Your Guide to Seed Bead Stitches

Guide to Seed Bead Stitches

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!

Ladder Stitch

Guide to the Ladder Stitch

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:

How to Make a Ladder Stitch

Square Stitch

Square Stitch Pendant

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:

Square Stitch Video Tutorial with Cynthia Kimura

Square Stitch Jewelry Inspiration

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

Brick Stitch Samples

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:

Brick Stitch Video Tutorial with Leslie Rogalski
How to Make a 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!):

How to Decrease and Increase Brick Stitch
Brick Stitch PDF Diagram

Brick Stitch Jewelry

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

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 Stitch PDF Diagram 
Even-Count Peyote Stitch Video Tutorial with Leslie Rogalski
How to Make an Even Peyote Stitch

Even Count Peyote Jewelry

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:

Odd-Count Peyote PDF Diagram
Odd-Count Peyote Stitch Video Tutorial with Leslie Rogalski

Odd-Count Peyote Stitch Jewelry

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

Odd-Count and Even-Count Peyote 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:

How to Make a Peyote Stitch Ring

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:

2-Drop Peyote Stitch Video Tutorial with Cheri Carlson

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.

Moss Patch 3-Drop Peyote Stitch 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:

Tubular Peyote Video Tutorial with Leslie Rogalski

Tubular Peyote Stitch Inspiration

Cynthia used tubular peyote as the foundation for the Mojave Rain necklace, featuring a fun gold crescent pendant. It also made a cool accent on the leather base of her Serendipity necklace.

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:

How to Make an Open Back Peyote Bezel
Peyote Bezel PDF Diagram

Making a beaded bead cap is a similar technique, and we offer a PDF Diagram for that, as well:

Peyote Stitch Bead Caps PDF Diagram

Peyote Bezels and Caps Inspiration

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

Cellini Spiral Inspiration

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.

Herringbone Stitch

Herringbone Stitch

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.

Flat Herringbone

Basic Herringbone Stitch PDF Diagram
Basic Flat Herringbone Stitch Video Tutorial with Cheri Carlson
Flat Herringbone Stitch Video Tutorial with Leslie Rogalski

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

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:

Tubular Herringbone Stitch Video Tutorial with Leslie Rogalski
Tubular Herringbone PDF Diagram
How to Do the Twisted Herringbone Stitch

Tubular Herringbone Jewelry

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:

Right Angle Weave Video Tutorial with Leslie Rogalski
Right Angle Weave PDF Diagram

Right Angle Weave (RAW) Jewelry

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 Beaded Rope Video Tutorial with Cheri Carlson
How to Make a Cubic Right Angle Weave Rope

Cubic Right Angle Weave Jewelry

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.

Spiral Stitch

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:

Spiral Rope Seed Bead Technique Video Tutorial with Cynthia Kimura
Flat Spiral Rope Stitch Video Tutorial with Cynthia Kimura

Spiral Stitch Jewelry

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:

The Russian Spiral Video Tutorial
Russian Spiral Stitch PDF Diagram

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.

Dot Stitch

Dot Stitch Jewelry

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:

The Dot Stitch Video Tutorial with Cynthia Kimura and Cheri Carlson
The Dot Stitch PDF Diagram

Embellishment Stitches

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.

Picot Edge

Picot Edge Example

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:

How to Make a Picot Edge

Seed Bead Fringe

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:

How to Add Seed Bead Fringe

Coraling Technique

Seed Bead Coraling

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:

Seed Bead Coraling 

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.

Happy stitching!

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Comments

    • Hanna
    • August 8, 2019
    Reply

    What a fantastic lecture !!! very well prepared , documented and easy to understand ! Thank you very much!

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