You asked for it, so I delivered. I will be doing a series of beady tutorials. I'm working on my video skills, so there will be both a video and written tutorials (with pictures of course) for each topic we cover.
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I've had a lot of new beaders reach out to me and say they would like to learn more, so I thought okay, I can do this. I've been beading since I was 15 (so like 6 years because I'm totally still only 21. Hahaha, nobody correct that, just let me have it), so I know a thing or two about beads.
I'm going to start with the one I learned second (I learned brick stitch first, we'll get to that one too); even peyote stitch. This is the the one that I feel there are the most patterns for, both free and paid (shameless plug here for my shop). So it's a pretty good one to start with.
I do want to warn all of you, this is like the first real video I recorded, so it's far from perfect. I also had to do a voice over because LO was talking about sheep in the background the whole time (Maybe I'll release that video as a blooper). So I learned a lot in making this video and I have a lot that I've already implemented in my next videos. I'm telling you all this because I'm asking you to be gentle. I may know how to do the beadwork like mad, but the video thing has held me back the most. Be kind. But also let me know if there are some things that you want to see in upcoming videos.
So let's get started.
Here is the video for all of you that prefer to follow along that way. It's short and sweet and shows you the stitch using large cylinder beads.
If you're not that into videos or your somewhere were you can't watch a video, there are step by step directions under the video.
*Video will soon be available on YouTube*
So you want to learn how to do even count peyote stitch? Well, what are we waiting for, let's get learning.
First, when doing any beadwork, you want to make sure that you are using a comfortable amount of stringing material. There are a few camps when you talk about thread length.
I personally like to use the second method. I will measure out two arms lengths of thread, then I will double up the thread (sometimes I use a double thread, sometimes I use a single thread, but I pull 90% of the tail end through the needle, so it's about one arms length worth of material for each pull). I find this method is the easiest on my hands and arms when I bead.
When I first started out, I tried the first method and it was so frustrating to me. I had so many tangles it made me want to give up, but I didn't want to work in new thread (a fear of all new beaders). But I eventually learned that working thread in is not something that should be feared and it's a lot easier than you think (there will also be a short tutorial for that).
It is up to you what you want to use. There is no right or wrong way and you have to find the way that works best for you.
Once you have your thread on your needle, you need to add your stop bead. For this example I used a red bead. See Photo 01
To add a stop bead, take your thread and go through the bead. Then go back through the bead in the same direction you did to add the bead, creating a loop of thread around the bead. See Photo 02.
Make sure when you go through the bead to make the loop, you do not go through the thread with your needle. This will make it impossible to remove the stop bead and then you will be in have to cut it off and it's a whole mess. If you can move the stop bead back and forth with a little bit of effort, you are okay. If the bead won't move, you've gone through your thread and need to start over. Trust me, it's easier to start over now then once you have some baedwork done.
Make sure to leave a good amount of thread as your tail so that it's not a hassle to work it into your beadwork when you are finished.
I like to use a larger seed bead for my stop bead because I fell like it is easier to remove when you are finished.
For this tutorial I used large melty beads (Perler beads). These are great for learning different stitches because they are large and a little bit more forgiving. They are very reasonably priced and come in a wide variety of colors. I love using these beads to teach and if you would like, pick some up and follow along. I taught my daughter how to do peyote stitch using these and she's 4, so if she can pick it up, so can you, I promise. Then when you're ready, you can graduate to smaller beads.
Okay, you have your needle threaded and you stop bead in place, now let's start the first row of beads.
With peyote stitch, the first few rows are the ones that really throw people off. I know, I had the hardest time wrapping my head around how to start peyote stitch.
To start, you string both row one and row two on your thread. See Photo 03.
White is row one and blue is row two.
So you have the first and second row of beads strung on your thread. Now it's time to add the next row. Pick up one bead, in this case I used yellow beads for the third row. Take your needle and go through the second bead of your string of beads (this is not counting the bead you just added).
So in this example, you will go through the first blue bead on your string. See picture 04
Pull your thread snug and make sure your bead pops into place. You will continue adding the third row this way. Pick up a bead, skip a bead, go through the next bead.
In this example you would pick up a yellow bead and then put your needle through the next blue bead. I then repeated that until I made it to the last blue bead. My thread now comes out the last blue bead. This will start to create the staggered look of peyote stitch. See Photo 05
The first couple rows of peyote are tricky to start and get aligned. The beads will want to twist, so you have to make sure you are keeping track of which row is which. The larger the beads you are using, the easier it will be to keep your beadwork flat and organized. Once you have 4 rows of beadwork done, your beadwork will be a lot more manageable. I know it is frustrating, it was my least favorite part when I first started, but keep going, you'll get it and it will ge so much easier with practice. And if it makes you feel better, I've been beading for years, and starting a peyote project is still my least favorite part.
Once you reach the end of the third row it is time to start the fourth. Pick up a bead, in this case the forth row beads are green. Just repeat the steps from above, skip the first bead and go through the next bead with your needle. Pull the bead snug and repeat.
In this example, my thread came out the last blue bead. I then picked up a green bead, went through the first yellow bead, picked up a green bead, went though the next yellow bead, picked up a green bead, and when through the last yellow bead. My thread now comes out the last yellow bead of the the third row. See Photo 06
When adding the fourth row, make sure you are aligning the third row beads correctly. Your beads may be twisted after you add the third, but once you add the fourth row, they are going to lay flat and it will be easier to add all other rows.
You can work your beadwork in one direction and then the work it in the oposite direction for the next row. Or you can flip the beadwork after each row so that you are always beading in the same direction. This is something you will have to try and see which method works best for you. Like a lot of things, figure out what you like and go with it.
So now that we have finished the fourth row, it's time to start the fifth. I'm sure you've guessed how that is done. Yup, pick up the bead for your fifth row, in this case an orange bead, and skip a bead and then put your needle through the second bead from the end of you beadwork. Pull the thread snug and repeat.
In this example, my thread coming out the last yellow bead. I picked up an orange bead and then put my needle through the first green bead. I then repeated this, until I reached the end of the row. See Photo 07
This is repeated again and again until you are finished with your beaded goody.
This is what your thread path will look like. The beads will be staggered and they will fit in-between each other. Your thread will go through each bead two times.
You work the beadwork in one direction and then in the other direction. Each time you pick up a bead, you will go through the "up" bead with your needle from the previous row. See Photo 09
And that's how you do basic flat peyote stitch. The biggest hurdle for new beaders is starting the stitch. It's frustrating, even for seasoned beaders. But once you've mastered the first few rows, it's easy sailing.
If you are just starting out, I suggest skipping the pattern and do a single color item first. This will help you get use to how the stitch works. Once you are comfortable doing just the stitch itself, you can move on to learning how to read a pattern. Reading a peyote pattern is a lesson in itself, which we will be covering at a later date. For now, work on simple bracelets or maybe some pen wraps. Something that will help you become comfortable with working the stitch.
Thank you for sticking around for my first ever tutorial. Go ahead and let me know below what you thought. What was I miss? What did you like about it? What else would you like to see? I'd love to hear from you.
Other Helpful Goodies
Want to know how I keep track of where I am in a pattern? Click here to read about my method for staying on track.
Looking for Perler Beads to get started? There are numerous choices on Amazon or even in the craft section of most stores.
What are my favorite beads to use for peyote? I love me some Delica cylinder beads. There are a number of awesome choices HERE.
What are my favorite needles? Check out these great Tulip needles. They are some of the best needles out there. Click HERE for more info.
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Just a girl that loves to bead, take photos, and cuddle with her new baby and her pug.