Peyote Beading

Peyote Beading Stitch Even Count Flat

The peyote bead stitch even count flat is one of the easiest beading stitches you can do.  If you’re not familiar with bead weaving, even count peyote is an excellent starting point.

Peyote Stitch Earrings, Even Count Flat

Peyote Stitch Earrings, Even Count Flat

Why is even count flat so easy?  It’s because every row is stitched the same way, and all the turns (when starting a new row) are simple and quick.  Once you’ve finished three rows of even peyote beading, it goes very fast.

The downside?  Not all patterns are suited to peyote even.   However, most patterns can be easily made or altered to use even count.

The earrings you see in the photo were done with even count peyote.  I used size 8 seed beads in AB red and AB gray colors with a single drop stitch, 24 beads in length.  I then added a 2-drop row of copper-colored Delicas on either side; I think it gives the earrings a more finished look, but it’s optional.

And then I stitched a loop up at the top with Delicas, so I could easily hang the earrings off the copper earring findings.

The earrings can easily  be made longer or shorter, and all kinds of variations are possible; the limit is just your imagination!  But it’s a quick and easy project — not to mention a lot of fun!

Below is a video that explains how to do the peyote beading stitch, even count flat.  I’m making a bracelet in this video, and it’s a nice project to do, to get used to the stitch.

There are two videos for you (it took me longer than I thought to shoot them, LOL).  Watch part 1 and then part 2 (right below it).

Click on the videos to start them playing.  If you double-click them, you’ll see them in full screen.

Peyote Beading Odd Count

Peyote beading odd count is easiest when worked in a tubular format, a little more difficult when worked in flat form.  Not difficult, mind you, just a little more thought is needed.

Now that we’ve done an overview of peyote beading stitches, let’s take a few minutes to talk about odd county tubular and flat peyote before moving on to the video project.

Why Odd Count?

So here’s a question — if even count flat peyote is easier to work than odd count flat, why do odd flat at all?

The answer is because some patterns work best with odd count.  And for them, what’s needed is a little extra care when starting every other row.  In fact, if you get to where you do a lot of odd-count, the extra turns will become automatic.

Odd count tubular peyote is a dream to work, as it’s completely a spiral; no step-up is needed after each row.  Of course with no step up to mark your row beginnings, you’ll have to pay a little more attention as to the row you’re on.

Peyote Beading Odd Count Video

I don’t know about you, but I usually find it easier to watch someone do a new beading stitch before I try it myself.   With that in mind, here’s a video showing an odd-count peyote project.

Karla is really good at not only describing what you need to do, but also in showing you where your needle and thread need to be in relation to the beads.

The video is in two parts, so it will give you a good idea of what’s needed for a peyote beading odd count project.

Sit back, relax and enjoy!  Here’s part 1:

And here’s the rest of the project:

Peyote Stitch Beading Overview

Peyote stitch beading is often thought of as being very regular in appearance.  However, peyote beading can be very organic and free form as well.  So what’s the difference?

Peyote Beading Background

Peyote Bracelet

Peyote Bracelet

What we know as the peyote stitch is also known in Native American culture as the gourd stitch.  However, contrary to popular belief, the Native Americans did not invent this style of beading.  In fact, there have been Egyptian artifacts demonstrating the stitch, pre-dating the discovery of Americas.

It all goes to show you how popular this beading stitch is!

Peyote:  Flat and Tubular

There are four major kinds of peyote:  flat versus tubular and odd versus even.  I had a hard time deciding what to cover first, but I’m going with flat and tubular first.

As you can probably guess, flat peyote is worked as a flat piece of beading.  Rows are worked across and back the piece.  Flat peyote stitch is great for all kinds of projects, from earrings to bracelets to necklaces and more.

Tubular peyote is, well, tube-shaped.  It’s worked around a central core, in kind of a spiral manner.  Instead of working back and forth like you would in flat peyote, tubular works in one direction only.

Tubular peyote is often thought of as being just for necklaces, but it ain’t so!  Various diameters of tubular peyote can also be used for bracelets and even earrings.

Odd and Even Peyote Stitch Beading

Now that you know what flat and tubular are, next up is odd versus even peyote.

The easiest peyote stitches are even count flat and odd count tubular.  In both cases, you don’t need to do any special twists or turns or step-ups at the end of each row or round.  If you’re just now learning the peyote beading stitch, a flat even count is easiest, followed by odd count tubular.

But what exactly do odd and even mean?  It refers to how many beads you pick up for your starting row.

You can check out the peyote odd count video instructions for more information.  Plus, here’s a free tutorial for learning even count flat peyote which includes a bracelet project.  🙂

Structured Versus Free Form

There’s one final breakout for peyote stitch beading, and that’s structured versus free form (sculptural).

Structured peyote stitch is perhaps better termed traditional peyote.  It’s the standard 1-drop or 2-drop worked in flat or tubular form.  Patterns are easy to chart and stitch.

Free form, however, is peyote seen through different eyes.  The basic structure is present, but in a wholly different way.  Rows can be worked horizontal, change to vertical or move off in a diagonal manner.  Free form is fairly difficult to chart for a project.  On the other hand, the good news is that even if you don’t follow the chart exactly, you’ll still get a great piece of jewelry!

I’ll leave you with a glimpse of the findings you’ll be needing to go with your peyote jewelry.  These include ear wires, clasps and more.  Enjoy!