freeform peyote tutorial

Freeform Peyote Bracelet Tutorial Day One

OK, since you folks have requested it, here's a freeform peyote bracelet tutorial.  This is day one, where we make the basic bracelet.

Before I start, I'm assuming that you know how to do the regular peyote stitch, as it's the basis of this bracelet.  If you don't, check out the basic peyote tutorial video.

One other item of note.  This is more of a structured freeform peyote bracelet.  By that I mean I am not going as freeform as I would normally do (with holes, netting, etc.).  Instead, this is a middle ground between a normal peyote stitch and a full-blown freeform.  In other words, if you've always been a structured person, this will let you let loose a tiny bit. 

Materials Needed

I'm not going to give you exacts, because freeform peyote isn't an exact science.  Instead, gather up the following in whatever amounts are suitable for you:

  • Size 8 seed or tube beads, single color.
  • Size 11 seed or tube beads, two or three colors.
  • Six beads or crystals, from 5mm through 8mm.  Various colors to coordinate with the seed beads.
  • Thread; I used 6-lb Fireline, in the grey color.
  • Needle, size 10 or 12.
  • Clasp of your choice.

Step 1:  The Base Bracelet

Make the base bracelet out of the peyote stitch, using the size 8 seed beads.  I made mine 6 beads wide by about 6.75 inches long.  You can make yours as long as needed, minus the size of your clasp.  Here's the photo of the base bracelet.

Freeform Peyote Bracelet Tutorial, the Base

Freeform Peyote Bracelet Tutorial, the Base (Click to Enlarge)

Note:  Don't worry if your bracelet isn't arrow-straight.  Because this is freeform, it doesn't matter.

Step 2:  Add the Beads or Crystals

Next, I decided where I wanted my crystals.  Since I have been talking about vintage beads, I decided to use three of them in this bracelet.

I placed the beads with the smallest towards the bracelet ends, and the largest in the middle.  I spaced them out so they were more-less even.  Here's how it looks now.

Freeform Peyote Bracelet Tutorial, Step 2

Freeform Peyote Bracelet Tutorial, Step 2 (Click to Enlarge)

Don't worry about thread showing at the ends of the beads; it will end up being hidden in the next set of steps.

I encourage you to not use evenly matched beads/crystals in this step.  If you noticed, I have one large bead, two medium, two slightly smaller mediums and one small cyrstal.  It's part of being freeform!

Step 3:  The Basic Freeform Peyote Stitching

OK, now comes the fun part!  It's kind of hard to explain this part since it's freeform, but here's how I basically did it.  The freeform part was done with the size 11 seed beads.

Come up from a hole next to the crystal and string however many beads needed to just about loop around the crystal; the seed bead loop should lay just slightly to the back of the crystal.  Bring the needle down through the size 8 bead, then back up through the one right next to it.

String on two seed beads, then begin a peyote stitch across the loop, back towards the original direction.  Once you reach the end, bring the needle down through a size 8 bead, then back up through the next.  String 2 seed beads and peyote your way back across again.

Once you've made a peyote ring across the back of the crystal. string maybe 8 or so seed beads and lay it across the base bracelet.  Go down through a size 8, back up through the next one.  Add 2 seed beads and peyote back the way you came.  When you get to the end, turn atound and peyote back down.

Thread your needle through the size 8 beads, until you come up through the bead next to the next crystal and repeat.

It's one of those times that a picture is worth a thousand words, so here's what I have up to this point:

Freeform Peyote Bracelet Tutorial, Adding the Freeform

Freeform Peyote Bracelet Tutorial, Adding the Freeform (Click to Enlarge)

As you can see, I've made a loop around the crystals, and down across the base bracelet, which I have then added the peyote stitch.

Well, that's it for today.  I'm going to embellish this bracelet further in the next post.  If you like what you have up to this point, put the clasp on it and call it good!  But if you'd like to go a little further, stop on by for the next set of steps.  I should have them up in a day or so, once I decide how fancy I want to get!  😉

Meanwhile, here are some pretty eye-candy pieces of vintage costume jewelry that you might like looking at.

[nms:eisenberg vintage signed,7,1,10]