A Free Beading Project to Love for Valentine’s Day
Do you have extravagant, romantic plans for Valentine’s Day? Or will you spend some quiet time on February 14 with your one true love — your bead stash? If so, break out your cylinder beads in reds and pinks, golds and silvers, or any other combination that you love to create this free beading project for Valentine’s Day!
A big thank you to Kathy Cook for sending us this cute bracelet pattern!
Technique: Odd-Count Two-Drop Peyote Stitch
To stitch this bracelet, you need to know odd-count two-drop peyote stitch. Here’s a primer on peyote stitch techniques. (If you’re already a peyote stitch pro, just skip ahead to the bracelet pattern!)
For one-drop even-count flat peyote stitch, string an even number of beads to create the first two rows. Begin the third row by stringing 1 bead and passing back through the second-to-last bead of the previous row. String another bead and pass back through the fourth-to-last bead of the previous row. Continue adding 1 bead at a time, passing over every other bead of the previous row.
Two-drop peyote stitch is worked the same as one-drop peyote stitch, but with 2 beads at a time instead of 1 bead.
For odd-count flat peyote stitch, string an uneven number of beads to create Rows 1 and 2. String 1 bead, skip the last bead strung, and pass through the next bead. Repeat across the row (this is Row 3). To add the last bead, string 1 bead and knot the tail and working threads, clicking all beads into place. Start the next row (Row 4) by passing back through the last bead added. Continue in peyote stitch, turning as for even-count at the end of this and all even-numbered rows. At the end of all odd-numbered rows, add the last bead, pass under the thread loop at the edge of the previous rows, and pass back through the last bead added.
Begin a midproject peyote-stitch increase by working a stitch with 2 beads in one row. In the next row, work 1 bead in each stitch, splitting the pair of beads in the previous row. For a smooth increase, use very narrow beads for both the two-drop and the one-drop between.
To make a midproject peyote-stitch decrease, simply pass the thread through 2 beads without adding a bead in the “gap.” In the next row, work regular one-drop peyote stitch over the decrease. Work with tight tension to avoid holes.
All the bead colors used in Kathy’s version of the bracelet are available at Beadaholique. Of course, you can use any color of cylinder beads that you like. This project is a perfect stash buster!
- 150 (1 g) silver-lined opal tan size 11° cylinder beads (DB1458); inner/tan border
- 204 (1.5 g) matte opaque 24Kt light gold-finished size 11° cylinder beads (DB334); outer/gold border
- 222 (1.5 g) matte opaque dusty rose size 11° cylinder beads (DB800); innermost/pink border
- 270 (1.5-2 g) opaque berry luster size 11° cylinder beads (DB1564); inside hearts
- 366 (2-3 g) opaque pale rose luster size 11° cylinder beads (DB210); pink background
- 512 (3 g) opaque currant size 11° cylinder beads (DB1134); heart outlines, “LOVE,” and middle/red border
- 1 gold 10x7mm trailer hitch clasp (or clasp of your choice)
- Crystal 6 lb FireLine braided beading thread
You need the following tools to make this project:
- Size 10 or 11 beading needle
The finished size of this bracelet, including the trailer hitch clasp, is 7″.
Using odd-count two-drop peyote stitch, follow the pattern to create the bracelet.
Attach a clasp of your choice. Kathy used a trailer hitch clasp, but you could also use a lobster clasp, a small magnetic clasp, or a tiny box clasp.
Kathy also shared these tips for stitching this bracelet:
- Use a permanent marker to color the thread along the edge of the bracelet so that it matches the beads.
- Sometimes I add picot edging (3 size 15° seed beads) along the edge of a peyote-stitched piece to finish it off, but for this bracelet I preferred to leave the gold cylinder beads on the edges.
About the Designer
Kathy Cook began bead weaving and bead looming in the 1970s. She set beads aside for a while to raise her three children. In the 1990s, Kathy started beading again because of a friend’s influence and the fascinating new beads. When Kathy isn’t beading, she and her husband like to play music and travel. Contact Kathy at email@example.com.
To learn more about Kathy, including a story about the party Kathy’s local bead shop threw when her first projects were published in Beadwork, see “A Beading Party to Celebrate Kathy Cook Getting Published in Beadwork.”
I hope you love this free bracelet pattern from Kathy as much as I do. Happy Valentine’s Day, and happy beading!
Managing Editor, Beadwork magazine
Find more beading projects to love in Beadwork magazine and the Interweave Store!