One of my favorite crafting techniques is jewelry stitching because the supplies are easily portable. So when I am camping with the family I can still squeeze in a little bit of crafting. I’m not so sure my sewing machine would fit in around the campfire.
So begins a three part fresh petite series on even count peyote stitching with beads. Odd count peyote stitch is a little more difficult to pick up than even count. Perhaps I will make that another series if there is enough interest. By the end of the even count series you will have made a ring and bracelet. Today I will go over the few basic supplies needed to begin stitching/ weaving jewelry.
Seed beads for stitching or weaving jewelry come in a variety of shapes including, but not limited to, round, square, and hexagon.
Czech Glass Beads are the typical seed beads found at your local craft store such as Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and JoAnn’s.
- Upside: They are cheap and great for learning a new jewelry stitching technique.
- Downside: The bead sizes are not consistent, which can make your pattern appear off and the holes are poorly drilled, which can cause your thread to shred while weaving through the beads.
Miyuki delicas and Toho seed beads are usually found at specialty bead and jewelry making shops.
- Upside: They are more precisely drilled, which will offer a more professional and polished look.
- Downside: These beads are more expensive.
Size – Typical seed bead sizes are 8/0, 11/0, and 15/0. A larger number indicates a smaller bead size. For example, 15/0 is a smaller bead than 11/0. Some beads, primarily square beads, are indicated in millimeters, such as 1.8mm.
Bead weaving thread needs to have the following characteristics:
- flexible enough to weave in and out of beads
- strong enough to not shred from constant rubbing against beads
- fine enough to fit through the head of a needle
- have enough grip/ bead resistance to stabilize the weave (you will see what I mean in Part 2)
With those characteristics in mind, I am only going to cover Fireline and Nymo, as these threads are my most preferred for stitching with beads.
Fireline – Fireline is my personal favorite to work with. It comes in different strength ratings starting at 4lb, which is plenty strong for simple jewelry bead weaving.
- Upside: Less likely to shred than other thread options.
- Downside: More expensive and only comes in two colors, grey and crystal, which actually looks white.
Nymo – Nymo thread comes in several thicknesses. Size D is an all purpose size that would be fine for the projects you will complete during this series.
- Upside: Comes in several different colors, which allow it to blend into projects better.
- Downside: More likely to shred if woven through the beads too much.
Beading needles are long and flexible to make maneuvering between small beads possible. For the projects you will be completing in this series any needle size 10 to 15 will work.
Get your supplies together and meet me back here for Peyote Stitch: Part 2. You will learn the basics of even count peyote stitch and complete your first project: a ring!