6. Frosty Diamonds Bracelet

Frosty Diamonds Bracelet
a beadwork project for beginners 

by Marilyn Gardiner:

Overview: Odd-Count Peyote Stitch Project

This is a beginner’s beadwork project that introduces Odd-Count Peyote Stitch. Before doing this project, I would recommend that you have previously stitched a simple project with regular (even-count) peyote stitch. How do you know if that’s what you did, you ask? Well, if you started out with an even number of beads, it was even-count, and when you start with an odd-number, it’s odd-count!!!

A peyote stitch project that starts with an odd number of beads typically requires a kind of figure-8 thread path at the end of every second row. However, the method I’ll show you here avoids that and makes it really easy to do.

The secret is to use 2 needles and to work on a beading mat like Velux so that the needle you aren’t using can be “parked” by sticking it into the mat.

Why would I want to start with an odd number of beads if it’s more complicated, you ask? Well, having an odd number of beads gives you a centre row, and this can be important for creating many patterns.

The clasp for this bracelet is a beaded do-it-yourself clasp. You will take a round bead, cover it it with seed beads and make it into a kind of toggle clasp. This type of clasp is an excellent choice for those with allergies to metals.

This bracelet uses a matte navy, matte peacock AB for the diamonds, and a matte silver AB as the accent bead.

Supplies for 8.5″ Bracelet
12 grams of size 8 seed beads for the background color – A

7 grams of size 8 seed beads for the diamonds – B

1 gram of size 8 beads for the contrast color at center of each diamond – C

1.5 grams of size 11 seed beads in the background color for the clasp

a 6 mm round bead in the background color

Thread: Nymo D or equivalent in the background colour

Needles: size 10

Bead Colors: I’ve played with various matte bead for this project. While the main beads are opaque, others have an AB finish or are silver-lined. Most of the beads for this project were Japanese Matsuno beads. 

Clasp: This clasp is made from beads. It is a variation of the button & loop type of clasp. The “button” is a firepolished crystal covered with size 11 seed beads.

Thread Color: Match your thread color to the main bead color. I used a navy for this one.

Needles: See the discussion in a previous project.

—————————-The Project: Frosty Diamonds Bracelet—————————-
1.Stitch the Beads 

The First Three Rows

Measure off a about 3 yards of thread. Optional: wax it or condition with Thread Heaven™. Stretch it in sections to remove kinks. (Or run it through a curling iron!)

Thread a size 10 needle on each end of the thread.

String 2 large background color A beads and slide them down to the middle of the thread.


Hold a needle in each hand. With the left needle pick up 1 A bead. Now pass the right-hand needle through this bead in the same direction. Be careful not to pierce the thread. Slide the bead down next to the first two & pull both threads to tighten.


Pick up an A bead with each needle and move them down next to the previous beads.

4.Repeat steps 2 & 3 until there are 14 beads strung. Match your work with this diagram.

Notice the three offset rows.
Rows 1 & 3 both have 5 beads, while row 2 has 4 beads.
Notice the five “high” beads of row 3.
Count from left to right & notice that there are 9 columns of beads.

6.Pick up one of the needles and pass through the loose bead at the end of the other thread. Sew inward from the edge toward the work: see the diagram.
The needle you decided to use is labelled #1.
The other needle can be “parked” for now, i.e. stuck into your bead mat.


Row 4

String an A bead and go through a “high” bead. Repeat to the end of the row.
End by going through the edge high bead. Tighten your work by pulling both threads.


Row 5

Using the same needle, turn and add the beads for the next row.
We are still using just the background color A beads.
The final bead will be loose and unattached.
Both threads are now at the same edge of your work.


Row 6

Pick up the other needle (from the row below) and sew through that loose bead from the edge toward the work. Pull both threads to tighten up the tension.


Rows 6 & 7

Continue to use this needle to add the beads in rows 6 & 7.
Notice that the second bead in row 7 will be a color B bead. This bead starts the pattern!

Row 6 (right to left): 4A
Row 7 (left to right): 1A, 1B, 3A



OK. You now know how to do odd-count peyote stitch. You go across & back with one needle, adding beads along the way. Then you park that needle & pick up the other one & lock in the loose bead. Then you go across & back with that needle, adding beads along the way. Repeat endlessly. A piece of cake! Now we’ll add some design…

Go back and look at step 5 to review how count rows so you know which row you are working on.


13.Row 8 (right to left): 2A, 2B
Row 9 (left to right): 1B, 1C, 1B, 2A
Row 10 (right to left): 2A, 2B

Row 11 (left to right): 1A, 1B, 1A, 1B, 1A
Row 12 (right to left): 2B, 2A
Row 13 (left to right): 2A, 1B, 1C, 1A
Row 14 (right to left): 2B, 2A
Row 15 (left to right): 1A, 1B, 1A, 1B, 1A
Row 16 (right to left): 2A, 2B
Row 17 (left to right): 1B, 1C, 1B, 1A, 1A
Row 18 (right to left): 2A, 2B
Row 19 (left to right): 1A, 1B, 1A, 1B, 1A
Keep repeating Rows 11-19 (the right & left-hand diamonds) until you get close to the required length.

My bracelet (smallish wrist) has 11 diamonds on one side, and 12 on the other. The diagram above will not have enough diamonds for any known adult size! It’s just for illustration.Finish off with several rows just in the background colour so the 2 ends match. 

Allow 1″ for the clasp.

14. The Clasp  

Bead the Crystal:
Prepare a new length of thread (about 1 yard). Sew through the crystal, leaving a 6″ tail. Hold the crystal in place while you add 5 small (size 11) colour A beads & then sew through the crystal again. The five beads will lie along the curve of the crystal. Continue adding 5 beads and sewing through the crystal until the surface is covered. (My 6mm firepolish crystal took 11 sets of 5 beads to be covered.) Sew in the thread ends.

15. The Clasp  

Attach the Crystal:
Using an existing thread at one end of the bracelet (or a new one if need be), sew through beads and exit the 2nd bead from one corner, heading toward the centre of the bracelet. See the diagram and the photo above.

Add 6 small beads, sew through the crystal, add 1 small bead, sew back through the crystal, add 6 small beads, and sew through the 2nd bead from the other corner.

Repeat this thread path several times until the crystal button is secure. Sew in any dangling threads at this end of the bracelet until they are secure. Clip the ends.

16. The Clasp  

Create a Loop for the Crystal:
Go to the other end of the bracelet. If the tail thread is too short to make the button loop, add more thread. Sew through beads and exit the 2nd bead from the corner, just as you did in step 15 above.

Add 29 small beads, sew through the 6th bead from the start, add 5 more small beads, and sew through a large bead, 2nd from the corner. See diagram. Test the size of the loop to make sure it is not too tight or too loose to go over your crystal. Add or subtract beads as necessary.

Repeat this thread path several times until the loop is secure. Sew in any dangling threads at this end of the bracelet until they are secure. Clip the ends.

17. The Fringe 

Prepare a new length of thread and anchor it in the beads close to one corner of the bracelet. Pass through beads until the thread exits the corner bead and you are in position to begin adding the large fringe beads, colour A, down one side.

Add 3 colour A beads. Sew into the second bead along the edge, and then out through the next edge bead #3.


Add 3 colour A large beads. Sew into the next edge bead #4; and then back out the following one #5. Keep repeating this picot edging until you reach the other end.

Move over to the other side of the bracelet and add the picot fringe to that side as well. Sew in all thread ends and clip them closely.

The bracelet is complete!

—————————-More Odd-Count Peyote Stitch Bracelets—————————-

Frosty Stripes Bracelet: a bracelet that is similar to the above project, but with a different pattern and a different fringe down the sides. Matte bronze & Matte gold AB.

Frosty Diamonds Bracelet : this version of the project uses matte black, matte s/l white, and a purple-copper iris accent bead..

Frosty Stripes Bracelet: Another version of this project. Matte bronze, Matter s/l white AB, & Matte s/l orange AB.

Copyright 2006 Marilyn Gardiner.
All Rights Reserved.
Used with permission by the Beading Times.