Monday, May 13, 2013

How to make Hoola Hoop with Peyote Stitch

This is a hoola-hoop shape made with Peyote Stitch.  It is 3-D and solid.  Among other ideas, this 3D peyote hoola hoop shape is ideal for earrings and/or pendant.

how to make hoola hoop circles in peyote stitch
This is part of my Back to Basics: Jewelry Making phase I mentioned before. I am going back to all the little projects I promised myself for years to try out but never got around to.  My focus is to learn different shapes, techniques, approach that will widen my repertoire so that I can better support the ideas I want to create.

As I mentioned in how to make solid squares with RAW stitch, I find it immensely helpful to be able to understand and "see" how the beads come together to create the final form.  That way, one can repeat and expand on the approach rather than be slave to a pattern over and over again.

So rather than do what I used to do in the past (i.e. reluctantly and with great effort, follow along instructions - blindly and as faithfully as I can, then promptly forget how to make it), I now try to deconstruct the pattern so I can see how and why the beads are aligned the way they are to contribute to the final shape and form.

Basic Construct of the Peyote Stitch Hoola Hoop

how to make hoola hoop circles in peyote stitch

So before we get into the step-by-step details on how to create the Hoola Hoop shape with Peyote Stitch, note the basic layout.

We begin with the inner circle and then create the expanding conforming arcs on the outside.

These rows are basically repeated on the other side (except for the starting row/inner circle and the outermost orange arc).

The 2 layers created on each side is then "zipped" up (using the original inner circle) so that a puffed (3D), solid Hoola Hoop is created.

To repeat: the inner circle (foundation row - dark orange) and the outer most final arc (bronze) is NOT repeated - there is only One of them.  All the other rows (represented by the lines) are made in 2 layers. The whole thing is made in one piece.

Techinques used: Peyote Stitch and Circular Peyote Stitch (not Tubular Peyote).

how to make hoola hoop circles in peyote stitchWe will need 3 different sized beads: Small, Medium, Large
You can used 15/0; 11/0, and 8/0.

Here I have worked with:

  • Small (11/0), Medium (12/0) and Large (8/0)

It only matters that the sizes are graduated so that we can get the shape we want.
how to make hoola hoop circles in peyote stitch
You might have noticed that the lines in my illustration is of different widths, from thin to thicker.  The width of lines are to represent the bead sizes as we move from the small to medium to large beads.

Step by Step How to Make Peyote St Hoola Hoop

how to make hoola hoop circles in peyote stitch
Note: I have used different colored beads per row so that it is easier to see and understand.  I have also used black thread in the hopes that you can better see the threading.  When you make it yourself, clear Fireline (6lb) would be a suitable thread to use.

Small Beads - Foundation Row
You can use any 3 different beads as the top center beads.

Here I have used 1 metallic Gold (sz 8/0) -  dark Blue (sz 6/0) - Gold (sz 8/)

Pick up the 3 top center beads then 25 small beads (orange), and form a circle by passing through the first 4 beads.

how to make hoola hoop circles in peyote stitch

Row 1: Small white beads (11/0) - 12 beads.
Work one row of Peyote stitch.  Then carry through the center beads to the first bead of the white row.

Next we will be moving to the Medium sized beads and start tapering the colors along the side.
Tip: It is very helpful to know where you want a row of beads to start and end.  Being able to see/keep this in mind helps you along the beading path.
how to make hoola hoop circles in peyote stitch

So take a moment now to see where the Medium sized beads is suppose to being and end.  You will note that we are beginning to taper back from the previous (white) row.  This pattern of taper will continue all the way to the largest middle row.

how to make hoola hoop circles in peyote stitch

how to make hoola hoop circles in peyote stitch

Row 2: Medium (sz 12/0) Green beads - 11 beads.
Work your next row of peyote stitch.

Tip: When you can, it is useful to put aside the number of (colored) beads you need per row before you begin the row to minimize counting mistakes.

We won't be going through the center top beads for the next few rows.

The phtoto on the right show the thread path to take at the end of the green row so that your needle emerges at the beginning spot for the next row.

Tip: Knowing where you want your needle to being to start/end a row is more useful that me showing photos.  When you know where you want your needle to come out from, you can easily work out the threading path that will take you there.

Continue in the same way - decreasing one bead per row till you get to the "Bottom Center Row" (Row 7)

how to make hoola hoop circles in peyote stitch
Row 3: Medium Yellow beads - 10 beads
Row 4: Medium (light) Blue - 9 beads
Row 5: Medium (deep) Pink beads - 8 beads

Row 6: Large Turquoise beads - 7 beads
Row 7: Large (transparent) Bronze - 6 beads

Once you have reached Row 7 (the one bottom center row), we will duplicate Rows 6 to 1 - viz working in reverse order to what we have done so far.

So we will be increasing one stitch per row and moving from Large to Small beads.

how to make hoola hoop circles in peyote stitchhow to make hoola hoop circles in peyote stitch
For these rows (till you get back to the white row), use the "even row" Peyote approach to begin the next row (Turquoise). See left image.

To end that row, see photo to right. Your needle goes into the bead of the row which will have the same color as you will be using for your next row (deep pink).

how to make hoola hoop circles in peyote stitch

As you work these duplicate rows, you will begin to see the 3D arch forming.

After you have finished the white row (small bead - size 11/0),  Peyote "zip" back to the foundation (orange) beads.

Finished Photos of the Peyote Stitch Hoola Hoops

how to make hoola hoop circles in peyote stitchhow to make hoola hoop circles in peyote stitch

Once you start playing with this beading form, many variations will occur to you and you can then expand on the possibilities.

Happy Hoola Hooping!

p/s Credit is given to the original instructions by Jonna Holston's "Holler for hoops" tutorial, Bead & Button magazine, Issue 86, August 2008.  I mostly followed the instructions but got lost and have adapted some of the steps to put this beading tutorial together.

Addendum (17/05/2013)
Hoola Hoop Earrings details some of the variations that you can indulge in with this design as well as some tips on the various outcomes from varying components and sizing used for this pattern.


  1. Good tutorial
    Thanks Maria

  2. Hello Maria, thank you. Glad you enjoyed the Hoola Hoop with Peyote Stitch tutorial. Hope to see you around again :)