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Decorative peyote stitch vessels

Dress up peyote stitch containers with lively embellished lids

Colorful beaded containers with a slouchy-basket look work up rather quickly using size 8/0 Japanese seed beads. You’ll be surprised to see how soon you have a cute little container for storing – what else? – more beads!


container with lid

  • assortment of 4–8mm accent beads for cover
  • 45 4mm fringe beads
  • 45g size 8/0 Japanese seed beads, in each of 2 colors: A, B
  • Nymo D conditioned with beeswax, Power Pro, or Fireline 10 lb. test
  • beading needles, #10


If you are using Nymo, work with it doubled and with moderate tension. It isn’t necessary to double Fireline. I used 3-yd. (2.7m) lengths and added thread four times to complete the container. When approximately 6 in. (15cm) of thread remains, secure your tails with half-hitch knots.

Click image to enlarge


1. Begin round 1 by picking up three color A 8/0 seed beads. Tie them into a ring with a square knot, and sew through the next bead (FIGURE 1, a–b).

2. Work the next round with a peyote increase by picking up two color B 8/0s per stitch. Step up through the first two Bs added in this step (b–c). Continue to add rounds, working in flat, circular peyote as follows, stepping up after each round:

  • Round 3: 6 As, adding a bead between each bead from round 2 (c–d).
  • Round 4: 2Bs per stitch (d–e).
  • Round 5: 1A per stitch, as in round 3 (e–f).
  • Round 6: 1B per stitch (f–g).
  • Round 7: Alternate between 2As and 1A per stitch (g–h).
  • Round 8: 1B per stitch, sewing through both increase beads from the previous round (h–i).
  • Round 9: 2As per stitch (i–j).
  • Round 10: Alternate between 1B and 2Bs per stitch (j–k).
  • Round 11: 2As per stitch (k–l).
  • Round 12: 2Bs per stitch (l–m).
  • Round 13: Alternate between 2As and 3As per stitch (m–n). This is the last row of the bottom of the vessel. (The bottom may not lie flat, but this can be addressed later.)


Work in two-, three-, and four-drop circular peyote as follows, monitoring your tension for each row by not letting the thread show.

  • Round 14: 2Bs per stitch.
  • Round 15: 3As per stitch.
  • Round 16–23: Alternate between rounds 14 and 15 four times.
  • Round 24: Alternate between 2Bs and 3Bs per stitch.
  • Round 25: 3As per stitch.
  • Round 26: 3Bs per stitch.
  • Round 27–28: Repeat rounds 25 and 26.
  • Round 29: Alternate between 3As and 4As per stitch.
  • Round 30: 3Bs per stitch.
  • Round 31: 4As per stitch.
  • Round 32–35: Alternate between rounds 30 and 31 twice.
  • Round 36: Alternate between 3Bs and 4Bs per stitch.
  • Round 37: 4As per stitch.
  • Round 38: 4Bs per stitch.
  • Round 39–50: Alternate between rounds 37 and 38 six times.
  • Round 51: 4As per stitch.
  • Round 52: 3Bs per stitch.
  • Round 53: 4As per stitch.
  • Round 54–65: Alternate between rounds of 3Bs per stitch and 3As per stitch six times. Secure the tail.



1. Start a new thread, and alternate three As and three Bs 13 times. Tie the beads into a ring, and place them around the top rim of the container (PHOTO A).

2. Working in three-drop peyote, complete ten rounds, ending with As. Work these rounds on the container so the lid is the correct size. Adjust your tension as you work so the lid isn’t too tight (PHOTO B).

Continue working in circular peyote. Begin with two- and three-drop, then decrease to single peyote as follows:

  • Round 11: 2Bs per stitch.
  • Round 12: 3As per stitch.
  • Round 13: 2Bs per stitch.
  • Round 14: 2As per stitch.
  • Round 15: 2Bs per stitch.
  • Round 16: 1A per stitch.
  • Round 17–26: Alternate rounds 15 and 16 five times.
  • Round 27: 1B per stitch.
  • Round 28: 1A per stitch.
  • Round 29: Decrease to ten beads in this round.
Click image to enlarge

Stitch the next four Bs, one bead per stitch (FIGURE 2, a-b). Then skip a stitch by sewing through the next A (b–c). Work three Bs (one bead per stitch), skip a stitch, and work three Bs as before. Skip the last stitch, and step up through the first B added in this step (c–d).

  • Round 30: Decrease to nine beads in this round. Stitch one A, skip a stitch, then work the remaining stitches with As (d–e).
  • Round 31: Decrease to three beads in this round. Stitch one B every third stitch (e–f).
  • Round 32: 1A per stitch (f–g). Reinforce the last round with a second thread path.



1. Start a new thread, and pick up enough accent beads to fit around the ledge of the lid (PHOTO C). Sew the beads into a ring, and secure the tails. If the ring is very loose, sew through a few beads on the lid to secure it.

2. Exit the last round of the lid, and pick up one or two fringe beads (PHOTO D), depending on how much space is between the beads. Sew through the next bead in the last round. Continue to add as many fringe beads as desired. Secure the tails, and trim.

Push gently on the bottom to curve it inward.
Use a variety of glass and natural beads to add a burst of contrasting color to your containers.
Check the seed beads for irregularities. While these “imperfect” beads are usually discarded, in a project like this an irregular bead may be just the right size to fill in a stitch perfectly.
FIND MORE: beads , seed beads , peyote

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