Barbara L. Grainger Beaded Beads












Beaded Bead Examples by Barbara L. Grainger


The Project


Thread a 1 1/2 yard length of thread with two needles, one on each end. Pick up one white #6 bead on each needle and pull them down to the center of the thread.

Pick up one bead and pass both needles through it at the same time. Pull down until it is on top of the first two beads.

Repeat steps one and two, until you have enough beads to go around the large wooden bead. You must end the strip with a single bead as in step #2, to insure the actual work is even-count peyote. Keep a firm tension on the beads. They will try to move out of place but you can tame them by pushing them downward as you work.

Periodically, wrap the bead strip around the circumference of the wooden bead, to see if you have enough length to fit around the widest part. Measuring can be a little tricky, since the beads will slip and slide on the slick wooden surface. (A thin strip of two-sided tape on the wooden bead will help hold the smaller beads in place while measuring.)

The #6 beads must fit snugly around the circumference of the wooden bead. If, for some reason they don't, you can do a couple of things. Either take a few beads off the end of the strip, and replace them with thicker ones, or secure the strip a little higher than the center of the wooden bead. (If you do this, you may have to adjust the rows to balance the large bead portion. For instance, you may have to do an extra row of #6 beads at the bottom and not do one on the top portion)

Now that the strip is long enough to fit around the wooden bead, you must make it into a tube. At this point, you should have the two needles and their threads exiting out of a single bead.

Bring the two beads at the beginning of the strip around to meet the single bead. Be careful not to twist the strip. Pass the right needle through the right bead, and the left needle through the left bead. Tie a knot to secure the circle.

The flat strip has now become a three-row tube. (If the tube feels insecure you can pass the needles through the next single bead, and then through the next two beads in line, and tie another knot.)

Now that the tube is secure, pass both needles through the next single #6 bead. Then pass the right needle through the right bead, and the left needle through the left #6 bead.



Step 1


Step 2

Step 3

Step 4





Gently slip the beaded tube onto the wooden bead. This step is probably the most challenging step in the whole process, because the beads slip and slide on the wooden surface. So, before you start, take a break, fix a cup of your favorite beverage, rest your eyes, and then proceed.

Drop the bottom needle and thread, and disregard for now. For this step you need a needle that is long enough to go through the length of the wooden bead. If you have been using a short needle, change the top needle to a longer one now. Pass the top needle down through the wooden bead, and pull the thread all the way down through the hole.

Pass the needle through the #6 bead that is directly below and touching the #6 bead thread coming out of the top row. Now pass the needle back up through the wooden bead.

Turn the bead around. Pass the needle through the top #6 bead that is on the exact opposite side of the wooden bead. Then go back down through the wooden bead again. Continue passing the needle through the wooden bead, catching #6 beads on the top and bottom rows, until you have the bead strip anchored on all four sides. End, by passing the needle back through the first #6 bead. (It is the only one that has thread coming out of it.) Keep an even tension to protect the strip from slipping.

Note: If your bead is a different size, and decreases more rapidly than the one suggested in the materials list you may have to skip step 9 and go directly to step 10.

Finish off the top thread and with the bottom needle, work one row of #6 beads.

Note: If you used the size wooden bead suggested in the materials list, it should now be time to change bead sizes. However, even the same size beads often vary slightly so you may have to work another row or two with these large #6 beads, before you can go on to this next step. You can tell it is time to change bead sizes when the work starts to pull away from the wooden bead.



Steps 5 & 6

Step 7

Step 8




Work the next three rows with the green #8 hex beads. As you can see from the illustration, the larger beads will toe-in slightly to accommodate the reduction. You may have to adjust the number of rows your bead will need.

It is time to change bead sizes again. Work the next row in size #11 light-green seed beads, one bead in each space. Keep tension even so the larger beads will toe-in.


Work the next row with #11 seed beads. But this time do a two-drop peyote. (Put two beads in every space.)

Repeat steps 11 & 12


It is time to change bead sizes again. Repeal steps 11 and 12, using dark pink #14 beads.

Finish the bottom of the bead by working single peyote (one bead in each space). Up to this point you have been decreasing by changing to smaller and smaller beads. But now you will have to do a regular decrease as you bring the work to a close.

You may not always be able to decrease in even numbers when you are closing the bottom of the bead, because the seed beads are not always exactly the same size. You may find yourself going back and forth, between even-count and odd-count count peyote, as you close the end.

There are no hard and fast rules here, so just go with the flow. Be sure to leave a small hole at each end of the bead for stringing.

Now finish the other end of the bead and enjoy your exquisite wearable art.




Step 9

Step 10

Step 11

Step 12

Step 13






Thread two needles, one on each end of a long piece of thread. String on two of your largest beads and slide them to the center of the thread.
Thread both needles through a single bead and slide it down next to the first two you put on the thread.

Thread each needle through a single bead and slide the two new beads down next to the last bead you put on.
Thread both needles through a single bead and slide it down next to the previous two you put on the thread.

Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have enough beads strung in this manner to make a TIGHT fit around the fattest part of your bead. It is better to have one bead too few for a snug fit than to have one bead too many for a loose fit. End with STEP 4, adding a single bead on both needles.

To join, take each needle and go back through the two beads you started with. This should make a "ring". Then follow the thread path through several more sets of beads with both needles to make the ring more stable.
At this point, you could tie one of the threads off and start any regular even count tubular peyote project. This is the best way that I have tried to start peyote stitch. It sets the tension for the entire project. Two Needle Start was taught to me by my friend, Barb Grainger, author of Peyote at Last. On to Page 2 of 3



Thread both needles through a single bead and slide it down next to the first two you put on the thread. Take your needle through the center hole of the large bead and around to the seed bead directly below your starting place.



Come back out the top of your large bead to stabilize the position of your ring. Repeat this process at four approximately even spaced places around the large bead. Tie off this thread in the ring of beads.


Pick up your other threaded needle and begin peyote around the top and bottom of your bead ring. On to Page 3 of 3


This bead uses decreasing sizes of beads to accommodate the narrowing of the bead. When it looks like you need to decrease, pick up the next smaller size bead.
When you are using the smallest size beads in your plan, it will be necessary to decrease the number of beads in a round to complete your beaded bead. Depending on the amount you need to decrease to make a snug fit, use one of the following methods. The dark beads show the beads used in the actual decrease.

Gradual Decrease

Rapid Decrease