Peyote spiral rope

I have finally learnt how to make a peyote spiral rope. I’ve attempted many versions and have finally found a method I like and actually cracked it! (Many times I’ve tried different ways and ended up with a tangled mess rather than a luxurious rope!)  Have any of you had experiences like this?

Once the pattern is established it really makes sense and it is totally logical. It starts off as a nice easy even count flat peyote rectangle and then by joining opposite corners it magically turns into a spiralling rope. By using a contrasting colour on the edges of the flat rectangle, keeping track of the pattern is a cinch and also creates an attractive swirling pattern.

So here we go, step by step photos of how I made it! First, choose a colour for the spiralling stripe and your main colour. I’ve used Size 11/0ToHo seed beads. They are super high quality and produce a very even stripe that makes it super easy to keep track of the pattern, however, once you get proficient you may feel you can do it all one colour, or a random mix of colours. I chose these satin and opaque beads because they photograph well and they are actually a nice combination too. I’ve used Fireline thread which is beautiful to work with, doesn’t tangle too much and is easy to thread on through my size 10 beading needle


Make your first row of one stripe bead, eight main beads and one stripe bead. This is your peyote base row.


Work the second row in the opposite direction. Thread a stripe bead, pass through the second to last bead in the previous row. Thread the main bead, pass through the fourth to last bead in the previous row. Work along the row in this way ending by passing through the first stripe bead threaded. Notice how the newly threaded beads sit on top of the beads in the first row. Work the third row by threading a stripe bead, pass through the next bead which you’ll notice is popped up, add the main bead and pass through the next bead which is popped up.

Step 3

Carry on working like this until you have done 11 rows. Step 3 doesn’t actually look like 11 rows but it is! To count peyote rows count the beads up the side outside edge added to the beads next door to them. There should be 11 on this side and 11 on the opposite side. As you will see in step 3 my working thread is exiting on the right-hand side of the work and my beginning tail is at the bottom left. Next, pass the needle through the stripe bead on the top left of the work. Notice the needle direction.

Step 4

Now pass through the main colour bead at the bottom right. Notice the needle direction.

Step 5 Now carry on working peyote stitch up and down the ‘raw’ edge, adding a stripe bead at the top only. At the bottom, you pass down through a stripe bead and up through the next door stripe bead and then the last main bead that you threaded.

Step 6

Step 7


Step 9

Step 10

Step 11

Step 12 Carry on working like this until you have the required length – bracelet, short necklace or long rope necklace. To finish off the ends  they need to be even out as follows.

Step 13 Stop short at the top of the top end of the work. Don’t thread the final main bead of the row or pass through the end stripe bead. Instead, thread the main bead and turn, thread through the main bead that is ‘popped ‘up and go back down the row.

Step 14 Go back up the row and then again stop short of the top and don’t add the last main. Turn and work back down again. Repeat.

Step 15

Step 16 Keep reducing the length of rows and beads added in this way until you are adding only one bead, as shown in step 16 above.

Step 17 Turn as usual.

Step 18 Add another main

Step 19 And another main. (Notice you are filling in all the gaps and levelling the end off)

Step 20 Add a main and go through the next door stripe bead.

Step 21 Add a main

Step 22 Then pass through the next two main beads. You now have a nice flat end!

Step 23 Thread six main beads and slip on your end fastening. It could be a toggle loop, a split ring, necklet tag, or chain.

Step 24 Pass the needle through the bead on the opposite side.

Step 25 Work through the beads, back to and through the six beads. Workaround the other side of the end beads and back through the six beads. Repeat a couple more times then work back through your work, doing a few half hitch knots around the threads between beads and cut off the thread. Use the tail at the other end of the work to finish off in the same way.

There are loads of ways to use your peyote spiral rope! Here I have made a necklace using a fairly short length and attached chain at each end.

I hope you have been inspired to have a go,  have fun!