Hello Beaders! Eureka Crystal Beads is now carrying… Toho Aiko beads! We’ve received our first shipment – just about 100 different colors!! – and I’m super excited to show them off to you. (If you want to know a little bit more about Aiko beads, check out the spotlight video I filmed earlier today about them!) I’ve chosen to do this in the form of a nice quickie project: a great casual bracelet for everyday wear that’s oh-so-comfortable! I’m wearing mine as I type this and it looks great with my blue jeans and white tank top and I don’t even feel that I’m wearing it (great for those who work at a desk all day!). This project also features an easy – but strong – magnetic clasp! Please read on for a quick tutorial on even-count flat Peyote stitch so you can whip up one of these fun bracelets as well.
First and foremost, if you feel as though you’re still uncomfortable with Peyote stitch after this blog, please make sure to head on over and watch my Peyote Basics video on the Eureka Crystal Beads YouTube channel and it will hopefully clear anything up. Warning: this video was done before we vastly improved our camera and filming technique – but it’s still watchable. 😉
What you’ll need:
- Toho Aiko (cylinder) beads (Miyuki Delica beads will work, too, but I encourage you to try the Aiko’s if you never have before!) – however many colors you like. I used 4 different colors – we’ll call them Colors A, B, C, and D for this tutorial. (We sell them in 4-gram packages and I had LOTS left over!!)
- >>> Toho Aiko beads that I used: A = #706 Iris Teal Matte, B = #990 Aqua Gold Lined, C = #221 Bronze, D = #413 Turquoise Opaque Rainbow)
- 6 lb Fireline (work with as much as you feel comfortable, knowing you’ll have to add on at least once or twice.) Tip: 4 feet of Fireline makes about 3″ of Peyote if it’s 8 beads wide like my sample.
- Clasp of choice – I used a 6mm Antique Copper Plated magnetic disc clasp.
- Size 12 beading needle
- Optional: Beaders Wax (I’m a fan – it helps keep my Peyote nice and tight!)
1) First, thread up a size 12 beading needle with your Fireline. (I worked with 4-foot segments) Pull a tail and wax if you like – I find it quite helpful.
From right to left in the picture: thread on (4) beads in Color A, (2) beads in Color B, and (2) beads in Color C.
Leave a tail of FireLine around 5-6″ so that way you can use it later to attach half of your clasp!
2) **The yellow stars denote NEW beads added this step**
Pick up (1) Color D and pass back through your second to the last bead added from step 1.
Pick up (1) Color C, skip over the next bead, and then pass through the bead after that (which is the 4th to the last bead you added in step 1).
Pick up (1) Color B, skip over the next bead, and pass through the bead after that.
Repeat once more for this row, picking up (1) Color A, skip over the next bead and pass through the very last bead (which is the very first bead you picked up in step 1)
You now have 3 rows of Peyote! (Why 3, you ask? Start at the bottom corner and count up diagonally, as that’s how Peyote is counted – on the diagonal, and it will show you how many rows you have in “Peyote language.”)
From here on out your Peyote will be super easy – you’re simply picking up new beads to sit in between all of the “up” beads – so it’s the “up” beads you’ll be going through!
3) Now time for another new row! Remember, the stars in the image show you which are the new beads you’re picking up. Simply follow the thread path shown. The “Peyote Mantra” is “Pick up a bead, skip a bead, GO THROUGH the next popped UP bead.” Repeat 😉
4) In this image, can you guess which color bead you’re picking up next? It’s easy to figure out if you simply follow the colors diagonally. In this case, it’s a Color B bead (that shimmery medium blue).
5) Here you can see more of the pattern worked up. The new row being added (the star’d beads) shows you how the pattern is starting to repeat itself.
6) You know you’re keeping up on your pattern if you take a peek at the beads along your side. This will help with determining when to restart the pattern with the lighter colors beads. Take note of the bracketed area, from the bottom-up: (3) A beads, (1) B bead, (1) C bead, and (1) D bead. At the very top, you’ll see an A bead (with the star) – this is starting that pattern all over again.
7) Once you’re at your desired length (this bracelet is best when it’s rather fitted to your wrist and not too loose, due to its wide/flat nature) then it’s time to add the clasp. We want to work to the very center of the end of the bracelet – which is not actually a BEAD, but the space between the 2 most inner beads. If you look at the diagram, you’ll see the star’d beads are the most recently added for our final row. After adding the final bead (the Bead A with the star, far left) and locking it into place by going through the bead at the end of the row, you’ll then travel into the Bead D below it (the bright Turquoise bead) and then go UP diagonally. This will put you in the exact place we want the clasp!
8) In the images here, you’ll see that after poking out of the top/center Bead D (the bright Turquoise bead), I then picked up the clasp before continuing across the top row of my bracelet. You can pull this all down TIGHTLY and your clasp will be held in place. If your particular clasp has a larger/thicker loop than the one I’m using (which was a very small loop), then you may want to do a small beaded loop to attach your clasp. Mine nestles nicely down into the bracelet between the top-middle beads.
At this point, you simply want to weave back to the area of the loop of Fireline attaching your clasp and re-enforce it a few more times. Simply travel anywhere you like as long as you head back in the direction of the top-center and once you’re there, follow the same thread path that attached the clasp. Then do that again…travel around and back up to that area to strengthen it up more.
Now, you can weave out your thread, tying some overhand knots along the outer edge if you like for added security, and your bracelet is done once you add the clasp at the other side! **TIP** Always open a magnetic clasp by SLIDING it open, not pulling the two halves apart. This will help to keep the thread attaching it nice and strong.
Do you like the 4 colors I put together for this bracelet? Do you find you struggle to put colors together that you’re happy with? Let me know below if you might find color-coordinated Aiko packages a helpful item for me to put together for our website!! 🙂
Ok, that’s it for now, folks!
PS: Want to create your own peyote pattern? Simply do a Google search for “Free Peyote Graph Paper” and you’ll be able to use color pencils and a template to come up with your own beautiful designs!! 🙂