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Peyote and pearl necklace

During my down time between bead shows, when I have fun and play around with new ideas, I came up with the idea for this piece. The metallic beads work well with pearls and blend together in a feminine and elegant way. The Mabe pearl makes a sophisticated centerpiece, but this technique can easily be adjusted to other styles of cabochons.


  • 20g Japanese cylinder beads
  • Mabe pearl or cabochon, 25x18mm
  • 16-in (41cm) strand 3–5mm freshwater pearls
  • Nymo D conditioned with beeswax or Silamide to match bead color
  • beading needles, #10 and #13
  • E-6000 glue
  • 2-in. (5cm) square Ultrasuede
  • toggle clasp

Editor’s note: If the necklace does not lay flat, gently press and stretch the decrease areas. Also, before adding the pearl embellishment, you can coat the back of the piece with clear acrylic to protect the finish on the metallic beads.


Peyote and pearl necklace Photo A
Photo a
Peyote and pearl necklace Photo B
Photo b


Peyote and pearl necklace Photo C
Photo C
Peyote and pearl necklace Photo D
Photo D


1. Glue the pearl or cabochon to the center of the suede and let it dry completely. Trim the suede, leaving approximately 1⁄8 in. (3mm) around the outside.

2. Start with a 2-yd (1.8m) length of thread and a #10 needle. Knot one end of the thread and sew through the suede next to the cabochon, working from front to back (PHOTO A). 

3. Pick up two beads and sew back through the suede.

4. Sew through the suede again, positioning the needle between the first two beads (PHOTO B). Sew through the second bead.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 and end with an even number of beads (PHOTO C).

6. Adjust the needle so the thread is doubled, securing the loose tail in the beadwork with half-hitch knots. Trim the remaining thread and sew through the next bead.

7. Work in even-count circular peyote for three rounds. 

8. On the fourth round, fold the beadwork up around the pearl (PHOTO D).

Peyote and pearl necklace Photo E
Figure 1

9. Work two to four more rows, depending on the pearl’s size, increasing the tension for each new row. 

10. Reinforce the last round with a second thread path.

11. Sew through the beadwork and exit a bead on the second round at the approximate top center of the pearl. Peyote stitch four to six beads over the existing beads (FIGURE 1). These beads will connect the necklace to the pearl. Secure the thread and trim the tails.


1. Center the needle on a 6-yd (5.5m) length of conditioned thread and string a stop bead 6 in. (15cm) from the end. 

Peyote and pearl necklace Photo F
Figure 2
2. Pick up 168 beads. Sew through an end bead added in step 11 and work in peyote over the remaining beads. Pick up 168 beads (FIGURE 2).
Peyote and pearl necklace Photo G
Figure 3

3. Work back across the row in two-drop peyote until you reach the pearl (FIGURE 3, a–b). 

4. Work across the up beads on the pearl in single-bead peyote (b–c). Then work the second half of the necklace in two-drop peyote as before.

5. Make an odd-count peyote turn at the end of the row. Continue back in two-drop peyote, switching to single peyote across the top of the cabochon. Work in two-drop peyote across the second half of the necklace. Repeat for four more rows.

6. Decrease by working single peyote in every sixth stitch. Single peyote across the pearl and continue the decrease on the other half of the necklace.

7. Work across the row in two-drop peyote as in step 3.

8. Work a decrease as in step 6.

9. Secure the threads and trim the tails.

Peyote and pearl necklace Photo H
Figure 4


1. Start with a 3-yd. (2.7m) length of thread and position a #10 needle so it exits the end bead on the upper edge of the band. Pick up six beads, half the clasp, and four beads. Sew through the third through the tenth beads again to reinforce the clasp. Then sew through the first two beads strung (FIGURE 4, a–b).

2. Pick up three beads and sew through the next two beads on the edge (b–c). Continue adding beads around the edge of the necklace. When you reach the other end, add the remaining clasp half and work the lower edge of the necklace as you did the upper edge.

3. Secure the tails and trim.


1. Start a 3-yd length of thread with a #13 needle. Secure the thread on the top edge of the necklace and exit any bead about a third of the distance from the pearl to the clasp.

2. Pick up a bead, a pearl, and a bead. (Use more beads if you are using larger pearls.) Sew through a bead on the necklace close to where the needle is exiting. Embellish with pearls across the top of the necklace, starting sparsely but gradually clustering the pearls closer together as you approach the pearl. Continue embellishing around the curve of the pearl as desired.

3. Secure the threads and trim the tails.

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