How to Bezel a Cabochon with Peyote Stitch for Bead Embroidery

Mar 5, 2012

I have trust issues with the cabochons I use in my bead embroidery. The first time I tried to use cabochons in my bead embroidery, I just glued them to the bead embroidery backing and started stitching around them. To my surprise and dismay, those cabochons started to peel right off the bead embroidery backing after just a couple of days and the whole piece was pretty much ruined.

After that, I learned how to stitch a peyote bezel around my cabochons to hold them securely in place, and I've been thrilled with the results ever since. If you stitch your bezel correctly, there's no way that cabochon is going to pop out of your bead embroidery.

Ready to try a peyote stitch bezel for your bead embroidered cabochons? Here's a tutorial with helpful tips and hints:

Materials

  • Cabochon: This can be any size, any material. For beginners, it's best to start with a smaller (less than 30mm) piece in a regular shape like oval or round. Don't try working with square cabochons until you understand the basics of stitching a peyote bezel around a round or oval cabochon!
  • Bead embroidery backing: Your preferred material is fine. Some people prefer Lacy's Stiff Stuff, Nicole's Bead Backing or a piece of fusible webbing that has been ironed on to a piece of fabric. For beginners, a stiffer bead backing like Lacy's or Nicole's is best.
  • Cylinder beads in size 11: Approximately 5 grams in a color to match or contrast with your cabochon and bead embroidery backing.
  • Seed beads in size 15: Less than 1 gram in color to match or contrast with your cylinder beads for securing your peyote stitch bezel.
  • Beading thread: Nymo D or Fireline 6 lb. test are preferred for these kinds of peyote stitch bezels.

Tools:

  • Size 12 beading needle
  • Scissors or thread cutter
  • Chain nose pliers (optional but useful for pulling needle through a tight spot)

Step by Step Instructions:


Step 1:

Affix your cabochon to your bead embroidery backing using either glue or double-stick tape.

Tie a small knot on one end of a comfortable length of beading thread (no longer than five feet). Thread your needle and bring it up through the bead backing so that you exit next to your cabochon. Try to come up directly alongside the cabochon -- make sure your needle isn't angled from under the cabochon on the back side of the bead embroidery medium.

Pick up 2 cylinder beads and push them down the thread so that they line up against the edge of your cabochon.




Step 2:

Pass your needle down through the bead embroidery medium right at the edge of the second cylinder bead added. It's always better to be closer to the bead than further away. If you stitch too far away from your cylinder beads, your bezel won't fit properly.





Step 3:

Pass your needle back up through the bead embroidery medium between the two cylinder beads you just added. Again, stitching closer to the beads is better than stitching further away, and try to make sure that you needle is moving straight and not at an angle.





Step 4:

Stitch through the second cylinder bead and pull your thread snugly.





Step 5:

Continue to add beads in pairs around your cabochon. Don't worry if your line isn't perfectly straight -- once you start working in peyote stitch, it will straighten out nicely.

We'll be working in even-count peyote stitch, so make sure that you add your beads in pairs. Leaving every other bead "loose" and not stitched down to your bead embroidery medium will make for a better-fitting peyote stitch bezel.

A common problem is reaching the end of your round and only having enough space for one more bead. In these cases, I prefer to stitch in an extra bead, usually a very "skinny" cylinder bead that I've culled from the rest of my cylinder beads. (Don't throw away those imperfect beads! They're quite useful!) It's important to have an even number of beads in your first round so that you can work even-count peyote stitch for an even and secure bezel around your cabochon.





Step 6:

Pass through the first bead added. Pick up a cylinder bead, skip the next bead in the round, and pass through the next bead, pulling snugly.





Step 7:

Continue to work in even-count peyote stitch all the way around your cabochon. Make the step-up at the end of each round.

Work as many rounds are necessary so that the bezel comes up over the edge of your cabochon. You don't need to have it extend too far over the edge -- just one bead's width over the edge is sufficient for a secure peyote stitch bezel.





Step 8:

Work one round of even-count peyote stitch using the size 15 seed beads. Pull snugly on your stitching to secure the bezel around your cabochon.

Weave your thread down through the bezel and into the bead embroidery backing. You've finished your cabochon and are ready to start working backstitch around it or add any embellishments that you'd like!



Bead embroidery using cabochons can be big and elaborate like the work of Sherry Serafini and Heidi Kummli, or it can be as simple as stitching a simple bezel around a beautiful cabochon and stringing it on a necklace! You can add bezeled cabochons to cuff bracelets or glue them onto ring findings for spectacular gemstone cabochons rings.

Now it's your turn to show us your best bead embroidery using cabochons! Take a picture of your best peyote-bezeled cabochon and post it in the Reader Photo Gallery.

Bead Happy,

Jennifer


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Comments

Kannemeyer wrote
on Oct 4, 2012 6:22 AM

Hi Jen, could you offer some help on stitching around an oval cabochon without stitching it to some sort of backing?  Like you did in your triangular cabochon tutorial maybe?

I like the way it sits in a little "beaded nest" and doesn't have the fabric backing.

Thanks Madeleine