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If you’re a long time reader of this blog, you’ll probably know I love beadwork and peyote stitch in particular!
Although I’ve published a few peyote patterns in recent months, I haven’t gotten around to doing a tutorial on this stitch – until now that is!
In this post, learn how to do both flat even count peyote stitch and flat odd count peyote stitch with my step-by-step guide below.
Peyote stitch is a great beadweaving technique to master – it’s fun and easy for beginners to get the hang of. You can create some amazing beaded bracelets, rings, necklaces and even earrings with this stitch (see patterns I’ve created for my Etsy Shop)!
Gather your beading materials to begin with! You’ll need the following:
- A selection of Miyuki Delicas – these are cylinder shaped beads that are perfectly uniform in size. Miyuki Delicas work really well in peyote stitch as the beads will slot together nicely thanks to their shape. If you don’t have Miyuki Delicas, you can also use Toho Treasures which are similar type of bead. If you’re a beginner, you might want to use size 8/0 beads as these are larger and easier to work with. I’ve used size 10/0 Miyuki Delicas.
- Beading thread – Nymo is a good brand to use, it’s strong and doesn’t break easily.
- Beading needle – you’ll need a needle with an eye small enough to go through these tiny beads – size 10 or 12 will be fine.
- Scissors to cut your thread.
- Any other bead to use as a stop bead.
Let’s start with flat even count peyote stitch!
Flat even count peyote stitch – step 1
Thread your needle with the beading thread and pick up your stop bead first of all. In the photo above, you’ll see that I used a bicone bead to stop the Miyuki Delicas from falling off the thread.
Move the stop bead towards the end of the thread and then go through the bead again the same direction to secure it to the thread. Then pick up an even number of Miyuki Delicas e.g. 8 as shown in the pic. These beads will form rows 1 and 2 – I’ll explain why shortly!
Flat even count peyote stitch – step 2
Now pick up one more Miyuki Delica bead. Working backwards, skip one bead and pass your needle through the next bead as shown in the photo above. The new bead you’ve picked up will sit on top of the 8th bead from step 1.
Flat even count peyote stitch – step 3
Work your way backwards until you reach the other side of the beadwork (back to the side you started from), repeating the above step. Pick up a bead, skip a bead and pass through the next bead along in the row. It helps if you think of this stitch as building a wall made of beads and you want each “brick” to sit nicely side by side!
As you’ll see from the above pic, the 8 beads from the first row have now become rows 1 and 2. Some beads are sitting high and some are sitting low. After you’ve done step 3, you’ll have three rows of beads.
Flat even count peyote stitch – step 4
When you make the turn to start the next row, you’ll see a “high” bead sticking up. Pick up a bead and pass your needle through that bead. Then continue to pick up a bead, skip the bottom bead and go through the high bead until you reach the end of row 4.
You may find it easier to flip your beadwork around as you work. That’s fine for this tutorial and you can do this if you’re working to a pattern, as long as you know which side you started from. Having a stop bead in place will help you identify this!
Flat even count peyote stitch – step 5
Flat even count peyote stitch is all about repetition. Just keep following those same few steps until your beadwork reaches the desired length. If you want the beadwork to be wider, you’ll need to add more beads into rows 1 and 2, so perhaps use 12 or 16.
When you’ve mastered this beadweaving technique, you can start to introduce patterns and get really creative with your work!
How does flat ODD count peyote stitch differ from flat EVEN count peyote stitch?
The difference is to do with the number of beads per row. Odd count peyote stitch uses an odd number of beads and so the technique is slightly different. It’s not difficult, but there’s a little trick to making the turn at the end of a row.
Flat odd count peyote stitch – step 1
I’ve used an example of some beadwork that I’m working on for this – watch this space for details of a new pattern!
For this piece of beadwork, I’ve used 21 beads per row. When you first start out doing this version of peyote stitch (when you make your first turn), you’ll do the same as you would in flat even count peyote stitch – pick up a bead, skip a bead and go back through the one before.
When you reach the end of that row (that’ll be row 3, because rows 1 and 2 are formed from the first line of beads you’ll pick up), you’ll see that you won’t simply be able to pick up a bead and go through the high bead. Otherwise, your beads won’t sit where they should.
What you’ll need to do instead is pick up a bead and pass your needle through the “low” bead at the end of the beadwork and through the next two beads diagonally – see the above pic.
Flat odd count peyote stitch – step 2
Then, pass your needle and thread through the bead directly under the one where your thread is exiting out of…
Flat odd count peyote stitch – step 3
Then pass your needle back through the original “low” bead at the edge of your beadwork…
Flat odd count peyote stitch step 4
And finally, pass your needle through the bead you picked up in step 1 which will be sitting nicely in place by this point! Now you’re ready to pick up a new bead and go through the next high bead just like you would do when working in flat even count peyote stitch.
Although making the turn might seem a little complicated to begin with, it’s really not. It’s just like sewing a figure of 8 through your beads to get your new bead into the right place for the start of a new row. You’ll only have to do this every second row and once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll be able to do it really quickly!
Peyote stitch beadwork patterns
When you’re ready to try out some patterns, check out these ones I’ve put together!
- Ombre Ice Peyote Stitch Beaded Bracelet
- Scattered Waves Peyote Stitch Beaded Bracelet
- Colourful Argyle Peyote Pattern for Beaded Bracelet
- Reindeer Bracelet Peyote Stitch Pattern
I hope you found this peyote stitch tutorial useful! Please take a minute to share this online with your social media followers if so!
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*Image source: all images © Craftaholique