Mastering Flat Peyote Stitch with Melinda Barta

Flat Peyote Stitch is sometimes considered the Holy Grail of seed bead stitching. Once you “get it” you’re well on your way to becoming a seed bead expert, tackling other more difficult stitches in a single bound! Many SBN’s (Seed Bead Newbies) tackle this stitch first; you could look at it as a gateway stitch that leads to all other stitches. And Melinda Barta is just the seasoned pro to teach you the way in her new course, Mastering Peyote Stitch: Flat Peyote with Melinda Barta. One of the greatest things about flat peyote stitch is you can still manipulate it by curling, folding and gathering so it can have a 3D affect or simply lay flat.

Flat Peyote Stitch

Buckle Up Cuff FREE Pattern by Carole Ohl

Melinda teaches you even- and odd-count peyote stitch, explaining why you would use one over the other. She goes over increasing and decreasing which are very valuable techniques when doing any seed bead stitching. And she even covers Diagonal Peyote Stitch which is a fun variation. We’ve also included 2 FREE project patterns and they are really lovely, you’ll want to dive right in.

Flat Peyote Stitch

Close up of Walkin’ After Midnight FREE Pattern by Melinda Barta

When Melinda first taught me how to seed bead stitch, read about it here, she started with Flat Peyote Stitch. After years of being a student myself and now traveling all over the world teaching my fave jewelry techniques, I knew my fave method for learning something new is through repetition. I also used Melinda’s book like a bead bible! Some students can easily learn a stitch or technique from a class or book, others like videos or courses. This is why Interweave likes to offer all of the above because folks learn in many different ways. It’s good to know your fave way and if you’re like me, it has to become a habit before I can remember all the steps and the right way to do a technique.

Flat Peyote Stitch

Buckle Up Cuff Variation FREE Pattern by Carole Ohl

This is why I jumped right in and made a dozen, wait, DOZENS of Peyote Stitch cuffs! It turned into my mindfulness practice. Once I learned the basic steps, I loved getting in the zone and finding comfort in the repetition. Not to mention the endless color pallet choices. Since I’m a blingster (my name IS Kristal after all), the best part was playing with Swarovski crystal edges. Delicious! Each one got more elaborate than the next.

Kristal’s UFO cuffs

Kristal’s UFO cuffs

Unfortunately, I’m a lifelong member of the UFO club. No, not the alien kind (although some of my pieces certainly look like they came from another planet), UnFinished Object. I know this is not a club of 1 but many of us! What’s better than the thrill of picking out beads and starting a new project? Well, buying more beads, duh. The problem with members of this club is they don’t really feel that same joy throughout the whole project and finish it! I do believe I am personally responsible for keeping a bead store or two in business the first few years of beading! As I was reflecting on my memories of Melinda’s teachings and writing this blog post, I dug deep in my craft room and unburied my UFO Peyote Cuff Stash and to my dismay, counted them…gulp…67 UFOs! Proof is in the pictures shown here!

More of Kristal’s UFO cuffs

More of Kristal’s UFO cuffs

I’d sure like all my beady peeps to play truth or dare with me and come clean with pictures of their UFOs (so I can release all this guilt)! I’m beyond embarrassed with this insane amount, who wouldn’t be? And they’re perfectly beautiful cuffs, ready to complete and proudly wear. So, making a rather late New Year’s Resolution (with some inspiration from Melinda’s new course), I WILL finish this pile of lovelies this year (all my friends now know what they’re getting for Christmas)!

We have a sneak peek from Melinda’s course on Flat Peyote Stitch with her Top 5 Tips!

This course is the second in a series of six courses by Melinda Barta designed to lead you towards mastery in Peyote Stitch. Here is the whole series:

  1. Mastering Peyote Stitch: The Basics
  2. Mastering Peyote Stitch: Flat Peyote
  3. Mastering Peyote Stitch: Circular Peyote
  4. Mastering Peyote Stitch: Tubular Peyote (Coming soon!)
  5. Mastering Peyote Stitch: Peyote Extras (Coming soon!)
  6. Mastering Peyote Stitch: Finishing Touches (Coming soon!)


1. How to count rows

When counting the number of rows in a piece of flat peyote stitch, don’t simply count the beads along one edge. Instead, count the beads on the diagonal. Or, you can count in a zigzag pattern.

2. Color planning

When beading with multiple colors, you can mix the beads before you start or keep them in piles of separate colors so you can more easily choose which color you want to use next. The latter is useful if you have a low quantity of a bead you want to use. This will help you ration the beads so they are evenly distributed in your design.

3. Even or odd?

Working in even-count peyote stitch is fast since no turnarounds are required. Working a strip of peyote with an odd number of beads is a great choice when creating a motif that needs to come to a point or if you intend to attach something to the very center bead of the beadwork.

4. Track your progress

Make a photocopy of the pattern and mark off beads as you add them to keep track of your progress.

5. Variations with increases

For a dramatic increase, work increase stitches in every stitch on the left side of the work. For a subtler increase, work a few rows with just 1 bead in each stitch before adding increase beads again. To cause the beadwork to fan out in both directions, work increase stitches on both sides of the strip.

I hope you got more than a nudge toward embarking on this Peyote Stitch journey with Melinda. I suggest finishing up a creation before starting a new one-just sayin’. I know you will be charmed and delighted with the Peyote Stitch and find so many variations and projects to revel in. I just wish you all could find your way to my studio and help finish up all these cuffs!


Featured Image: Walkin’ After Midnight FREE Pattern by Melinda Barta

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One Comment

  1. Margaret P at 5:32 pm March 26, 2018

    Let me know how to sign up for the UFO club! I think I’m an alien too! Happy to send a photo….

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