Learn Circular Brick Stitch with Beading Daily

Jan 11, 2010

A Beading Daily exclusive

Here's a special preview of a technique for you. Circular brick stitch is one of my favorite stitches. It's easy to learn and completely adaptable to an infinite variety of bead sizes, shapes, and materials. This is a really basic mini-lesson, working seed beads around a central bead.

Your circular brick-stitch lesson
The trickiest part of circular brick stitch is fitting the right number of beads in a flat circle for each concentric round. Don't try to squeeze in too many beads, or the shape may buckle into a ruffle (which is nice only if you want it that way). For a flat circle, spread out your stitches neatly and evenly around the circle.

Brick Stitch One     
Brick Stitch Two

1: Pass through the central bead twice, placing the two thread loops on either side of the bead. The brick-stitched beadwork will attach to these base threads. You want them strong.

Brick Stitch Three
Brick Stitch Four
Brick Stitch Five
2: Always start a row of brick stitch with 2 beads. String beads 1 and 2. Pass under the thread loop and up through the second bead strung. Pull the thread and nudge the beads with your fingers to lie snug to the center bead.

Brick Stitch Six
Brick Stitch Seven

3: String bead 3, pass under the thread loop and pass back up through bead 3. Again, nudge the new bead in place and keep your thread tension snug.

Brick Stitch Eight
Brick Stitch Nine
Brick Stitch Ten

4: Repeat around your center bead, spacing the beads to fit evenly. In this lesson, 8 green beads fit nicely around the center round black bead; string bead 8, pass under the thread loop and back up through bead 8. Pass down into bead 1, under the thread loop, and exit out bead 1 again, ready to start a new row. Continue, starting each new row with 2 beads.

Happy Beading!

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poufdone wrote
on Jan 11, 2010 6:50 AM

Need some guidelines for the project for newbie.

what type & size thread thread should I use ? Should I use fireline ?

please recommend the bead sizes as well.


on Jan 11, 2010 7:28 AM

Loved this newsletter.  I'm a visual learner and this type of illustration is fantastic.

 Can we get more of this type of hands-on demonstration and information?

PennyM@15 wrote
on Jan 11, 2010 9:07 AM

I wish you'd describe more beading stitches this way! As a matter of fact, I've stopped subscribing to so many beading magazines because I can't do the projects. The "basics" in the back of the magazine aren't detailed enough for a beginner. There are some beading magazines from the UK that I've been buying because of the detailed instruction that is so easy to follow. Do herringbone, ladder, nedeble...peyote has always stumped me.  Can't get it to stay together at the beginning...Thanks!

Ruth. wrote
on Jan 11, 2010 10:43 AM

THANK YOU! I have been trying to do this for a while to no avail. Thanks to you I can finally finish some of the projects I have been wanting to try!!!

Donnie@7 wrote
on Jan 11, 2010 2:12 PM

I really like using the circular brick stitch. The possibilities are endless for what you can do. I also like using a rubber washer to brick stitch around, using the hole in the center to suspend another bead or crystal or natural stone. It's fun just to start out with a bead, pick some colors to go with it and go with the flow just building up on it and adding to it til I get it to where I feed all happy and good inside!

on Jan 11, 2010 3:52 PM

Well, we aim to please! I like teaching this way if not in person. Nice big photos, basic stitch technique, then you can go from scales to sonata, right? To be sure there's more coming!

About supplies for newbies: glad you asked.

First, use any strong beading thread. I'm a braided line (like WildFire) fan myself, since it doesn't stretch. The 6 lb or 8lb test weight, or size D for other threads, is more than strong enough. Judge thread strength needed by the weight your project will bear.

Needle sizes--whatever will fit easily through your beads even when they're filled with a few passes of thread. I prefer longer length needles, easier to hold. 1.5 inches to 2", size 12 or 10.

Peyote puzzler? Watch my odd-count peyote video and my trick with the needle holding the first rows in place!


Thanks for all your feedback and comments, keep them coming!

And Donnie, I so know what you're saying. This is one of my faves, too, to not have to plan it and just let it grow!

--Leslie, editor Beading Daily

Stacy@38 wrote
on Jan 11, 2010 7:23 PM

Why can't there be a Beadfest in Atlanta?  Is there some reason that Atlanta doesn't make the 'show' circit?  It's certainly warmer than some states and not as pricey to stay at.....just wishing.

Stacy Nathan

Atlanta, Georgia

beadchipmunk wrote
on Jan 11, 2010 11:58 PM

SO happy to see this!

Faewren wrote
on Feb 14, 2010 11:02 PM

What I need to know is not how to start flat circular brick stitch, but how to do increases from row to row.  Could the tutorial be expanded pretty-please-with-lampworked-cherries-on-top?

LynetteJ2 wrote
on Feb 18, 2010 11:59 AM

Increasing is accomplished after the first stitch on the row or any place along the round. the first stitch is always 2 beads, catch the top stitch and bring your needle back up in the 2nd bead added... then each stitch is 1 bead, thru the top stitch and up thru the bead.  The increase is made by working 2 - 1 bead stitches in the same top stitch.

Jean Campbell did a blog that I'm sure is still hanging around here... To Cull or Not To Cull... Gee, she made me appreciate mis-sized beads.  increasing in Peyote or Brick is a great way to use those narrower beads.  Decreasing uses the bigger beads.

As for threads, I have become hooked on braided, but for a practice project (the first time I make something), I use nymo. Be sure to stretch it gently first. Then when I err, and have to start over, all I have to do is cut the threads... and I don't cry as when I have to cut Fireline.  

on Oct 18, 2013 10:48 PM

when I do a circular brick stitch around a bead, my pendant

cups instead of lying flat.    What could I be doing wrong?

THANKS.   Mary Ann

on Oct 18, 2013 10:50 PM

when I do a circular brick stitch around a bead, my pendant

cups instead of lying flat.    What could I be doing wrong?

THANKS.   Mary Ann