Seed beads can open up a world of possibilities for your jewelry designs. These tiny little beads are a staple to keep on hand for any kind of project. They come in basic round shapes, more uniform cylinder styles, and even fun variations like cube shapes. You might start with using them in stringing projects, as they make excellent spacers and bring wonderful pops of color. Once you’ve played around with seed beads more and more, you’re going to want to try different bead stitches. We’ve compiled all of our seed bead stitches into one place, so you can learn more about each stitch, find PDF diagrams, step-by-step instructions, videos, and even see jewelry examples for each stitch. Dabble with them all or become an expert with one seed bead stitch – it’s totally up to you!
We’ll start with the ladder stitch, as it is commonly used to create the first row of beads in other stitches, like brick stitch or herringbone. It’s truly a foundation stitch that you’ll return to when working other stitches. We have a wonderful tutorial for this stitch that includes step-by-step photos:
The square stitch is another basic stitch that comes in handy with other stitches, too. It can be used to correct or complete loomed pieces and can even be used to connect the ends of other stitches, like the herringbone stitch. It works up nicely on its own, too. We offer a video tutorial for how to do the square stitch here:
You can make beautiful pieces of jewelry with this stitch. Cheri made a bracelet featuring the square stitch, but mixed it up with individual strands between two swatches of the stitch in her Autumn Afternoon bracelet. The square stitch also makes a nice focal point in the¬ Magic Carpet necklace¬†from TierraCast.
Brick stitch is great for making bracelets and focal points in jewelry designs. It’s similar in looks to the peyote stitch (we’ll talk about that one soon!), but offers a stiffer feel. This makes it wonderful for making pendants or little brick stitch animals and shapes to turn into pins. We have a video and a tutorial with step-by-step photos for basic brick stitch:
You can also increase and decrease the brick stitch to create different shapes with the stitch. We have a step-by-step tutorial, as well as a PDF Diagram that details how to start the brick stitch with a ladder stitch row, how to create a basic brick stitch, and how to increase and decrease (keep this one handy!):
Brick stitch is very versatile, so it’s fun to come up with different jewelry ideas for this stitch. Cheri used an increasing and decreasing diamond shape as the foundation of her Rosewood earrings. She also added tassels to the bottom of the shape. Cynthia combined different seed bead shapes, sizes, and colors in her brick stitch bracelet, aptly named The Happy Path.
Peyote stitch is a popular technique with our designers. It works up nicely for bracelets, seed bead rings, beaded beads, and more. There are many variations of the peyote stitch. The easiest one to start with is even-count peyote stitch.
Even-Count Peyote Stitch
We have a PDF Diagram, a video tutorial, and step-by-step photo instructions for even-count peyote here:
Even-count peyote is a fairly straightforward stitch that works on its own, or you can add some flair. Cynthia’s Frosted Blush bracelet features an even-count peyote strip made with one of our Artbeads Designer Seed Bead Blends. She added a picot edge for a cute trim. Our Posh Peyote bracelet is a simple look with continuous style thanks to the ends that fold over the clasp.
Odd-Count Peyote Stitch
Odd-count peyote is similar to even-count, but features a center point. This is excellent for patterns that need to be centered. We offer a PDF Diagram and a video tutorial for learning the odd-count technique:
Cynthia’s Chevron Shine bracelet features a pattern with a center point, so odd-count peyote was the perfect choice for this look.
Peyote Stitch Rings
Once you’ve mastered both even- and odd-count peyote, you can create all kinds of things, including rings. Our Cupid’s Arrow ring set features a heart ring made with even-count peyote and an arrow ring made with odd-count. We also offer a great step-by-step tutorial for how to make peyote stitch rings here:
2- and 3-Drop Peyote Stitch
This stitch is similar to basic peyote stitch, but you use two or three beads in the place of one in the stitch. We have an excellent video tutorial for how to do both an even-count and odd-count 2-drop peyote stitch:
Cheri created a bracelet set with both odd-count and even-count 2-drop peyote for a sophisticated silver style. The 2-drop peyote stitch also allowed her to create a fun freeform pattern in her Mountain Haze bracelet.
Once you’ve mastered 2-drop peyote stitch, try 3-drop peyote stitch with Cheri’s Moss Patch bracelet. The technique is the same, just with three beads in the place of two.
Tubular Peyote Stitch
So far, we’ve only covered flat stitches, but tubular stitches are just as fun and allow you to create cool ropes and beaded beads for your designs. Tubular peyote stitch is a fun variation to try once you have flat peyote stitch down. We offer a video tutorial to help you learn:
Peyote Bezels and Bead Caps
Tubular peyote is the foundation for other fun techniques, like making bezels for fancy stones and beaded bead caps. You’ll find a step-by-step tutorial for making peyote bezels in our Design Studio, as well as a PDF Diagram:
Making a beaded bead cap is a similar technique, and we offer a PDF Diagram for that, as well:
Cynthia’s Blooming Stars necklace features peyote bezels around Swarovski Rivoli stones, for a sparkling look. Cheri created a peyote bead cap for her custom Chinese knotting cord tassel as a colorful start to the look.
Cellini Spiral Stitch
So, you’ve mastered all forms of peyote stitch and you’re looking for the next challenge? Cellini Spiral is for you! This stitch is actually another variation of tubular peyote. The spiral is created by switching up the sizes of the beads used. You can learn this stitch with our video tutorial and PDF Diagram. We even have help for reversing the Cellini Spiral, which can create a point in the pattern and a focal point in designs:
Cellini Spiral Stitch Video Tutorial with Cynthia Kimura
Cellini Spiral Stitch PDF Diagram
Reversing the Cellini Spiral Stitch Video Tutorial with Cheri Carlson
Reversing Cellini Spiral Stitch PDF Diagram
As you can see, this stitch provides textured and intricate looks for your designs. Cynthia created cool bangles for her Spiraling Splendor set – the ends just stitch together. She also created a Cellini Spiral tube bead for her Resplendent Roots necklace, which brings the whole piece together perfectly. Cheri even tried out reversing the Cellini Spiral at the center of her Canyon Rapids bracelet.
The herringbone stitch is another popular stitch that pops up again and again in jewelry designs. It is also known as the Ndebele stitch, as this particular African tribe specializes in the stitch. In this stitch, the beads are paired up and the pairs nest toward each other in an almost V formation. There are flat and tubular variations of this stitch, but we’ll start with the flat herringbone stitch.
The flat herringbone stitch is great for bracelets, like Cheri’s Herringbone River bracelet above, or you can try making fun focal pieces for necklaces with them, like in Cynthia’s Nadia necklace. She also used two-hole Rulla beads in place of two seed beads at the center of the stitch. Cheri also made a flat herringbone flag that serves as the foundation for Forget-Me-Not embellishments in her Delia necklace. Flat herringbone also makes for an excellent hat band in our On the Trail design.
Tubular herringbone is just as fun as flat herringbone. Like tubular peyote, you can use it to create beaded ropes that will form the foundation of necklaces, bracelets, or beaded beads. There’s even a twisted tubular herringbone variation, which creates a fun effect in the stitch. We have a video and PDF Diagram for tubular herringbone, and a step-by-step tutorial for the twisted variation:
Cynthia’s Royal Decree bracelet is a regal bangle that’s simply stitched together at the ends. She used an Artbeads Designer Blend to create this look. Her Tuscany necklace shows how cool it is to use unique bead shapes like Rizo beads in tubular herringbone. The final bracelet pictured is an example of how the twisted tubular herringbone takes shape in designs.
Right Angle Weave (RAW) and Cubic Right Angle Weave (CRAW)
Right Angle Weave
The right angle weave (known as RAW for short) is another flat stitch that’s addicting once you get the hang of it. This is a looping stitch that can create intricate styles. Our Design Studio includes a video tutorial and a PDF Diagram for this technique:
Cynthia made a sparkling bracelet with this technique. Her Shimmering Winds bracelet features our Tropical Breeze Designer Blend, filled with gorgeous Swarovski bicones. Cheri got creative with the looping pattern of Right Angle Weave and made fun little four leaf clover shapes for her Fields of Clover bracelet.
Cubic Right Angle Weave
Cubic Right Angle Weave (CRAW for short) is the beaded rope variation of this technique.¬†Like the flat right angle weave¬†technique, creating loops is key. You’ll find a video tutorial and a step-by-step photo tutorial for this stitch on our website:
Cubic right angle weave gives beaded ropes such a nice texture. Cheri used Swarovski pearls and bicones together in her Honeycomb CRAW bracelet and also tried out the technique with seed beads in her Ellinor design.
The spiral stitch includes a flat spiral variation and a rope technique. This stitch is easy and comes together fast. We offer video tutorials for both the spiral rope and the flat spiral stitch:
Cynthia’s Grape Trellis bracelet shows off the spiral rope nicely, with seed beads and Swarovski bicones and pearls. Her Marceline bracelet set showcases the flat spiral stitch. If you want to create a double flat spiral stitch, look to Cynthia’s Blushing Beauty bracelet.
Russian Spiral Stitch
The Russian Spiral stitch is another spiral stitch that creates an intricate rope look. Once again, this stitch works up quickly. We have a video tutorial and a PDF Diagram for this technique in our Design Studio:
Cheri made several bracelets with this addicting stitch. Her Positano bracelets both feature beautiful tone-on-tone spirals, while her Rainbow Ombre bracelet creates a gradual color change within the stitch.
Next, we’re diving into the dot stitch. This simple stitch allows you to create beaded beads on a strand, bringing texture and dimension to your designs. Cheri used this stitch to create the beaded beads in her Imperial Trinkets jewelry set. We offer a video tutorial and a PDF Diagram to help you with this stitch:
So far, these stitches can stand on their own in jewelry designs, but we also offer tutorials for embellishment stitches that can be added on to these stitches and other projects. These stitches make such nice accents in designs and bring even more flair. Once you’ve learned the basic stitches, try these embellishments for a fun way to switch up your style.
The picot edge is a scalloped trim you can add to a variety of projects. It works really well on the edge of peyote stitch projects, like Cynthia’s Frosted Blush bracelet above. It usually includes three seed beads for each scallop, but you can experiment with bead count, sizes, and shapes to create different effects with this stitch. We offer step-by-step instructions for this technique:
Seed Bead Fringe
Seed bead fringe is a fun way to bring dangling dimension to jewelry designs. It makes a nice accent at the bottom of brick stitch, like in Cheri’s Vipera earrings. You can also use fringe embellishment at one edge of a peyote stitch bracelet for a cute accent. You can learn this technique with our step-by-step tutorial:
The coraling technique is another type of fringe that looks like branches of ocean coral! These dangles are fun to layer up in a jumbled look. Take a look at our step-by-step instructions for this technique here:
We hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse at all of the bead stitches our Design Studio has to offer. Be sure to explore the Design Studio even more to see other jewelry ideas featuring these fabulous bead stitches. We also have great resources for¬† all of the questions that come along with working bead stitches, like how to choose the right needles for your project or adding and finishing threads. Is there a stitch you’d like to see that’s not already here? Share with us in the comments or share pictures of the beaded creations you’ve made on our Facebook page.