How to make a "Simple" Peyote Cuff

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Material List for the Peyote Stitch Cuff

  1. 25- 30 grams of Japanese seed beads or 1 hank of Czech seed beads
  2. Fireline
  3. Scissors
  4. A lighter or a Thread Zapper ( can be found at many bead stores).
  5. Size 12 or 13 beading needles.

Peyote Stitch; A Tiny Bit of History

The peyote stitch is now the most popular stitch that bead artisits use. This stitch can be done in a variety of ways. It can done with an even or odd amount of beads, flat, tubular or round. The stitich as been found in artifacts from Anchent Egypt, South Africa and Native America. We in the United Stated are more familar with the works of Native American bead artitists.

The peyote stitch was commonly called the gourd stitch. The Native American Church who uses the peyote catus in its rituals would like the name "peyote stitch" reserved for items which are made or covered with the peyote stitch used in thier cermonies.

This stich if turned on its side looks a lot like brick stitch.  Because of this unique quality, it can be diffcult to tell if a piece is made of brick or peyote stitch.  One of the unque things about this stitch is that when you start it no matter if you are doing it in the round, tubular or flat form peyote stich you start with the first two rows using an alternate beading pattern.

Illistrations for the Peyote Cuff

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Directions for the Peyote Stitch Cuff

This cuff is made using the flat odd count peyote stitch. When looking at a piece of peyote stictched material, note that their are beads which stand up and beads which are down. When adding beads in peyote stitch, the needle is passed through the "up" beads. This is what makes the alterating bead pattern in peyote stitch.

This cuff is made with a mixture of size 11 Japaneese and Czech seed beads. You can use whatever colors or mixture you would like. This is just a basic cuff which can be embelished. The embelishments will be demonstrated later in article.


  1. Start with 2-3 feet of Fireline and preparing it by using bees wax and flatting it with a pair of plieres (Flat or chain nose, I prefer to use pilers witch have rubbber tips. This makes the Fireline flatter without causing little nicks in the thread which can snag on beads or make knots.) If you use Nymo thread then you just need to use the bees wax for conditoning your thread.
  2. String on a stop bead. The stop bead is placed to keep the beads from sliding off the thread. (This bead should be a bigger bead than the size 11 seed beads that are used for the project.) Once a stop bead has been strung, then string 20 size 11 seed beads. The stop bead will be removed later.
  3. After placing the stop bead, then string on 20 seed beads.
  4. Skipping the first bead closest to the needle, pick up a bead and go into the next bead. Continue accross to the last bead in the row.
  5. Note that there's no bead to go into at the end of the row. Here is where you need to make an odd turn. Go into the "down" bead on the first row. This will make the bead stand on end and be come an "up" bead.
  6. Go into the bead that you came out of when you picked up the last bead.
  7. Now pass the needle in the bead under the bead that you just went into. This is the turn which starts the 3rd row.
  8. Pass the needle into the bead that was the "down" bead that you went into and then come in to the new bead that you added. This should place you in the right direction to start the 3rd row.
  9. Continue accross the row skipping all of the "down" beads and going into the "up" beads.
  10. At the end of this row, turn by going into the bead that you just added and then continue across until you get to the last up bead.
  11. Now it's odd turn time, As in step 5, there is no bead at the end. Go into the bead which is in the prevous row "down" bead, pass needle through the bead that you came out of before you picked up the bead.
  12. Go into the bead below the the bead that you came out of and then the bead that you went into when you first made the turn and then into the bead that you added.
  13. Continue to add a bead going into the next "up" bead going accross.
  14. Repeat steps 10- 13 until the cuff is the desired length.
  15. Bead an extra 1/2 inch. The extra length is needed to fold over and make the edges neet.
  16. Fold over 1/4 inch on each end.
  17. Note that the beads on the bottom layer will become the "up" beads and the top layer will become the "bottom" beads. Without adding any beads go through the "up" and "down" beads (picture 12). After going across the row once go back throught the row again tracing the prevous thread path to secure the end. Repeat on the other end.

What a little embellishment can do.

Cuff completed with embellishments.
Cuff completed with embellishments. | Source

Embelishments to the Cuff

The cuff is easy to make once the tricky turn is mastered. Now that the cuff is completed it looks very plain. It needs something to give it that extra pizzaz. This is where embelishments are a big part of making the cuff pop.

There are many ways to embelish the cuff, just let your imagineation flow. I decided to make a peyote flower to decorate the cuff and give it that extra umph. The technique for making the flower is from the book by Diane Fitzgerald called The Beaded Garden pg. 22- 23. To make this flower the shaped leaf version is used.

  1. String on a size 15 bead as a stop bead ( this bead will be part of the finshed project), then string on 20 more beads.
  2. Go into the 2nd bead from the needle (this will form the tip end of the petal).
  3. Using size 15 beads pick up a bead and continue accross the row.
  4. At the end of this row, don't pick up a bead, just go into the next "up" bead.
  5. Now pick up a size 15 seed bead and go into the next bead, pick up a size 11 sead bead go into the next bead then continue accross the row with size 11 beads to the last bead. Now pick up a size 15 bead and go into the last bead.
  6. Without picking up a bead go into the next row and add a size 15 and then a size 11 continue accross the row until the last bead. Make one more row with the size 15 bead as the first and last bead and the size 11 beads in the middle.
  7. For the last 2 rows, use only size 15 seed beads remembering to not add a bead at the begining of the row.
  8. At the end of the last 2 rows there should be 4 "up" beads weave in the thread and tie off the petal. Make 4 more.
  9. Join the petals at the bace by sewing through the beads on the side. Join all five petals to form a circle.

  10. To attach the flower to the cuff it will be couched, this is an embrodery techinque. The way this is done: Find the middle of the cuff and go through a few beads to anchor the thread have the needle comming out of the front of the cuff.

  11. Thread the flower on the needle and hold it in place. Sew through each petal down through the cuff. Bring the needle out to the fromt of the cuff in the middle of the flower.

  12. I used a resin flower, czech rondelle and a 2mm crystal to complete the flower. but use any combination to finish the flower. Thread them on in this order, resin flower, czech rondelle then the 2mm crystal.

  13. Skip the crystal and go into the rondelle and the resin flower, peyote flower then into the cuff. Follow the thread path back up through the cuff and the peyote flower, resin flower, rondelle and up through the crystal and down again. Repeat 2 more times.

  14. The last thing is the closure. Two rondells and two bead loops were used to close the cuff.

  15. Attach the rondels by couching. Thread on a rondell and a 2mm crystal. Skip the crystal and go into the rondlle and then into the cuff. Retrace the thread path to secure. Weave the ends in and knot. Repeat this with the other Rondelle.

  16. Make the bead loops. Double the thread and knot. Start by going into 3 or 4 beads to secure the thread then come out on the right side. Thread 20 beads or enough beads to fit around the rondell. Make a circle by going in the oppisite direction of the thread comming out of the bead. Go through again to secure. Repeat on the other side with the other rondell.

Now the simple peyote stich cuff is complete.  For a litte dressier look, try The Tuxedo Cuff.

Simple Elegance: The Tuxedo Cuff

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Illustration on how to string the beads for pattern.
Illustration on how to string the beads for pattern. | Source

Materials for the Tuxedo Cuff

  1. 20-30 grams of Japanese black opaque size 11 seed beads
  2. 20-25 grams of Japanese matte black opaque 1.5 mm cube beads
  3. 10-20 grams of Japanese black opaque size 15 seed beads
  4. Fireline
  5. lighter or Thread Zapper
  6. scissors

The Tuxedo Cuff

This version of the beaded peyote cuff is simpler and more elegant. This cuff is made using Japaneese black matte opque 1.5 mm cube beads and black opque size 11 seed beads. This cuff was made using one and two drop odd count peyote stitch. For every one cube bead used two seed beads are used. This techinque mimics a satin stripe on material which might be used for making a tux. To finisn the look three jet black czech rondelles were topped with 3 2 mm round crystals and bead loops made from size 15 Japaneese seed beads. The closeue is worn to the front like a shirt.

  1. Thead this combination 1 cube bead then 2 size 11 seed beads (the 2 size 11 seed beads count as one bead). Repeat this until there are 23 beads, the end bead should be a cube bead.
  2. Then contine from step 2 of the simple peyote cuff.
  3. After turning the ends, sew on the 3 rondelles in the middle of the two bead set on one end, then make the bead loops with a total of 23 beads with 1 size 11 seed bead at the begining and the end of each loop.   Go through the rondells and the seed bead loops 2-3 times to make them secure.

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