Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Three-Drop Peyote Stitch


Three-drop is another Peyote stitch.  I'm only dealing with even-count, three-drop Peyote here.  If you don't know anything about simple, flat, even-count Peyote, you should click this link to read about that first.

I'm not going to do a full tutorial for the three-drop Peyote stitch because it's so similar to the two-drop Peyote stitch.  See the two-drop Peyote tutorial here

If you know how to do the two-drop Peyote stitch and you understand the differences between the two-drop and three-drop Peyote stitches, that's all you need to know.


This is a swatch of 10 rows of the three-drop Peyote stitch.  In case you were wondering, the black and white beads are 8/0 Japanese seed beads and are very consistent in size and shape.  The pink beads, although also 8/0 seed beads, are not Japanese.  You can see the inconsistencies in the shapes and sizes of those pink seed beads.

There are really only two differences between two-drop Peyote and three-drop Peyote:
  1. The number of beads picked up at the start to create rows 1 and 2.
  2. The number of beads that are picked up, skipped, and run through with the needle in the stitching pattern, starting with row 3.

FIRST:  How many stitches do you pick up at the beginning to create rows 1 and 2?
  • Two-drop Peyote—you initially pick up an even number of beads that is divisible by 4.  So you can use 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, etc.

  • Three-drop Peyote—you initially pick up an even number of beads that is divisible by 3.  Another way to say this is that the number of beads you pick up must be a multiple of 6.  So that would mean 6, 12, 18, 24, etc.

This photo shows the first two rows of even-count, three-drop Peyote.  You can see that I picked up the stop bead first.  Then I picked up 3 white beads, 3 black beads, 3 white beads, and 3 black beads, for a total of 12 beads in rows 1 and 2.  Before I can begin row 3, I need to turn my work.
  SECOND:  Once you begin row 3, everything in the stitching pattern is done in multiples.

  • Two-drop Peyote—starting with  row 3, you pick up 2 beads, skip 2 beads, and run the needle through 2 beads.
  • Three-drop Peyote—starting with row 3, you pick up 3 beads, skip 3 beads, and run the needle through 3 beads. 

In this photo, you can see that I have turned my work.  The first row is black and the second row is white.  You can see by looking at the needle that I picked up 3 pink beads for row three, I skipped the first 3 beads, and I ran the needle through the next 3 beads.  I continue to pick up 3, skip 3, and go through 3 until the row is complete. 

Once you complete row 3, you'll see the beads in row 3 will stick up like zipper teeth.  Those are called the "up beads."

NOTE:  The beads in row 1 will also look like zipper teeth.  When you turn your work, be careful to keep row 1 on the bottom and row 3 on the top.  You don't want to accidentally start stitching into row 1 when you begin your 4th row.  This is another good reason to use a different color bead for each row, at least for the first 3 rows.

From row 4 on, you can continue to count as you stitch:  Pick up 3, skip 3, run the needle through 3. 

OR you can simply pick up 3 beads and run your needle through the next group of 3 "up beads."  You're doing the same thing, it's just easier to see which beads are which once you get to the fourth row and beyond.

© Copyright 2011 Linda's Art Barn. All rights reserved.


  1. Another great tutorial. My beading club loved the first one I sent them about Peyote. They all said how clear it was and easy to follow. I'm still waiting for one on odd count peyote. I've done it but I love even better.
    Thank you for another wonderful tutorial.

  2. Thank you so much. I just finished my first project in 3 drop peyote and I had forgotten how to start it and kept messing it up. You made it possible for me to continue to enjoy this stitch!