How to Make Beaded Bead Caps
(Excerpted from Beadwork, February/March 2012)
Combine peyote stitch and herringbone stitch to make your own three-dimensional five-point bead caps that nestle nicely around 20mm beads.
- Peyote Stitch
- Herringbone Stitch
- 3 g gold metallic size 11° cylinder beads
- Gold size D nylon beading thread
- Size 12 beading needle
Work peyote and herringbone stitches to form a zigzagging piece of beadwork:
Round 1: Use 3′ of thread to string 10 beads, leaving a 2″ tail. Tie a knot to form a tight ring; pass through all 10 beads several times to reinforce. Hide the tail thread and trim. Exit away from the knot (Fig. 1, blue thread).
Round 2: String 2 beads and pass through the following bead of Round 1; repeat nine times for a total of 20 beads. Step up for the next and subsequent rounds by passing up through the first bead added in the current round (Fig. 1, red thread).
Round 3: String 2 beads, pass down through the next bead of Round 2 to form a herringbone stitch, then string 1 bead, and pass through the following bead of Round 2 to make a peyote stitch; repeat nine times for a total of 30 beads (Fig. 2).
Note: Manipulate the beads so one set of herringbone stitch points up, the next points down, forming a zigzag.
Round 4: Work 1 herringbone stitch with 2 beads, then work 2 peyote stitches with 1 bead in each stitch; repeat nine times for a total of 40 beads (Fig. 3, green thread).
Round 5: Work 1 herringbone stitch with 2 beads, then work 3 peyote stitches with 1 bead in each stitch; repeat nine times for a total of 50 beads (Fig. 3, blue thread).
Round 6: Work 1 herringbone stitch with 2 beads, then work 4 peyote stitches with 1 bead in each stitch; repeat nine times for a total of 60 beads (Fig. 3, red thread).
Pinch together every other herringbone stitch from Round 6 so 5 points point up and the other five point down. String 1 bead, pass down through the next bead of Round 6, and up through the next herringbone-stitched bead of Round 6; repeat four times for a total of 5 beads (Fig. 4, blue thread; only herringbone stitches shown for clarity). Pass through the 5 beads just added to tighten; repeat to reinforce. Exit down through a herringbone-stitched bead in Round 6 (Fig. 4, red thread).
Join the points:
Stitch: Work 5 peyote stitches with 1 bead in each stitch along one of the point’s sides. Exit up through the base bead of the next bottom point (Fig. 5, blue thread; herringbone-stitched beads shown in orange for clarity).
Zip: Pinch the side just stitched to the adjacent side so the peyote-stitched beads interlock. Zip the beads together to form a seamless join. Weave through beads to exit down through the nearest herringbone-stitched bead in Round 6 at the top of the beadwork (Fig. 5, red thread).
Repeat this entire step four times to zip together each adjacent side. Secure the thread and trim.
- You may find it easier to work with size 8° cylinder beads when you make your first bead cap; the larger size makes it simple to see where to stitch.
- It helps to keep track of your rounds by using different colors for the herringbone and peyote stitches.
- For a challenge, make the bead caps with size 15° cylinder beads. They can be used to wrap 15mm beads.
- The bead cap can also be used as a flower.
- To make an interesting beaded bead, sew the points of 2 bead caps together. String it on a wire with a small bead between the points.
- You can make a 3-point bead cap by starting with 6 beads in Round 1. A 4-point bead cap starts with 8 beads in Round 1.