Start With: A Simple Strip of Peyote Stitch

I think pretty much everyone who learns peyote stitch makes one of "those" bracelets. You know the ones I'm talking about: a wide (or narrow) strip of peyote stitch, usually even-count, with a button clasp on one end. It's probably the one most unattractive piece of peyote stitch jewelry in your collection, right?

But if you think about it, the humble little strip of peyote stitch can open up a world of beading possibilities, even for a new beader. Just what can you do with that little strip of peyote stitch? Here are five easy ideas to get you started!

Make a bail for a pendant. How easy is that? Gemstone or ceramic donuts get turned into (almost) instant jewelry with the addition of a peyote stitch bail. Just make the strip a little narrower than the center hole of your donut, and make sure that your strip is long enough to allow a chain or beaded rope to pass through the peyote stitch bail. Turn it into something even better by adding fringe to the edges of the peyote stitch, or embellish it by adding pearls or crystals to the peyote stitch strip!
Make a beaded ring. These lovely little peyote stitch rings, designed by Leslie Rogalski, are one of my favorite easy peyote stitch projects. A simple strip of peyote stitch made of cylinder beads is jazzed up by your choice of colors. Imagine how colorful these would look if you wore a whole stack of them on your finger!
Use it like a ribbon. I had this idea for a necklace after seeing a vintage piece of Miriam Haskell jewelry. Instead of using a metallic mesh chain, I made two peyote stitch strips out of metallic cylinder beads. The peyote stitch strips in this case behaved just like ribbons! And when I added in the crystals and pearls, the piece looked like it had come straight out of the 1950's.
Add something to it. One of my favorite peyote stitch beading designs is my Back to Byzantium necklace. The base of the necklace is — you guessed it, a strip of peyote stitch. Subtle shaping and the addition of brick stitch diamonds and fringe turn this simple strip of peyote stitch into a recreation of an ancient necklace.


And yes, make a bracelet. Peyote stitch bracelets made from a single strip of peyote stitch don't have to be boring. This beaded cuff bracelet was inspired by a piece of vintage Mexican copper jewelry. I took two long strips of peyote stitch made with cylinder beads and twisted them around to add some fun texture to the cuff!

When you look at a simple strip of peyote stitch like a blank canvas, you'll see that there are so many ways for you to create with it! Twist it, shape it, embellish it and layer it until you have a beaded creation that is truly unique. Don't limit yourself to just cylinder beads, either. Try making a strip of peyote stitch using Tila beads, peanut beads, bugle beads or cube beads and see what happens.

Need some great ideas for embellishing your strip of peyote stitch? Check out Series 1600 of Beads, Baubles, and Jewels TV. Now in its 16th season, this collection of watch-and-learn episodes includes instruction and inspiration from artists like Jean Campbell, Danielle Fox, Leslie Rogalski, Kristal Wick and Susan Lenart Kazmer. You'll find out how to take basic jewelry designs a step further and add your own personal touch to create trendy but classic jewelry designs. Pre-order your copy of Series 1600 of Beads, Baubles, and Jewels TV on DVD and find out how to put more of yourself into your jewelry making designs!

Now, let's see how many more uses you can come up with for the humble peyote stitch strip! What kinds of jewelry making components can you make from a little strip of peyote stitch? Share your ideas with us by leaving a comment on this blog! And if you decide to try your own experiments with a little strip of peyote stitch, take a photo of your beaded creation and post it in the Reader Photo Gallery for us to see!

Bead Happy,


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