Discover Peyote Stitch beading variations that allow you to make anything from flat strips of beadwork to tubular jewelry designs.
Peyote Stitch is one of the most popular beading stitches. There are so many variations of this technique that it kind of blows my mind.
You can also create amazing pieces simply by mixing up bead sizes and shapes.
As with all things, it’s important to start with the basic building blocks and slowly progress from there. This will allow you to improve your thread tension and work out the kinks you may experience while learning a new technique.
I’m going to walk you through the various Peyote stitch variations.
11 Peyote Stitch Beading Techniques
1. Flat Even Count Peyote Stitch
There are several types of flat Peyote Stitch. The first, and probably easiest one, is Flat Even Count Peyote Stitch.
In this beading technique, you start out with an even number of beads, hence “Flat Even Count”.
Some issues that many newbies encounter while learning this stitch are:
- Loose thread tension
- First few rows may twist, making it difficult to know where to stitch next.
Improving thread tension takes practice — plain and simple. There’s no magic trick for making it better. Sorry!
There are two simple solutions to prevent the first few rows from twisting around however.
One easy fix is to insert a needle into the first row of beads which will straighten them right out.
The second solution is to use Quick Start Peyote Cards. These are laminated cards with laser cut holes that perfectly fit a specific size seed bead e.g. 11/0 or 8/0.
You attach the first row of beads directly to the card just like shown in this video:
2. Flat Odd Count Peyote Stitch
Flat Odd Count Peyote Stitch looks pretty similar to the Even Count but you need to start it with an odd number of beads.
This can make turning around to add a new row of beads a little more challenging. It just takes a little getting used to.
You can create a central focus in your Flat Odd Count Peyote Stitch designs that just isn’t possible with Even Count. For example, you can add a V-shape with the point of the “V” running along the middle of the beadwork.
3. Two-Drop Peyote Stitch
Instead of adding one bead at a time, you can add two. This is a variation of Flat Even Count Peyote Stitch and the advantage is using this technique goes a little faster.
4. Three-Drop Peyote Stitch
There’s also the option to add three beads at once in Three-Drop Peyote Stitch.
If you start with an even number of beads, you’ll be working in Even Count and, of course, if you begin with an odd number of beads, you’ll be using the Odd Count technique.
5. Diagonal Peyote Stitch
According to Melinda Barta, author of Mastering Peyote Stitch, Diagonal Peyote Stitch is a fun variation on Peyote Stitch that uses end-row increases and decreases to create a strip of beadwork.
Here are some basic Diagonal Peyote Stitch instructions.
6. Circular Peyote Stitch
Circular Peyote Stitch is just flat Peyote Stitch worked in a circle. Most pieces of jewelry made using this technique start from the inside and work outwards.
That’s the end of the flat Peyote Stitch beading techniques. Let’s move onto the tubular variations.
7. Tubular Even Count Peyote Stitch
Tubular Peyote Stitch follows the same thread path as flat peyote but instead of working back and forth, you work in rounds.
Use this stitch to create beaded ropes with amazing texture.
8. Tubular Odd Count Peyote Stitch
This is pretty much the same as the last stitch but starts with an odd number of beads in the first round.
The only major difference is there is no “step up” in this variation like there would be when you come to the end of a Tubular Even Count round.
The downside of this stitch is there’s no flat edge so you’ll need to hide the ends in an end cap for example.
9. Cellini Spiral Stitch
I love how Cellini Spiral looks! It’s the same thread path as Even Count Tubular Peyote Stitch but the use of varying seed bead sizes creates interesting undulations and spirals in the beadwork. It’s beautiful.
10. Dutch Spiral Stitch
The Dutch Spiral bead weaving technique results in a gorgeous airy tubular rope. In these jewelry pieces, there are sections of beads called swag or bridge beads which are not stitched.
11. Peyote Stitch Bezel
The outer wall of a bezel is created using a short length of Tubular Peyote Stitch.
Decreasing the rounds allow you to hold the rivioli or cabachon in place. The easiest way to decrease the size of the round is simply to decrease the size of the beads.
Now, you can see just how many Peyote Stitch beading techniques there are. Take it slow and practice one variation before moving onto the next. By the time you’ve made it through this list, you’ll be a Peyote pro!