A tubular peyote bezel is not only easier to stitch, but also adapts well to all kinds of rhinestone and cabochon shapes or sizes. Once you’ve made your first bezel, the technique is easy!
To Bezel a 14mm Rivoli Crystal:
Cut a comfortable length of thread - at least one yard - and thread a needle on one end. I like to attach a stop bead, even though the technique doesn’t require one. This helps to make sure you have a tail of the desired length. Unless you plan on some fancy embellishments or treatments for your finished bezel, a six inch tail is sufficient for securing the thread.
Pick up 34 11/o seed beads. When adapting this stitch for larger rivolis or cabs, remember that you need an even number of beads for your tube. If you are going to embellish the finished rivoli, multiples of four can be helpful for alternating patterns, but fit should come first. When in doubt, add beads (in pairs).
Stitch through all of the beads again to form a ring, and pass through the first ten or so to secure it.
Some beaders like to tie the ring together with a square knot, but I prefer to keep a little wiggle room to help the tube form a smooth shape. Plus if you make a mistake, it’s a lot easier to go back without the knot.
Hold the seed bead ring with your thumb and forefinger to rotate it while you stitch. Try to keep the ring from twisting as you work by pressing the new beads as you rotate, and help form the tube shape.
Pick up one bead. Skipping the next bead from where your thread is exiting, stitch through the next bead in the ring, and gently pull snug. Continue adding one bead at a time with peyote stitch, all the way around the ring.
When you have added the last bead in this round, you will need to step up. Pass through the first bead added in the round, so that your thread is exiting from an ‘up’ bead.
If you are comfortable with tubular peyote, you can stitch through both beads at once. When you’re just starting out, going one bead a time can help prevent twists and thread tangles.
Work one round of tubular peyote, using all 15/o seed beads. Pull snug with each stitch, and the tube will start to curve inward. Step up at the end of the round.
Add two more rows of peyote using 15/o beads. As you cinch up the final row, the bezel will take on the signature cupped shaped.
Weave across the beadwork, following the natural thread path, and exit from an 11/o ‘up’ bead on the opposite site of the tube. The direction that your thread is pointing will mean working the next rows in the other direction. This seems awkward at first, but I find that it is easier to seal up the rivoli by working in this direction. If you are more comfortable stitching the other way, you can turn your thread in the 11/o rows before exiting from a new up bead.
Using just 15/o seed beads, work one row of tubular peyote. Place your rivoli foil-side down into the open bezel - the first half of the bezel is usually tighter, allowing less of the crystal to show through. Hold the rivoli in place with your thumb as you work, rotating the beadwork in a circle to add new beads.
Add two more rounds of 15/o seed beads. Pull snug after each stitch to seal up the rivoli in the beadwork. Once the last rows is complete, weave through the rounds again to tighten the beadwork and give the top of the bezel a smooth finish. With the exception of some lined finishes, most 15/o seed beads work well with a size 10 beading needle. At this point, I like to switch to a size 13 needle. I find that it helps give tighter stitches when finishing the bezel.
You can use any remaining thread to add circular peyote or other embellishments to the 11/o rows, or stitch the bezel into a larger piece of beadwork. First, thread a needle on the tail, and weave through the 15/o rows at the back of the bezel. There is no need to knot the thread. Once the tail is thoroughly secured, trim as close to the beadwork as possible.
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