Making a Peyote Bezel for a Cabochon
A cabochon is a polished stone with a flat side on the back and a domed smooth side on the other. It has no holes so it must be set in a bezel to be used in jewelry. Although traditionally, cabochons are made of stone, this technique may be used to attach and embellish items of the same shape made from other materials, such as glass or lucite.
This tutorial will show you how to add a beaded bezel to a cabochon using bead embroidery and tubular even count peyote stitch.
Attach the Cabochon to a Foundation Material
To use this process, the cabochon needs to be attached a bead embroidery foundation. A foundation is a stiff material used to stitch through with bead embroidery.
Use a small amount of glue on a toothpick to attach cabochon to a small piece of foundation material. We use stiffened felt as a foundation, but many people swear by Lacy’s Stiff Stuff.
E6000 is a good glue for this purpose since it adheres to a wide variety of surfaces, dries clear and is waterproof (it can even withstand the washer and dryer!).
However, when using any glue or adhesive, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommended directions and only use glues and adhesives where there is good air circulation to avoid breathing the fumes.
Begin the Bead Embroidery Around the Cabochon
Using a comfortable length of thread (no more than 5’), tie a small overhand knot in the end near the tail. Working from the bottom of the cabochon, pass needle up through the backing very close to the edge of the cabochon.
The type of beading thread you use is personal preference. Depending on the finished project, we think Wildfire, Nymo or Fireline are all good choices. The links will take you to articles with details about each of those types of beading thread.
Surround the Cabochon With Back Stitch
To surround the cabochon, we are going to use a bead embroidery stitch called back stitch. In back stitch, you attach a number of beads, then bring your needle up between the beads, stitching back through them and then picking up and stitching additional beads.
Using size 11/0 Japanese cylinder beads, pick up 2 beads and push them down close to the cabochon. Try to keep them as close as possible to the point where the thread comes out of the foundation material.
Stitch down through the foundation material after the second cylinder bead.
The Back Stitch Around the Cabochon
Your needle and thread are coming out the bottom of the foundation material. Stitch back up through the foundation material between the two cylinder beads, staying close to the edge of the cabochon.
This can be difficult at first, but in order to have a smooth bezel base, you need to try to approximate the length of each bead and stitch between them. Also, getting close to the cabochon will ensure the stitches follow the shape of the cabochon.
Continue the Back Stitch Around the Cabochon
Pass your needle through the second bead that you just added. You have completed the first back stitch and are now in a position to add two more beads.
Pick up two more beads, stitch down through the foundation fabric, stitch back up through the fabric between the two beads you just added and then go through the last bead you added.
Complete the Back Stitch Around the Cabochon
Continue to add cylinder beads in this manner, staying close to the edge of the cabochon, until you have completely surrounded the cabochon.
Make sure that you always pick up an even number of cylinder beads on each stitch. As you get close to finishing the ring around the cabochon, try to space it so that the groups of two will fit properly spaced. You can approximate it, by adding an even number of beads to the string and laying them around the cabochon to see the room you have left for beads.
If the space for the last stitch will only allow for one more cylinder bead, do not add one bead. You want to keep your beads stitched close together as you proceed around the cabochon, but do not squeeze them in too close. It is okay if there are slight gaps between beads, but try to avoid large gaps.
Starting the Peyote Bezel Around the Cabochon
As you stitch each row, the peyote bezel will curve around the cabochon to provide a decorative edge and hold the cabochon in place.
To start making the bezel, stitch through the next bead on the row.
Pick up one cylinder bead, skip the next cylinder bead on the first row, and stitch through the next bead. Pull snugly so that the bead you just added stands up on top of the bread beneath it.
Complete the Peyote Round and “Step up” at the End
To complete the row, continue adding a bead and stitching into every other bead on the base row until you have beaded around the entire cabochon.
When you reach the place where you started, stitch through the bead in the base row and then stitch through the first bead of the new row to ‘step up’ to the next row.Continue to 10 of 10 below.
Peyote Stitch Beaded Cabochon Bezel
The exact number of rows you need to secure the cabochon will vary depending on the size and height of your cabochon.
Continue stitching beads using tubular even count peyote until the beadwork begins to creep up over the dome of the cabochon. Once you complete a row and it reaches this point, switch to using size 15/0 seed beads to stitch your last row, pulling snugly as you go. The 15/0 seed beads will make the peyote tube smaller and curve over the top of the cabochon, keeping it secure.
To complete the bezel, weave your thread back down through the peyote beadwork to the foundation material. Stitch through the foundation material close to the first row of beads. If your thread is short, tie it off and add another. Then you can continue to finish the design with other bead embroidery techniques.
One great way to finish the cabochon is to trim the foundation material close to the beads. Then you can add a backing material to cover the stitches and complete the edges using a brick stitch.
Refer to this tutorial for instructions on how to add a backing to bead embroidery and cover the edges with brick stitch.
Edited by Lisa Yang