How to Read a Peyote Stitch Pattern

Learn to Read Even Count, Odd Count and Tubular Peyote Patterns

Peyote stitch is such a popular and versatile stitch that there are thousands and thousands of beautiful patterns available in books and on the Internet.  Once you learn the basics of the type of peyote stitch, you can use these patterns to create beautiful pieces of jewelry, beaded bags, beaded ropes, and more.

Because each variation of peyote stitch has it's own set of rules, reading a peyote stitch pattern for each variation also has it's own rules.  But once you know what you're...MORE looking at, you'll find that reading a peyote stitch pattern is as easy as reading a book.

  • 01 of 04
    A sample graph for flat odd count peyote stitch. Jennifer VanBenschoten

    Reading a flat odd count peyote stitch pattern is actually not very hard, if you understand how the stitch works. Because the rows of beads are offset from one another, you need to move up one "half step" between each row. It also helps if you learn how to distinguish between the "inside" and "outside" rows that make up the beaded fabric.

    Remember that when you are working in flat odd count peyote stitch, you'll have to make a special turn at the end of every other...MORE row.

  • 02 of 04
    A sample graph for flat even count peyote stitch. Jennifer VanBenschoten

    Flat even count peyote stitch is a little easier than flat odd count peyote stitch, since you don't need to make that special turn at the end of every other row. However, when you are working from a peyote graph for even count peyote stitch, it is very important to pay attention to where you start stitching and the direction in which you stitch.

    Just make sure that you have a good method for tracking your place in a peyote stitch pattern, and you'll have no problems working from a flat...MORE even count peyote stitch pattern.

  • 03 of 04
    A sample graph for even count tubular peyote stitch. Jennifer VanBenschoten

    Tubular even count peyote stitch is a popular stitch for making amulet bags, beaded ropes, and beaded beads and needle cases.  Most artists prefer to create patterns in even count tubular peyote stitch because each row can be stitched evenly, in a manner similar to flat even count peyote stitch. 

    At the end of each round in even count tubular peyote stitch, you make a little "step up" to get into position to start the next round.  This makes it easy to keep track of each round, and can...MORE help you when reading from a pattern.

    When reading an even count tubular peyote stitch pattern, you should note the way that the first bead of each round forms a diagonal line across the pattern.  This is from the step up that you make at the end of each round.

  • 04 of 04
    A sample of a simple, one-page peyote stitch word chart. Jennifer VanBenschoten

    Some beaders prefer to work from a word chart instead of a graph. A word chart simply uses a series of numbers and/or letters to denote the colors and number of beads that you need to stitch in each row. It also indicates the direction you are beading, either right (R) or left (L).

    One advantage of using a word chart is that there is no guesswork involved when picking up the beads for the first two rows or rounds. The numbers and colors of beads are spelled out exactly in the order that they need...MORE to be picked up, making stitching the first three rows or rounds much easier.

    If you start your patterns by using the word chart, you can always switch over to the graph once you have the first few rows established. Word charts often come in two different variations, a long version with a letter for each bead in the row, or a summary version that tells the quantity of each bead and the letter for the bead.  For example, the long version might say AAAABB while the summary version would be 4A 2B.

    Edite.d by Lisa Yang