Let's Talk About Carrier Beads - Riverside Beads

Let’s Talk About Carrier Beads

Hello Beautiful Beaders,

You may have noticed from my Facebook page that we have recently started to sell carrier beads in store and online. I’ve had a couple of messages asking what these can be used for so I thought I’d give you a little run down of what the latest craze in beading is all about.

Carrier beads are rectangular plastic beads which are purpose made to hold a loop of Peyote Beading. They are usually made from acrylic and are about 1cm wide, slightly larger in the middle, then tapering to meet at each end. They are two holed beads, which means you need to use two rows of cord or elastic when making your jewellery. Take a look at our full selection to buy here.

The carrier beads can be used to make exciting and intricate looking pieces of beaded jewellery in a very simple manner. You can create multiple peyote loops with the beads to make a beautiful necklace or bracelet in super fast time.

A Peyote Loop is made by using the Peyote stitch, also known as the gourd stitch. This is an off-loom bead weaving technique (I know right? I’ve gone rogue!), using 11/0 Delica seed beads. The Peyote stitch can be made with either an even or an odd number of beads per row. These pieces can be woven as flat strips or wrapped around as a tube, which you secure with a simple running stitch. Historically tubular peyote has been used to make little bags or decorative sleeves for pan handles or bottles.

As you would imagine from the name the Peyote stitch dates back to times long before ours and was popular in both Ancient Egyptian and Native American cultures, where artefacts and costumes were decorated with the beadwork.

The name “peyote stitch” derives from the Native American church, where items were decorated and used in peyote ceremonies. Nowadays you’re more likely to see it in it the western world adorning high fashion garments on the catwalks of Milan, as it has become a hot favourite for use as embellishments by many of the worlds top designers of fashion and jewellery.

There are numerous designs you can choose from but the first thing to consider is whether to use an odd or even count Peyote stitch.

An even count will usually use 3 seed beads per row and be approximately the width of 6 seed beads. An odd count covers the carrier bead completely, leaving no gaps either side. The advantage to using an odd count is that you can achieve centered designs, useful when you develop into more advanced creations.

You can end up with about 25 rows per bead, so it’s not for the faint hearted but the results are truly beautiful and unique. It’s much simpler than it looks and I find it very therapeutic, much like all beading. For our full range of seed beads why not pop in-store or you can click here to see our online offering.

My favourite designs of carrier beads are multi-coloured stripes and chevrons in beautiful soft palette hues. They remind me of the Italian fashion house Missoni and their high end surface patterns, but on a much lower budget! Lol.    

Now I’m going to tease you a little here – I’ve got an amazing new kit coming out soon, which will bring you everything you need to make your very own beautiful beaded carrier beads, but you’re going to have to watch this space as it will be very limited to begin with, due to the high demand of this latest trend. What I can tell you is that’s the kit will provide you with even count patterns to make nine amazing 3 colour designs, shown below. Each design uses standard size 11 Delica seed beads and measures 6 wide and 48 beads long, and you can vary the colours to get different effects. Exciting!!

I’ll post about it on Facebook and in the newsletter, so keep your eyes and ears peeled. Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll be able to create…

Well that’s all for this week my seed bead fiends. Have a great weekend ahead and, as always, Happy Beading!


To see Donna on Create and Craft TV go to Freesat 813 Virgin 748 Freeview 23 Sky 674

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