Even-count flat Peyote stitch is often the first off-loom bead weaving technique that new beaders try. And it’s the one that gets them hooked! The beads fit together snugly, giving precise results, even for beginners. Centuries old, dating back to art from indigenous peoples and to ancient Egypt, peyote stitch also lends itself to contemporary designs. With Create Whimsy’s tutorial for basic flat peyote stitch and a little practice, you’ll be on your way to making both classic and modern jewelry and embellishments.
When you feel confident with even-count Peyote, you can expand your design possibilities with odd-count Peyote just by changing the way you make the turns from row to row.
First, gather a few tools and supplies:
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Beads! Japanese glass seed beads are the most consistent in size and shape, so they nest together nicely while stitching. Miyuki Delica cylinder beads stack beautifully, like tiny bricks. Size 11/0 is the most readily available and comes in every color imaginable. Size 8/0 are easier to see, so the samples below are stitched with them. With beads, the smaller the number the larger the bead. So 6/0 is larger than 8/0 is larger than 11/0 is larger than 15/0, etc.
Needles! Beading needles are long and thin so you can load more beads at a time and get into tight spaces. For most bead weaving, you will be happy with sizes 10 to 12. Like bead sizing, smaller size numbers mean larger needle sizes. For practice, start with a 10. (It’s easier to thread.) But you will be happy to have an 11 and 12 nearby if you need them.
Thread and Cutter! You want the best quality thread available to you – it’s the only thing holding all those little bits of glass together! Nylon beading thread comes in a variety of colors and is easy to work with. Fireline beading thread in crystal or smoke colors is braided polyethylene and exceptionally strong. So strong, in fact, that it will damage your good scissors. A dedicated heavy-duty cutter or thread zapper that cuts with a heated element will pay for itself.
A bead mat! You need to control those colorful little round things. They roll around like crazy on a hard surface like a table. A soft, flexible mat will keep your beads from rolling away and helps hold individual beads in place while you pick them up with your needle. You can cut these mats to fit your workspace.
For your next project, gather your own beads and plan a design on Peyote stitch graph paper or get a kit for an even-count flat Peyote stitch bracelet with everything you need.
Browse through all of our bead projects and inspiration on Create Whimsy.