Desert Mirage Cuff by Shanna Steele

Shanna Steele’s Desert Mirage Cuff plays with symmetry to achieve a flowing bracelet perfect for late summer. Using some of the same colors we loved in her Tucson Vista necklace, Shanna created a bracelet you won’t want to miss. Keep reading to discover the inspiration behind her design. Find this pattern today in Beadwork August/September 2018.

It all started with my Starlight and Second Skin Bracelets, made with SuperDuos. These bracelets were some of the first pieces I created using magical two-hole Czech glass beads, and they quickly became best-sellers for me. I kept getting requests for matching earrings, so I created the Fan Girl earrings. I came up with so many color combinations of these earrings, in fact, that I created a display just for these pieces!

Desert Mirage Cuff

As I was replenishing my stock after a busy weekend last fall, I noticed that the fan shape of the Fan Girl earrings would lend itself well to a topsy-turvy cuff-like bracelet. I’m not going to lie: this project was one of the hardest pieces I have ever constructed because what I saw in my head did not translate well to what I saw on my bead board. Try as I might, I could not get those fan shapes to ebb and flow the way I wanted them to. I actually had to walk away from the design for a bit because it just wasn’t working. Then it occurred to me: I had to reconfigure the way I was thinking about the design. Instead of creating individual components and stitching them all together at the end, I had to work the components together as I went. Once I changed my mindset about the project, the design just kind of came naturally. Although this project varies a bit from my traditional style—and was more difficult than I initially imagined—I am very proud of how the Desert Mirage Cuff evolved.

—Shanna Steele
2018 Beadwork Designer of the Year

Create this bold, wide, mirror-image bracelet featuring waves of two-hole SuperDuo beads and pearl accents.

Desert Mirage Cuff

Pattern Details

Technique: Circular peyote stitch variation

Project level: Intermediate

8 g bronze pale gold 5×2.5mm 2-hole SuperDuos (A)
8 g dark coral pastel 5×2.5mm 2-hole SuperDuos (B)
7 g dark brown pastel 5×2.5mm 2-hole SuperDuos (C)
20 white 4mm crystal pearls (D)
1 antiqued gold 16mm toggle clasp
Gold size D C-Lon nylon beading thread

2 size 11 beading needles

Finished size: 7 1/2 × 2 1/4″

Desert Mirage Cuff

Artist’s Tips:

  • Work with relaxed thread tension and flatten your beadwork periodically.
  • Use a thread color that blends with your beads. The nature of this weave is airy, and the thread will show in the spaces between beads.
  • Try using only two colors of SuperDuos or substituting the pearls with crystals or gemstone beads.

SHANNA STEELE is a 2018 Beadwork Designer of the Year. She sells her work at shows in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, where she lives with her husband, their toddler, two dogs, and a room full of beads. Shanna sells PDFs, kits, and sample pieces on her website, You can contact her at

Download this pattern plus 10 more when you purchase the August/September 2018 issue of Beadwork.

To find more projects and patterns, visit the Interweave Store!

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