For first time bead weavers, I always recommend the two-bead version, or two-drop peyote stitch, which follows the exact same pick-up-stitch pattern, but is much easier to handle. By using two beads per stitch instead of one, the beadwork is less likely to curve, sway and twist. You can also create wider pieces of flat beadwork much quicker with two-drop peyote, because you're picking more beads per stitch.
To make a wide cuff bracelet: Select one or more colors of 11/o seed beads, and about 2 yards of thread suitable for beading, such as Nymo or Fireline. Thread a beading needle, and pick up one seed bead. Slide it down until there is about an 8 inch tail, and stitch back up through the bead to form a stopper.
Pick up any number of seed beads divisible by 4 - but not so many that stitching will be difficult. 24 beads is a great number for a basic cuff bracelet. Slide the beads down to the stopper, and turn the beadwork so that the stop-bead is at the top.
Pick up 2 seed beads and slide them over the needle, but do not push them down to the main beadwork. Grasp the bottom 4 seed beads from the original 24 with your left thumb and forefinger, making sure that the entire strand is snug against the stopper. With the needle in your right hand, skip the first two beads, and stitch up through the 3rd and 4th seed bead. Pull the thread gently until the new beads are secure against the beadwork.
Pick up 2 seed beads, and stitch up through the two raised beads in the previous row. Pull the thread tight. Continue adding beads in this manner, flipping the beadwork to start each new row.
To add new thread, remove the needle when there is about 4 inches of thread remaining at the end of a row. Attach a stop bead to a new length of thread, and stitch into the beadwork at least 6 beads down from your last stitch. Exit from the same beads as your previous thread. Weave the old thread into the beadwork and trim. Pick up the new thread, and continue stitching as before.
When the beadwork is the desired length, complete the last row, making sure that your working thread is exiting from the opposite side as the original stop bead, so that the rows are even. Use the remaining thread, and the original tail, to attach each half of a clasp.
If desired, you can use your favorite fringe technique to embellish the top and bottom edge of the cuff, which will help protect the threads. My Monster Mash cuff has straight fringe using 2-5 seed beads at random.
Give it a try! Two-drop peyote is a great introduction to basic flat beadweaving, and is perfect for one of a kind bracelets!
Copyright 2009 Inspirational Beading