a leaf and a bead in the base. Q Weave In the tails.


You may add a picot edge along the top of the brooch to create a more finished look. If the piece will be worn as a brooch and as pendant, don't picot the two top-edge corner beads on the base.

O Weave a new thread into the base and exit the second bead from the left top edge. Pick up three 11" beads. Go down through the bead to the right of the one you are exiting (photo I). Pull tight to form the picot edge. © Sew up out of the next bead. Pick up three seeds and tip of the leaf. Pull tightly to give the leaf Its shape. © Continue adding three beads along the other side of the leaf, this time going up through the AC beads. © When you reach the stem of the leaf, work the thread through several beads, make two or three half-hitch knots (see "Basics," p. 5), and dab with glue to secure. Trim the thread close to the beads.


The bead picots along the outside edge of the leaf give the leaf Its natural, curvy shape. Work the edges with 14-15" seed beads. O Position the needle so It comes out of an outside-edge AC at the very top of the leaf. Pick up three seeds beads. Bring the needle down through the next AC bead below it (photo i). Continue picking up three beads and going down through the next AC bead until you reach the sew down into the fifth bead. Add three more picot sets (five sets total). Don't add a picot to the last bead. © Start a new thread and exit a corner 8" at the top edge of the base. String eight 14" seeds and go back through the 8'-' to form a loop. Weave into the base, then repeat the thread path several times to strengthen the loop. Repeat with the other corner bead on the top edge of the base.


Add fringe to every other bead across the bottom edge of the base. For a fuller look, work fringe from every bead. O Branch fringe: Start with a new length of conditioned thread and exit the bottom edge bead on either side of the base. String 20 cylinder beads, one 4mm pearl, and three 14- seeds. "Skip the three 14" seeds and go back through the pearl" (photo m and five cylinders. Pull snug to form a three-bead picot below the pearl. String five cylinders, one pearl, and three 14" seeds. Repeat from " to *. Go through five more beads on the base strand. Repeat this fringe twice more. Sew back up into the 8" bead that you exited at the beginning of this step. © Come down the next 8s bead and make another branched fringe. © Straight fringe: Weave over, skip one bead and exit the next 8" bead. String 20 cylinders, a 6mm crystal and three size 14"s. Skip the 14°s and go back through the rest of the beads on the fringe strand. Pull snug to form a three-bead picot below the crystal. Sew back into the 8" bead that you exited and come out the next 8". © String 30 cylinders. Add branches along this strand as in step 1. © Center fringe: String 35 cylinders, a 6mm crystal, and three size 14°s. Skip the 14ws and go back up the rest of the beads. Pull tightly to form the picot below the crystal. Weave up into the next 8" to center the fringe on the base. Weave down through the next 8" bead. © Repeat step 4, 3, 2, and 1 to complete the other half of the fringe.


Start with a new length of conditioned thread. Position the pin back on the center back of the base, toward the top. Sew through the beads in the base and

Peyote Beaded Brooch

the holes in the pin back to secure. Repeat this thread path several times for added security. Weave in the thread tails, knot, and glue.


To turn the piece into a pendant, add a removable neck strap. You can purchase a neck strap or make one of your own. If you make it, you can match the colors to those in the brooch. O Start with 2 yd. (1.8m) of conditioned beading thread. Leave a 12-in. tail and work 16 in. (41cm) of spiral rope (see "Basics"). End with an 8" hex-cut or an 8" seed bead. © String eight 149 beads. Go back through the 8" bead added in step 1 to form a loop. Weave into the spiral rope and then back through the 8° and the 14's. Repeat this thread path several times for security. Repeat on the other end of the spiral rope. © Start a new doubled thread with a #12 needle. String an 8" and eight 14,J beads. Go back through the 8° to form a loop. String a 2-in. (5cm) mixture of 6-8mm beads, pearls, and crystals. End by stringing an 8" and eight 14" beads. Go back through the 8V to form a loop. Tie several half hitches between beads and dab the knots with glue. Repeat to make a second strand.

© Purchase or make four wire S-hooks. Attach the S-hooks to the neck straps and the loops on the pendant/pin as in the photo on p. 53. - Shontoso Sating


• 7.5g Japanese cylinder beads (Delicas), main color (MC)

• 3g Japanese cylinder beads (Delicas), accent color (AC)

• 5g size 14-15v seed beads, second accent color (AC), may all be one color or coordinating colors (edging and veins)

• assortment of 4mm and 6mm pearls, crystals, and rondelles

• Nymo D beading thread, color(s) to match

• beeswax or Thread Heaven

• G-S Hypo Cement or clear nail polish

• 4 wire S hooks, or 16-gauge round wire to make your own


Beaded Bead Peyote

Lacy beaded beads

Some time ago, I thought I would make some beads out of beads. There was something humorous and redundant about the idea that appealed to me. I gave it a try, and this is one of the designs that evolved. Kathy Anderson, Carol Wilcox Wells, and Currie Butzbaugh have all helped me learn and enabled me to go off on my own tangent. I make the beads using peyote stitch in the round. They are hollow and the tension of the decreases keeps them stiff. After building the body of the bead, I embellish each with fringe, ruffles, lace, or whatever comes to mind.

I like to make color sets of five beads to combine with regular beads for a necklace. Often the colors remind me of flavors as I'm working, so the beads acquire names like blueberry pie a la mode, mint julep, cinnamon, etc. There are endless variations. Try making a really big bead out of size 11ss. Or with 48 beads as the base, make your first decrease at bead 7 instead of at bead 4. This produces a pyramid-shaped bead because the decreases fall in three places instead of four. You can make stripes of different widths or diamond and wedge shapes by using two or three colors in the original circle of 48. You can also make beads with an elongated or bullet shape by increasing the number of plain peyote rows worked between the decreases. Keep the tension firm, especially in the rows after each decrease. Give a firm tug at the decrease points, and you will see the

Bead Biocompatibles Embolization

bead start to pull in and form a rounded shape as your circle gets smaller.

Work eleven rows of peyote stitch and then decrease for the first half of the bead. Then, flip the bead over and work the decrease rows for the second half. Next, attach the anchor beads, following the curved shape of the contrast color (CC) beads. Work diagonally across the midsection and around the CC curve on the other end. Bead the netted lace through the anchor beads and you're done! For a refresher on peyote stitch and how to decrease, see "Basics," p. 5.


O Thread a needle with 2 yd. (1.8m) of conditioned Nymo. String 48 main color (MC) beads, leaving a 6-in. (15cm) tail. Tie the ends together with a square knot, forming a snug circle. Tie again for security.

© Cut a paper cup along the side seam to the bottom, trim off the bottom and the top rim and roll tightly to make a cone. Do not tape it closed. Slip your ring of 48 beads on the cone and let the cone expand (photo a). © To begin the peyote stitch, go through the first bead to the left of the knot, (lefties, go the other way) pick up an MC bead, skip one bead, and go through the next bead. Continue around to the end of the circle. You have now completed row 3 (the original circle comprised rows 1 and 2). Go through the first beads of row 2 and row 3 (photo b). This is called the step-up because it steps your needle to a high bead to begin the next row. There are 24 beads in a row. Work 11 rows with a firm tension, and remove the beads from the paper cup. © Begin decreasing on row 12. Work MC peyote stitch in the first four beads. Work the fifth bead but continue through the sixth bead without adding a bead (photo c). This is your first decrease. Using the CC beads, "work peyote stitch through the next four beads. Work the fifth and sixth beads together as before to make another decrease." Using the MC beads, work from " to ". Finally repeat" to * using CC beads. You should now be at the end of the row, and it should have 20 beads. © Notice that your bead is divided into four color sections. Work two rows in peyote stitch using the bead color that fits each section, no decreases. The last stitch of each section will go into the first bead in the next color group (photo d).

© For row 15, work the first three beads. Then work the fourth and fifth beads together to decrease. Continue around with the correct colors, working three beads and then decreasing in the fourth and fifth beads for each section. After the second decrease row, there will be 16 beads. Work the next two rows with the correct bead colors and no decreases.

© Decrease in each section for rows 18, 20, and 22. Work the rows between without decreases. When you reach the end, go through the beads on the end and pull them together. Make one or two half-hitch knots, dab them with nail polish, and take the thread through an adjacent bead. Don't cut off the tail; you'll need it for the trim. © Flip the bead over, weave 2 yd. of waxed thread through the beadwork to anchor it, exiting the left side of the bead just to the right of the tail. Thread the starting tail onto a needle, weave it in, and trim both tails. Work steps 4 through 7 to decrease on the other side of the bead.


O Maneuver your needle to the second MC bead from the beaded bead's hole, next to the convex (arched) curve of a CC section, aiming it toward the middle of the beaded bead (photo e). Pick up

Shaped Peyote

• size 15" seed beads in four colocs-main (MC), contrast (CC), anchor (AO, and lace (LC)

• Nymo B beading thread

• beeswax or Thread Heaven

• paper cup with waxed surface

Zigzag Nach Rebecca Peapples

an anchor (AC) bead, skip an MC bead and go through the next MC bead. Continue adding AC beads, following the curve of the CC section. At the top of the CC section, add AC beads but move diagonally from right to left, across the midsection (photo f), and around the convex curve of the CC section on the other end until you reach the other end. Secure with a knot. Do not cut.

© Add two lace color (LC) beads, and go back through the AC bead you just added. Add three LC beads and go through the next AC bead. Continue to


• size 15" seed beads in four colocs-main (MC), contrast (CC), anchor (AO, and lace (LC)

• Nymo B beading thread

• beeswax or Thread Heaven

• paper cup with waxed surface the end. Next add one LC, one AC, and one LC bead, and go back through the middle LC bead in the previous row (photo g). Repeat around. Keep the tension tight so that the lace will stand up instead of flopping over. Add a third row of lace. This lace trim is slightly squishy but firm enough to withstand normal wear and tear. © Repeat steps 1 and 2 of "embellish the bead" to add a swirl of lace to follow the other two CC sections. - Rebecca Peapples

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  • Ugo
    How to turn a circular peyote medallion into a necklace?
    5 years ago
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    3 years ago
  • erin
    How do I make spiral beading with four fishing line rope?
    2 years ago
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