Let me begin by saying
that this tutorial is only a hint of what is possible with "freeform".
And because it is freeform, there are no rules or bounderies.
You don't even have to just use Peyote. Several other stitches
also work well in creating this style of beadwork. That said....go
Begin by collecting your
pallet of beads. Below I have shown a picture of the beads I
have chosen to create this bracelet. This is only a guideline.
I find that I will add or subtract some of the beads I have chosen
as I work the piece.
For this project, I have
chosen assorted colors of size 11, 15 & 8 Japanese seed beads,
Delicas, size 6 & 8 Czech seed beads & a Miyuki Triangle.
Plus assorted accent beads and a pretty Czech glass button for
the clasp, my thread (size D Nymo) and size 12 beading needles.
Again, the choice is yours, let your mind wander when you choose
your beads. Have several sizes and shapes and colors, but not
too many or it may just turn into a jumble.
Start by threading your needle with a long but comfortable length
of thread ( I use about 6 feet). String a stopper bead on the
end and leave about 4-6" of thread on the end to weave back
in later. Begin stringing the base row of your bracelet. 12 of
this, 5 of that, 17 of those etc. ( a hint from Charley aka
BeadyBoop, she uses all the same size
beads for her base row. She tells me that it keeps the piece
from curling on her)
Now measure the bracelet
around your wrist. You want it to be about 1/2 an inch bigger
than you need. As you weave, it will shorten up. Do not make
it too big tho, you can always add on, but what a pain it would
be to shorten it.
Once you have a size
that you are comfortable with, pick up a bead and begin your
I generally try and do
2 to 3 rows of Peyote, before I begin "messing around".
If you look at the next picture, you will see also that I continue
a color into the next color. If you just bead the purple bead
on the purple beads, you will end up with stripes. If you continue
a color into the next color, it begins to blend. This is very
hard to explain, take a look at the next picture to see what
The picture above not
only shows how to blend your beads, but also how and why to make
a "bridge". The small dark purple beads are the first
bridge. I was coming out of and going into Size 8 beads with
small little size 15 beads. To make it fit better, I made a bridge.
In otherwords, instead of continuing to peyote on that section
of beads, I made a single strand of beads. I will go back later
and add peyote to them also.
Just let yourself go
at this point. Add a bridge of beads joining one section to another
wherever you feel you want one. The more bridges you make, the
more "open" the bracelet will look.
Here is a picture of
my bracelet about half way done.
You can see a little
better here where I have blended some of the colors, and also
where I have begun to add some of my accent beads. If you want
your bracelet to have a less "open" look, then wait
to add your accent beads on top.
The next picture is the
bracelet completed. I have not only added more accent beads,
but I got a little creative with my bridges too. One of them
is twisted. I did this by starting a bridge, but not connecting
it to the other side. Then I did about 4 rows of Peyote, twisted
it once, and then connected it to the bracelet.
I attach my button or
bead for the closure first, then I make the loop on the other
end of the bracelet. This way I can be sure of a good fit. If
the bracelet is not long enough, I can make that loop of beads
a little bigger to make it fit.
Below are a few of the
things I do when I make these bracelets. They will hopefully
inspire you to try new things too.
This is a close-up of
a "bridge". You can leave it like it is, or add to
I do this alot with my
bracelets, I like the look. And the color combos of course are
endless. I make a long bridge with a size 8 bead, and then come
back and wrap a strand of size 15 beads around it.
This is the beginning
of a ruffle. Instead of stringing 1 bead in your Peyote, make
it 3.(the purple beads)
Then on the next row,
bead from point to point adding 5 beads (the gold ones). I have
kept my tension very loose on this so it would lay flat on the
scanner. If you pull it a bit tighter, you will see it ruffle.
These are little 3-bead
picots. They add nice texture to the edges. Start by adding 3
(the teal ones) beads instead of 1 along the edge of your Peyote.
Then position your thread so that it is coming out of the center
bead in the 3-bead edge.
Now string on 3 beads
(lilac) and pass your needle back thru the other side of the
center bead. Little 3-bead picots. Work your needle back thru
the beads until you are coming out of the center bead in the
Here are two examples
of how to attach your accent beads to the surface. Just come
up thru your work, position your accent bead, add a seed bead,
and then pass back thru your accent bead and into the beadwork,
tacking it down. Do this several times to make sure it is secure.
Also, a hint about using
Austrian Crystals. If you chose to use them as accent beads,
make sure you have a seed bead on each side of the crystal. This
will help keep your thread from rubbing against the hole of the
crystal, which is very sharp. I also thread thru my crystals
until I cannot get the needle thru any longer.
I hope you enjoyed this
is protected by a Copyright 1998-2005 by Beki Haley
You must have my permission in writing
to distribute this tutorial in any form.