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Hollow peyote beads

Design and embellish wonder beads
Hollow peyote beads
All three of these beads have six-point ends. Changing the pattern and number of rows creates the differences in the size and shape of each bead.

These beads get their sturdiness from an additional layer of beads stitched onto the base. Once you master the basic design, the embellishment options are unlimited, as you can see in the bead samples above. 

First master the point-and-spike decrease by making a bead using the pattern shown. Then use the blank template in FIGURE 7 to create your own surface design. To alter the bead’s shape, change the number of points on each end. Three points make a triangular-shaped bead, and four points form a square.


One bead (37x24mm)

  • 4g Japanese cylinder beads, each of two colors
  • Nymo D
  • beading needles, #12
  • 3/4-in. (1.9m) diameter mandrel or dowel


Hollow peyote beads Figure 1
Figure 1

Peyote tube

1. Start with a comfortable length of thread and pick up 48 beads in a repeating pattern as follows: seven color A beads and one color B (FIGURE 1, rows 1–2). 

2. Tie the beads into a ring around the mandrel with a square knot, leaving an 8-in. (20cm) tail.

3. Follow the pattern in figure 1, working in even-count circular peyote. Once you have completed a few rounds, weave the tail into the beadwork (no knots) and trim. 

Hollow peyote beads Figure 2
Figure 2

4. Continuing in peyote stitch, make six points on each end of the tube as shown in FIGURE 2. Stitch through the bead at the tip of each point twice to reinforce it.

5. Remove the bead from the mandrel. 


Add surface embellishment by working around the circumference of the peyote tube row by row.

Hollow peyote beads Figure 3
Figure 3
Hollow peyote beads Figure 4
Figure 4

1. Embellish the tube by stitching the beads in the indicated ditches (spaces between beads) of the peyote tube (FIGURES 3 and 4). You can sew in either direction, just make sure you work around the tube and that you pull each bead into place. You will hear a click when the bead is pulled snugly into a ditch.

2. Weave the tails into the beadwork and trim.

Hollow peyote beads Figure 5
Figure 5

Point-and-spike decrease

1. Start a new thread and exit the bead at the tip of a point. Pick up three A beads and sew through the next point (FIGURE 5). Repeat around the tube to make a ring of 24 beads, including the point beads. 

2. Retrace the thread path and pull the beads into a tight circle. Tie a half-hitch knot to hold the beads in place. Sew through the next bead on the circle so you are not working next to the knot.

3. Work in circular peyote for a total of six rows, including the row created in step 2.

Editor’s note: When cinching up the points to work the end of the bead, some thread will show, since it’s not a tight circle. Don’t break the thread trying to tighten the beads. Pull them in the best you can and work the next row. Then weave back through the first two rows to tighten the beads again. Secure the thread with a half-hitch knot, then weave back through to an up bead and continue working in peyote stitch. Cover any threads that still show with embellishment beads when you finish the ends.


Hollow peyote beads Figure 6
Figure 6

4. For row 7, work a spike as shown in FIGURE 6 on every “up” bead for a total of 12 spikes. After you complete the last spike, sew through the first spike and exit the bead at the tip.

5. Sew through the tip bead on each spike and pull them together to form a circle. Retrace the thread path and knot the beads in place.

6. Embellish the ditches on the end rows as desired and secure the thread.

7. Repeat steps 1–6 to finish the other end of the bead.

Hollow peyote beads Figure 7
Figure 7
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