Thursday, October 8, 2009

Beading Tutorial: Two-drop Peyote Cuff

Threads to the Past - Traditional Native Artwork

One of the most important stitches that any beadweaver will learn is the versatile and endlessly useful peyote stitch. Also called gourd stitch, the seemingly simple pick-up-one-skip-one pattern can be one of the most frustrating to master. Although the basic concept is easy enough to understand, finding the right tension and making the beads go where they should takes a lot of practice.

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.

Embellished Nudibranch Peyote Cuff

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.

Two-drop Peyote Stitch Tutorial

You should now have a little square of 4 seed beads at the bottom of the beadwork. This completes the first stitch. Pick up 2 more seed beads, and perform another peyote stitch: Grasp the beadwork firmly, and skip the next two beads in the strand, stitching up through the following two. Gently pull the thread tight, and make sure the new beads are snug.

Two-Drop Peyote Stitch Tutorial

Continue adding seed beads two at a time until your thread exits the top of the bead strand - do not stitch through the stop-bead. Turn the beadwork over again, so that the stop-bead is at the bottom, and the first row of beads is to your left.

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.

Monster Mash - Beaded Cuff

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


  1. Dear Heavens Mortira, do you have any idea of how long I have trued to do Peyote? And then here you come along with this easypeasy way and I got it the first time!!!Thank you sooooo much!! I am making a bracelet with my 11/0 clear, color lined seed beads in a beautiful turqouise blue and lemon yellow. Not sure if I want to do fringe or picot,but it will be white or silver! Thanks again. ♥ Judy

  2. Hi Judy! I'm glad I could help! Two-drop stitch is definitely a great introduction to peyote. Your bracelet sounds lovely!

  3. I love this! I am comfortable with peyote but have never tried two-drop and am going to try this one. I do have a question though - it appears from the photo that the turquoise and green beads are the same size, but the silver ones seem smaller. Is this just a variation in the beads or are they actually smaller? I use delicas for my peyote and maybe I am just spoiled by their uniformity. Thanks.

  4. You're right! With round seed beads - Czech seeds especially - different finishes can vary slightly in size. Opaques tend to be larger and rounder, and silver lined beads can be quite small.

    The nice thing about two-drop peyote is that these differences don't have quite as much effect on the beadwork, since each stitch has two beads to share any burdens the beads create.

  5. I have been using a peyote stitch for years and never attemped it this way! I love it! I have one question...what kind of clasp is that? a toggle like clasp? Or does the ring stretch around the long end? I just haven't seen what you have in the picture before. Thanks!

  6. Hi Britto! That clasp is a peyote tube toggle - my favorite closure for bracelets.

  7. Hi Mortira,
    I'm new to bead weaving and found this to be so simple. Thank you for your wonderfully easy instructions! Where do we find the instructions for the peyote tube toggle you used?
    Thank you,

    1. Hi Denise! You can find a full list of tutorials and projects under the Beading Tutorials tab at the top of the page. Basic instructions for peyote tubes are here:

      Happy beading!

  8. I am a real beginner. I need to see the instructions with pictures to put the toggle on and the loop for the other side.

    1. Hi Marcia! I have a new tutorial coming up soon for a cuff bracelet, which will include steps for attaching a toggle-and-loop clasp. Make sure you're subscribed by email, Facebook, or Google+ to see it on publish day!

  9. I love this bracelet, and even more, I love that you patiently share your expertise with beginners like me! You're a generous and talented sole, and I appreciate you!

    1. Thank you, and you're most welcome! I've recently added a new tutorial for two-drop peyote in the Master Class series. You can find it under the Beading Tutorials link at the top of the page. Happy beading!

  10. how do you made the not ring end , the part that it close the brazelet once is on

    1. You can get a full tutorial for making and using peyote stitch toggles in my shop, here:

      Also, check out the Beading Tutorials link at the top of the page for a full list of projects here on the blog. There are a handful of cuff projects that demonstrate adding a loop-style clasp for buttons and toggles. The Square Stitch Patchwork cuff is a good one!

  11. No matter what I do I cannot get the photos appear. Is it.possible to get a PDF please? I would love to finally figure peyote out :)
    Thank you

    1. Hi Hazel! I guess the hosting site I used back then has really gone down hill. Luckily, there is an improved version of this tutorial available while I fix this issue. Check out the Beading Tutorials link just under the banner, or you can copy and paste the following URL. Happy beading!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Inspiration Topics

accessories amulet Ancient Worlds Modern Beads animals April's Army art ArtFire astrology astronomy autumn awards awareness bangle beach Bead Inspired Bead Shops bead soup bead spotlight bead stash Bead Trays beaded beads beading theory beads belt bezel birthstones black blog spotlight blue boho bone book spotlight bracelet Bracelet A Week branch fringe brick stitch brown bugles buttons cabochon ceramic chain maille challenge charity chevron chain christmas collar Collections color Color Ideas color triads conservation craft shows crafts crochet crystals cuff Culled Beads current events Current Faves daggers Daily Sets daisy chain Delicas Destash drops Dutch spiral earrings Egypt Egyptian Gods embellishing embroidery environment etsy exotic fair trade fantasy fashion Favorite Beads Favorite Techniques feminine fibers film findings fire polish fixtures Flashback Test flickr inspiration flowers food found object free form fringe Geek Jewels geekery gemstones geography giveaway glass gold gray Greece green herringbone hex cuts history holiday home decor insects inspiration tip inspired beader Inspired by... Inspiring Links ivory Jewelry Stash knitting ladder stitch lampwork lariat leaf fringe leather lights literature loomwork macrame magatamas Master Class Medallions metal free metalwork Mini Collar a Week mixed media mixture Mood Board MOP multi-color multi-strand music natural beads nature necklace Necklace a Day Nepal chain netting New Beads ocean ombre orange paint paper patterns pearls pendant peyote photography Picasso finish pink Pinspiration PMC polymer clay poster sketch purple quick inspiration rainbow RAW red resin ring Ring a Day rivoli Rome Russian spiral scarf science seed beads shell silver soutache spiral rope spring square stitch St. Petersburg steampunk stringing stripes summer tagua TBT The Elements thread Tilas Time Capsule tools trade beads triangle weave tribal tropical turquoise tutorial two-hole beads Ugly vintage Wear it Twice weather white winter WIP wire wishlist wood World Beaders yellow
Blog Home * About * Beading Tutorials * Advertise

Learn About Sponsoring Inspirational Beading with Project Wonderful
Affiliated With and