6 Tips to Learn How to Bezel a Rivoli with Peyote Stitch
I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that after working on Beadwork magazine for four years, I still hadn’t learned how to bezel a rivoli with peyote stitch. Melinda Barta’s Eleanor Bracelet gave me the incentive I needed. I grabbed a kit for the blue colorway, printed the instructions from the August/September 2018 digital issue, and off I went. Easy, peasy, right?
In my case, not so much! I didn’t realize how steep the learning curve would be for me to learn how to bezel. I swear, every time I try a new technique I feel like I have 10 thumbs again.
Goldilocks and the 3 Bezels
On my first attempt, my tension was way too tight. I ended up with more of a triangle than a circle. No way was that rivoli fitting into that bezel!
I tried again, with looser tension. TOO loose this time! When I tried to insert the rivoli and stitch the bezel closed, my rivoli just kept falling out.
Clearly, I didn’t know what I was doing. I needed help! Rather than give up, I searched Interweave’s beading site for some resources, and I found plenty.
After reviewing several blog posts, books, and videos, I gave it one last shot. This time, everything was just right! The rivoli fit snugly into my bezel, and I was able to stitch it securely closed on both sides.
Here are the 6 most useful tips I found for bezeling a rivoli with peyote stitch. I hope you find them helpful, too!
1. Leave an extra bead’s width of space when you tie together your original circle of beads.
This tip is from Tammy Honaman’s “Swarovski Crystal Collection Bracelet.” On my first attempt, I tied the beads into a tight circle. No wonder everything bunched up when I tried to peyote-stitch Round 2 on the inside of Round 1!
On my second try, I didn’t tie the beads into a circle at all. I tried to cheat by just passing through all the beads again, leaving myself the freedom to adjust the circle as necessary. As it turns out, you actually do need a firm circle for anchoring that second row of beads into place. Otherwise, you end up with a loose mess!
2. As you work the first round of even-count peyote stitch, keep the beads flat instead of letting them form a tube.
This tip, from “Make a Beaded Bezel In Just 5 Minutes,” goes hand in hand with the first tip. If your tension is too tight, your peyote-stitch circle will bunch up like in my initial attempt. Keeping the beadwork flat for this step will ensure that your tension is correct.
3. Use medium tension for the first couple of rounds, then increase the tension when you switch to the smaller beads.
This tip is also from “Swarovski Crystal Collection Bracelet.” Medium tension worked best for clicking the first couple of rounds of beads into place. But once I switched to smaller beads on the later rounds, I had to pull fairly tightly to secure the bezel around the rivoli.
4. After you’ve stitched the first two rounds of tubular even-count peyote stitch, hold the rivoli in place in the center of the bezel as you stitch.
This tip is from “Five Tips for Better Peyote Stitch Bezels.” As Jennifer VanBenschoten explains in this blog post, holding the rivoli in place as you stitch around it allows the bezel to curl around the rivoli. You can take advantage of this by pulling lightly on your beading thread to help the bezel cup around the rivoli. Although I found this method quite effective, it also hurt my fingers to hold that pointy rivoli in place for so long. The next tip is an alternative approach.
5. Encourage the beadwork to cup while you stitch the rounds with the small beads by manipulating it with your fingers.
This tip is from Melinda Barta’s book The Peyote Stitch Companion. Since the Eleanor Bracelet includes four bezeled rivolis, I decided to use this method for my next three bezels. I didn’t think my fingers would hold up through the whole bracelet otherwise! It actually worked quite well to slip the beadwork over one of my fingers while I stitched.
6. Count out the beads needed for your next round, so as you work the tubular peyote you don’t lose track of where you are in your weaving.
This tip is from “Beaded Bezel Tutorial for Crystals by Kelly Wiese.” I started out by pre-counting my beads, but then I got overly confident and stopped. Of course I missed a couple of stitches and had to rip out half a round to fix my mistakes. I went back to counting out my beads before stitching!
The resources listed here include many more tips than the ones I mentioned. If you’d like to learn how to bezel a rivoli with peyote stitch, check out the rest of the tips in these sources. And of course, pick up an Eleanor Bracelet kit in either blue or pink, while they last!
Managing Editor, Beadwork magazine
Find peyote stitch bezeling resources in the Interweave Store!