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Peyote Tassel Earrings
These fabulous earrings are made in two parts—by making an even count tubular peyote body and then adding beaded fringe around the base of the peyote tube. This tutorial will describe the materials and steps to make the components and assemble the earrings.Continue to 2 of 15 below.
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Making Beaded Tubes for the Earring Body
The body of the earring is made using even count tubular peyote. This is a good beginner stitch and is a variation of flat even count peyote. Rather than making a flat strip of peyote beading and then zipping the ends together to make it into a tube bead, tubular peyote works in rounds that form the tube as you stitch.
If you are not familiar with even count tubular peyote, it's best to learn and practice it first. This tutorial assumes you know how to do the stitch and can follow either a tubular peyote diagram or word pattern.Continue to 3 of 15 below.
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You will need slightly different materials to make the tubular peyote body of the earrings then you will for the beaded tassels. We like to use a fishing line type of thread for the body of the earrings because We think it holds the shape better than nylon threads like Nymo. For this project, we are using WildFire thread for the tubular peyote—but we think Fireline, DandyLine or PowerPro would all work equally as well.
In addition, we are using Miyuki 11/0 Delica beads in matte aqua and copper.Continue to 4 of 15 below.
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Stitch a Peyote Tube
Make a peyote tube. Our tube is 16 beads wide by 20 rows long. The pattern and word chart can both be found on the next slide.Continue to 5 of 15 below.
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Pattern and Word Chart
This pattern is relatively easy because it repeats in a way that's easy to remember. We find the word chart easiest to follow.
The pattern is meant to be read from left to right, bottom-up. The highlighted boxes indicate where you will step up for each row.Continue to 6 of 15 below.
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Add a Bail Loop of Beads
When your tube is finished, weave in the working thread. Put the needle on the tail thread and add enough beads to make a bridge to the other side of the tube. We used seven Delica beads.
Reinforce the bridge by weaving into the tube and going back through the beads in the bridge at least one or two more times. Weave in the thread ends and trim them.
Now it is time to add the tassels.Continue to 7 of 15 below.
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Tassel Making Materials
The reason we like fishing line type of threads for the tubular peyote beadwork is the same reason it doesn't work well for tassels or fringe. It is stiff and doesn't bend easily—and you want your fringe to be supple and sway.
For our tassels, we are using Nymo thread (from the cone) size D, the same 11/0 Delica beads we used for the body, hex cut beads for a little sparkle in the tassel and aquamarine rondelles. We love to be able to combine semi-precious stone beads with seed beads!Continue to 8 of 15 below.
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Add Nymo Thread for the Tassel
Cut a piece of Nymo thread as long as both of your outstretched arms. It is easiest to not have to add more thread during this process. Pre-stretch the thread by pulling one foot long pieces and moving from the start of the thread to the end. If you want, you may also want to use a thread conditioner or beeswax. We don't find it necessary when making tassels, but there are no rules in beadwork—so do what you think works best.
When you are ready to begin, weave the needle and thread through the beads in the peyote tube and have it coming out of a low bead at the bottom side of the tube.Continue to 9 of 15 below.
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Thread the Beads for the Tassel
Thread the beads for your tassel. Our pattern uses thirteen aqua 11/0 Delica beads, one hex cut bead, two aqua Delica beads, one hex cut bead, ten more aqua 11/0 Delica beads, three copper 11/0 Delica beads, an aquamarine bead, copper bead, another aquamarine bead and then a copper 11/0 bead.
Push the beads up next to the tubular peyote body.Continue to 10 of 15 below.
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Stitch Back up the Tassel
Skip the last copper bead that you strung and stitch back up all of the tassel beads. This will make the last bead a stopper that will keep all of the other beads on the tassel in place.Continue to 11 of 15 below.
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Get Ready to Add Another Tassel
Stitch through the next two beads on the tubular peyote body to hold the bead strand in place and prepare to add another tassel. The tassel ends by stitching through an up bead and the next tassel begins after coming out of a down bead.Continue to 12 of 15 below.
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Add More Strands to the Tassel
Continue stitching around the base of the tubular peyote and adding strands to the tassel until you have a total of eight tassel strands.
Make sure the tassels are loose enough that the beads hang straight but tight enough that there is no extra thread showing. This is a delicate balance and will need adjusting each time you add another tassel strand. We find it helps to roll the beads between our fingers and gently align them.
This step is especially important when you are using Delica beads because they can tend to look choppy when they are to tight in a tassel.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
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Weave in Thread Ends
When you have made a total of eight tassel strands for each of the earrings, weave in the thread ends and trim your thread.Continue to 14 of 15 below.
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Attach Earwires Using Jump Rings
We made simple copper ear wires to match the copper bead accents. To attach the ear wires, open a jump ring and slip in the bead bridge at the top of the beaded earring component and then an ear wire. Twist the jump ring closed.
Repeat for the other earring.Continue to 15 of 15 below.
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Finishing Your Beaded Tassel Earrings
These fabulous earrings are so much fun to wear—and there are so many options when it comes to colors or fringe beads. Best of all, they are also very lightweight, so even though our finished earrings are close to 3 inches long, you will barely feel like you are wearing earrings.
You can adjust these instructions to make use of different beads. We especially like to make the tassels using round beads like Toho's instead of cylinder beads.