Make This:

Beaded Rings

by Kris | 18 responses | 8 minute read

These rings are pretty, surprisingly quick to make, and a great way to learn peyote beadwork stitch if you’ve never tried it before. There’s no bead loom or other specialty gear involved here. Just some beads, a needle and thread.

 

Materials and Equipment:

- Delica Glass Seed Beads – Delicas are perfect little cylinders and lack the rounded edge that other kinds of seed beads have. You can use any size 11 or smaller seed bead for this, but I like the Delicas for the crisp finish they give.
– Beading Needles – My all time favorites are John James size 12 needles. Whatever you get, make sure they’re thin and buy a few, they’re fragile and you’ll probably break one.
– Beading Thread – This is a brand called Nymo, and the size is OO. Nylon monofilament thread is my first choice. Ordinary sewing thread really won’t work for this – it frays over bead edges more easily and doesn’t last as long.
– A Pattern Sheet – Download the FULL COLOR PATTERN here, or the GREYSCALE PATTERN here!

If you’re working at a table you’re good to just pour out beads like this, but if you’re working on a lap tray it’s wise to keep your beads in some small, shallow bowls or a similar container.

 

I use my thread doubled, so I cut a moderately long strand, thread the needle, then even up the ends. Don’t worry if the thread isn’t long enough to finish the ring – adding a new thread is explained below.

Temporarily use one of your beads as a “knot.” String the bead, push it most of the way to the end of the thread. Put the needle through it again, the same direction as the first time, being careful not to “split your threads,” which means that the needle goes through other threads. That will make it very difficult to remove this when you’re done.

String the first row of beads by color. Follow the chart below – start at #1, end at #12.

Now you need to turn for the next row. String on bead #13 from the chart below. Then slide the needle through bead #11 from the last row.

Pull the thread down until everything is snug and neatly in place.

Add bead #14, and then go back through bead #9.

Continue on this way – add #15, go through #7; add # 16, go through #5; add #17, go through #3; add #18 and go through #1. This is the end of your row and you’re ready to turn again. Take some time to make sure everything is pulled up neatly and there are no loops of thread between the beads or any other problems.

As before, turn by adding the first bead of the next row. String on bead #19, then go through #18.

Continue on this way until the end. Add #20, go through #17; add #21, go through #16; add #22, go through #15; add #23, go through #14; add #24, go through #13.

Carry on this way, being careful to pick up the right bead for each stitch.

Keep adding rows until your thread is uncomfortably short.

Leave as much thread as possible attached to your work when you cut it.

Cut a new thread, thread the needle and even up the ends.

Tie a square knot to join the threads. If you have trouble with the knot coming undone, try giving the threads an extra twist when you make the second half of the knot (the “top,” in the image linked here.) Continue to work as before, but be careful to ease the knot through the first few beads. It will settle into shape so that it should go through them easily after a few. If some tails stick out at the end of a row you can trim them once the ring is finished. One of the advantages of using Delica beads is that they have really large holes for their size, making it relatively easy to work in knots.

Keep beading until the strip is long enough to wrap around the widest part of the finger you want to wear it on. Work to the end of a pattern repeat. You’ll want the last row you do to match up to the first one when you turn this strip into a cylinder. All of the patterns on the download have the repeat indicated by a line that underlines one repeat.

In the picture above you can see how the pieces interlock to form one continuous zig-zag of purple beads. Curve your work around like that so that you’re ready to sew it closed.

Stitch this up the way you’ve stitched every row. Where you would normally add a bead, stitch through a bead from the other end of the strip. Stitch through parallel bead from the beginning of the strip.

Then through the next bead on the end of the strip.

Continue stitching back and forth to “zip together” the ends of the work.

At the bottom of the row you’ll have a gap between two beads that needs to be handled.

Stitch up through that last bead, being careful not to tangle up the threads from starting the work. You can remove your “knot” bead at this point, if it hasn’t fallen off already.

 

At this point you need to finish in the threads as securely as possible for maximum wear. I generally weave through a few rows following the same thread pattern as before – just like adding a row but without actually adding any beads.

After working through a few rows up and down you can also do a few rows on the diagonal. The more you weave thread ends in the more likely your ring is to last. When you’re done weaving in threads trim off any tails and you’re done!

Bonus tip! It can be difficult to find beading thread in lots of colors, and it can be annoying to have all that thread around. When I use white thread on a darker colored bead there is a high contrast edge. To minimize this, I use a bit of Sharpie in a matching color on the threads. Then they blend in with the rest of the ring and disappear.

On the left, white thread. On the right, thread that has been colored with permanent ink.

Make up a bunch of rings to match everything you have! The pattern download includes graph paper for designing your own. Make sure you design patterns with an even number of rows (these have 12), because odd-count peyote stitch is an entirely different technique!

 

Download the FULL COLOR PATTERN here, or the GREYSCALE PATTERN here!

 

Because of the crazy popularity of this project I’m working on a bracelet tutorial that uses odd-count peyote. It should be up next week – connect with one of our social medias (top of the right hand column) if you want to be sure not to miss it! -Kris

Kris

About Kris

I use Twitter, I have a personal blog/portfolio, and I've recently started using Instagram, mostly for inspiration images and upcoming HDYMT projects.

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Forums Beaded Rings

This topic contains 18 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Regina 3 weeks, 5 days ago.

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  • #16166 Reply

    Regina

    I’ve always wanted to learn how to do this. Thanks for the instructions!!

  • #16167 Reply
    HDYMT
    HDYMT
    Keymaster

    I hope you try it! It’s a really versatile stitch once you know how to use it!
    -Kris

  • #16168 Reply

    Jelina

    Thanks for the tutorial! Now I know how to do this :D thx!!!

  • #16169 Reply

    KT

    I’m looking at beads and needles online (at FusionBeads) and am confused about sizing. I thought I would just go with exactly what you specify for the first pass — size 11 Delica beads; size 12 John James needle. But the needle description says it’s to be used with beads size 15 or larger. However, all the needle descriptions say that. Can you confirm that size 12 needles will work with size 11 beads?

  • #16170 Reply

    KT

    Or is a size 11 bead larger than a size 15 bead? (I’ve never dealt with seed beads before, and it’s been awhile since I dealt with any kind of bead.)

  • #16171 Reply
    HDYMT
    HDYMT
    Keymaster

    The size of a seed bead technically refers to how many of them lined up in a row (on their edge – like a row of donuts) fits in one inch. Size 15 beads are smaller than size 11. You can usually find seed beads as large as size 8 to as small as a size 28, with size 11 being the most common.

    On FusionBeads the size 12 needles are exactly the same size as what I used to make this project. The OO thread is also what I used.

    I hope this helped – let me know if you have any other questions!
    -Kris

  • #16172 Reply

    craftygirl

    thanks so much! do you think you could post the chart (url) for the blue/white honeycomb ring? i havent been able to find the graph online :) thanks!

  • #16173 Reply
    HDYMT
    HDYMT
    Keymaster

    On the download sheet (linked at the end of the post) it’s the second one in the left hand column!

  • #16174 Reply

    Heather

    My husband has had reconsturctive surgery on his hand, and his ring finger was manged in an accident. He can’t wear hard metal rings comfortably on it because of the steel in his finger, so I’m trying to find alternatives. A beaded ring would be comfortable for him to wear, so I think I’ll try it.

  • #16175 Reply

    Mavishivali

    I really wanna make them but it seems to be very difficult!

  • #16176 Reply

    Christine

    I want to try this and was wondering where I could buy these beads, does a craft store like JoAnn have them?

  • #16177 Reply
    HDYMT
    HDYMT
    Keymaster

    JoAnn might have them (they’ll have some seed beads, but not necessarily the Delica style.) I usually buy my beads online – google “delica beads” and you’ll have a lot to choose from. If your city has a bead store you’ll be able to find them there as well.

  • #16178 Reply
    HDYMT
    HDYMT
    Keymaster

    If you want it to look wedding ring-ish you can get delicas in a variety of metal colors, too!

  • #16179 Reply

    fofo

    I totally love this site <3

  • #16180 Reply

    Debra Wilson

    I taught myself this technique years ago, but wish your clear photos would have been there to help me then rather than the fuzzy diagrams I was able to dig up. Really nice how-to. :)

  • #15314 Reply

    Mia

    links to patterns do not work :(

  • #15315 Reply
    HDYMT
    HDYMT
    Keymaster

    They should be working again now!

  • #15316 Reply

    Petronela Malcoci

    Thank you very very veryyy much !!!!!!!!!!!!! It really was very helpfull and finally I’ve found something useful.I’ve been looking for it for 3 h. Thanks :*

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