So, what are carrier beads? How do you use them? Why have they become so tied up with Peyote stitch recently?
This blog post aims to answer all those questions for you. Plus, get links to places where you can purchase carrier beads and find patterns that use them.
What are carrier beads?
These are two-holed beads. They measure about 9x17mm and have a hole through top and bottom, as you can see in the photo above.
Carrier beads have actually been on the market for many years. But they came to prominence in 2018 when people began to use them as a base for a Peyote strip.
This style of jewellery looks stunning – as you can see. If you want it, you can get this pattern here>>
Acrylic or glass?
Currently, you can buy carrier beads made from acrylic, or from glass. They are the same size and shape and do the same job. So, what is the difference?
The acrylic beads are cheaper. They still come in a choice of colours. But they don’t look as good as the glass beads, in my opinion.
However, if you are just going to cover them with Peyote, then that’s not a problem.
The glass beads are heavier, and also come in a range of gorgeous finishes. So, you can still use them to cover. Or, they make great jewellery designs in their own right.
How to use Carrier Beads for Peyote
If you do want to create the on-trend Peyote designs of the moment, here’s how.
Begin by beading a strip of Peyote. You will need to use size 11 Delicas for this. Your strips should be 6 or 7 beads wide and 48 or 50 rows long.
You can spend some time designing a pattern for the strips. This links to free graph paper that you can use>>
You then wrap your Peyote stripe around the carrier bead and zip up the two ends.
Cover as many beads as you want. Then, string them into jewellery. So, you will add spacer beads between your covered beads.
If you want to make a necklace, you can vary the size of the spacers to create a natural curve.
Or, if you are making a bracelet, use spacers of the same size to create a flat strip.
Other carrier bead designs
Don’t forget, I began this by saying that carrier beads have been around for many years. So, what did people do with them before this Peyote craze?
Well, at the end of the day, they are just pretty two-holed beads. They are designed for stringing. You might use them as spacers. You can add them onto memory wire for a super-quick, stylish bracelet.
Or, try them out in different ways. This design uses them to create bold layers of colour in a necklace. You can get the pattern here>>
Over to you…
So, now you know all about carrier beads, grab a pack here and get creative. Let me know how you get on and what ideas you have for using these fabulous, versatile beads.