To build the boxes, you will work with variations on peyote stitch.
Peyote stitch is a popular beadwork technique that has several variations.A more descriptive name for the stitch is “one-bead netting,” because technically it is a netted stitch with “up” beads—the beads that protrude from the row—and “down” beads—the beads that recede into the row.
The working row is always buill from the up beads. The netting contains one bead per stitch, so the result is a solid fabric of beads.
To make the boxes, yon will work with two basic beadwork variations on peyote stitch: circular peyote stitch and tubular peyote stitch. You don’t need to have experience with these beadwork stitches. By following the written instructions and drawings provided, you will be learning these techniques naturally.
Circular peyote stitch begins at a center point and increases symmetrically, allowing each row to have a greater number of beads than the row before it, so that the beadwork radiates outward. The planned increases create segments in the beadwork and give each box shape its specific number of sides.
Tubular peyote stitch begins at a top or a bottom edge and creates a beaded tube. Box sides are formed with tubular peyote stitch. If you begin tubular peyote with an odd number of beads, the rows of beadwork spiral. If you begin with an even number of beads, the first bead in a row is also the last bead, so you need to “step up”—or sew again into the last
bead to begin the next row.
To make the base, you will work with the variation on circular pevote. To get comfortable with the technique, you’ll want to practicc first. Here are the instructions for making the base for each of the four box shapes. Choose the shape you’d like to try first as your practice piece, and follow the instructions for that box shape.
Begin with a length of thread approximately 5′ (1.5 m) long and about 5 grams of beads in one or more colors that you like. I prefer to double my thread (10′ [3 m] long before doubling) so that if one strand breaks, I can make repairs with the piece still intact—but do whatever is comfortable for you. I suggest that you use a thinner thread if you plan to double it and a thicker thread if you plan to use a single strand.