The Secret for Perfect-Fit Peyote Stitch Bezels? Brick Stitch!

There are a few reasons why you might want to make an open-backed bezel with peyote stitch for a cabochon. An open-backed peyote stitch bezel is great for a transparent cabochon when you don't want to glue it to a backing. Or if you have a cabochon with a thick edge that might not work well with bead embroidery, an open-backed peyote stitch bezel will let you turn a cabochon into a focal point for a great beaded necklace or bracelet.

But the way I learned to make an open-backed peyote stitch bezel always left too much room for error. Stringing the first two rounds and guessing at the size bezel it might make means that I find myself ripping apart the first four or five rounds of beadwork when I discover that the bezel isn't going to fit. Then a friend asked me why I didn't just use brick stitch to stitch the first few rounds of the bezel. After I figured out what she meant, I realized that this was a foolproof way to make a perfect-fitting peyote-stitch beaded bezel every time!

I like to make my peyote stitch beaded bezels using cylinder beads, but this will work with regular seed beads, too.

Use ladder stitch to stitch two cylinder beads together. Then begin working in brick stitch, adding two beads per row, to form a strip of brick stitch.
As you work in brick stitch, keep your tension loose so that you can curve the beadwork to take the shape of your cabochon. Check every now and then to adjust the tension as needed to make your strip of brick stitch curve nicely around the back of your cabochon.

When you have finally reached the desired length, make sure that the first row and last row line up with each other to resemble peyote stitch. When you put them together, they should create a row of "up" beads for you to work peyote stitch around your bezel.

Thread a needle on your thread tail and weave into the first few beads as you would if you were working in peyote stitch. Pull snugly and use tension to keep the two ends together.

Begin working in peyote stitch at the top of the bezel. Work as you normally would, allowing the beadwork to curl up around the edge of the cabochon.
 Finish your bezel by adding a row of size 15 beads to the top and bottom of the bezel to tighten and secure it.

The only downside to this technique is that it doesn't work as well for cabochons that are triangles or squares. Peyote stitch beaded bezels for those kinds of cabochons should use the combination of peyote and herringbone stitch to make sure that the corners of the beaded bezel fit snugly around the cabochon.

If you love making beaded bezels for cabochons, crystal Rivolis and other types of stones, check out Melinda Barta's How to Stitch Beaded Bezels DVD. Melinda gives great instruction on how to use your favorite beading stitches like peyote stitch, right-angle weave, herringbone and netting to capture cabochons, Rivolis and even buttons and other objects in beadwork so that you can turn them into great pieces of beaded jewelry! Pre-order your copy of How to Stitch Beaded Bezels and open up a whole new world of possibilities in your beading projects!

Do you have a "secret" for making perfect-fitting beaded bezels? Share them with other beaders here on the blog!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer

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