So what are carrier beads, you ask? Also known as carrier duo base beads, carrier pillow beads, and Trägerperlen, they are glass — produced in the Czech Republic — or acrylic — produced in China — beads that are used to support zipped peyote strips (or other stitched strips) to form beaded beads. They measure 17 x 9 x 5 mm, are tapered on each end, and have two holes that accommodate stringing material up to 2 mm thick. Available in a wide array of colors, they are now appearing in your favorite beads stores and online bead merchants.


Making a beaded bead with a carrier bead is as simple as creating a small peyote strip, and zipping it up around the carrier bead. The most common bead to use for this strip is the 110 cylinder bead, though you can certainly try other beads, as will be discussed in a bit. 1) On 1 yd. (.9 m) of thread, pick up six 110 cylinder beads (figure 1, a–b). Use a single color or follow a pattern. These beads will form the first two rows as the next row in added.

2) Pick up a cylinder, skip the last cylinder in the group of six, and sew back through the next cylinder (b–c). Pick up a cylinder, skip the next cylinder, and sew through the following one. Repeat this stitch once more (c–d). This completes row 3.

3) To begin the next row, pick up a cylinder, and sew through the last bead added in the previous row (d–e). Continue working across the row in flat even-count peyote (e–f) until you have 48 or 50 rows (24 or 25 beads on each long edge), working three stitches per row. Wrap the strip around a carrier bead to make sure it fits, and add or remove two rows if necessary. If desired, place a bit of jewelry glue or double-sided tape (like Thermo-O-Web, Wonder Tape, or redline tape) on the carrier bead, and then zip up the ends of the peyote strip to form a continuous band around the carrier bead. End the threads.

Design tips

Repeating patterns need to be planned out to ensure that the design will appear seamless from start to finish. For best results, the repeating rows need to divide evenly into your total rows. For instance, if you have 48 total rows, your repeating section could be two, three, four, six, eight, 12, 16, or 24 rows long. If you have a total of 50 rows, the repeating section could be two, five, or 10 rows long.

Another option is to design repeating patterns on one side only (and a solid color on the back). This way you don’t have to worry about the math!

Go wide

For double- and triple-wide beads, as shown in this necklace, you need to extend your pattern to fit. For a double carrier bead, using 110 cylinder beads, stitch a strip of peyote that is 13 beads wide. For a triple carrier bead, stitch a strip that is 21 beads wide. Work in odd-count peyote for both. See the patterns at right.



SIZE: 17 x 9 x 5 mm

MATERIAL: Glass or acrylic

GLASS COLORS: Blue luster, bronze luster, green luster, hematite luster, lilac luster

ACRYLIC COLORS: Clear, aqua, blue, violet, pink, raspberry, crimson, amber, brown, black, and smoky gray


flat peyote carrier bead with

11 cylinders

1 carrier bead

1 g 11 cylinder beads (Miyuki Delicas)

• Fireline, 6 lb. test

• beading needles, #12

basics, p. 66


• peyote stitch: flat evencount, flat odd-count, zipping up or joining

• ending and adding thread