Peyote Stitch and Spike Beads: Made For Each Other

I've really been getting into beading with my glass spike beads from York Beads lately. Now that they come in three sizes, there's a whole new range of options out there for anyone who wants to make their bead-weaving a little more fierce!

A few months ago, Melinda Barta posted this great tutorial on how to make a simple peyote stitch bezel around a 7mm x 17mm spike bead. After stitching up a whole bunch of spike beads like this, I got my hands on some of the new, larger 12mm x 18mm spikes. I wondered what would happen if I started stitching a peyote stitch bezel around one of those whoppers and then just kept on going, forming a hollow tube. Then, I could write something inspirational on a slip of paper, roll it up, and seal it inside.

These little peyote stitch prayer vessels work up fast and make great gifts. If you need a quick and inspirational holiday gift for a friend, stitch up one of these and hang it from a piece of leather or a beautiful chain.

Materials (For Pendant Only)

  • (2) 12mm x 18mm Czech glass spike beads (York Beads or Bead Stalkers)
  • 5 grams size 11o seed beads to match or contrast with spike beads (A)
  • 5 grams size 15o seed beads to match or contrast with spike beads (B)
  • 4 grams Magatama beads to match or contrast with B (C)
  • Fireline 6 lb. beading thread in color to match beads
  • Archival quality paper


  • Size 12 beading needle
  • Scissors or thread cutter
  • Chain nose or flat nose pliers (optional, but helpful for maneuvering beading needle through a tight spot)

Step-by-step Instructions:

String on a stop bead. Then add a spike bead and 12 A. Pass through the spike bead again so that the seed beads wrap around the outside of the spike.
Pick up 12 B and pass through the spike bead so that the seed beads wrap around the other side of the spike. Pass through all the seed beads again, pulling snugly.
Work in tubular peyote stitch for a total of 20 rounds. Go back and use the tail to add a row of B around the edge of the spike bead. Weave the tail in, knot, and trim close to the beadwork.
After you've finished both halves of the prayer vessel, take a small strip of archival quality paper and write an inspirational quote or a short prayer on it. Roll it up tightly, and insert it into each half of your vessel.
Zip up the two halves of the peyote stitch prayer vessel by stitching through each alternate "up" bead. Reinforce the thread path once or twice, then tie a couple of half hitch knots, weave your thread in, and trim close to the beadwork.
Start a new thread in your third round of peyote stitch. Pick up 3 B, 1 C, 3 B. Skip the next bead in the round, and pass through the next bead.

Repeat all around so that you have a total of 6 netted "petals" surrounding one end of the peyote stitch tube. Pass through the first 4 beads added.

Continue working in horizontal netting, adding 3 B, 1 C, 3 B for each unit.

Work until you have a total of 6 rounds of netting, including the first round added in this step.

To add the last round of netting, pick up 3 B and stitch through one of the beads in the third round of peyote stitch on the opposite end of the peyote stitch tube. Pull snugly so that the netting stretches down over the entire tube. Pick up 3 B and stitch through the next C of the previous round of netting. Repeat around. Tie a couple of half hitch knots, and weave your thread into the netting. Trim close to the beadwork.
To finish the peyote stitch prayer vessel, I made two straps of St. Petersburg Chain using 3.4mm drop beads and attached it to the netting using two 8mm jump rings.

If you're really inspired by this peyote stitch prayer vessel project, why not stitch up a whole set of them to hang as pendants from a collar or necklace? You can fill each one with an inspirational quote or a prayer or words that are special to you or the recipient.

I love how well peyote stitch works so well with these funky glass spike beads! It never fails to amaze me what can be done with peyote stitch, whether it's sculptural bead-weaving or flat, geometric beadwork. And if you want to start exploring different geometric forms using peyote stitch, you need to check out Bead Stitching Triangles with Jean Power. With just a couple of easy variations, you can start creating both flat and three-dimensional triangles with peyote stitch.

Get your copy of Bead Stitching Triangles with Jean Power on DVD and unlock the potential of this popular beading stitch! Or, if you just can't wait to get started, download the video instantly onto your favorite laptop or desktop computer and get busy beading!

Have you tried designing beadwork with spike beads yet? What beading stitches have you used with them? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your ideas with us. Or, better yet, take a picture of your spike bead project and post it in the Reader Photo Gallery!

Bead Happy,


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