The brick stitch, also known as the bugle stitch or Cheyenne stitch, is a beading basic. Native Americans like the Comanche and Iroquois used this stitch with bugle beads to decorate bags, hair bands and wrist bands. Most beginners use seed beads as they learn to brick stitch, but bugle beads will work just as well.
Thread your needle and add one bugle bead. Tie a triple-knot around the bead at the tail of the thread, leaving 2 inches of thread free. Push the needle through the bead again.
Add another bead to the thread. Don't worry about creating a colour pattern, random colours are fine.
Loop the needle around and, again, through the first bead, from bottom to top. This loop should enclose the second bead. Make sure the bugle beads are lined up next to each other.
Lay the threaded beads in a straight line on a table with the needle on your left. Form a loop with the thread by turning the needle to face the beads. Push the needle through the second bead, from left to right. Add another bead.
Loop the needle around and push it through the second bead, from top to bottom. This is the opposite of what we did in Step 2. With each added bead, this direction will alternate.
Lay the threaded beads flat on the table again with the needle on your right. Flip the needle and push it through the third bead from bottom to top. Add another bead.
Continue this process until the line grows to around 5 or 6 inches long.
Add two beads for the beginning of the second row. Lay the beaded thread on the table. Look at the braid of beads you created in the first row. As the thread weaves through the beads, it alternates on either side of the row.
Turn your needle to face the beads and pass it through the first loop of thread on the left or right of the last two beads in the first row. Pick the closest loop to pass the needle through. Call this "Loop A." Don't allow the two new beads to pass through the loop.
With the first row horizontally in front of you and the needle on your left, slide the point of the needle down and to the right. Continue sliding the needle, from left to right, until it loops around and to the top of the first row. Bring the needle down and through the second bead of the second row. Add another bead.
Remember Loop A? Turn your needle and bring it up and through Loop A. Push the needle through the newest bead, from top to bottom. Add another bead and push the needle through the loop to the right of Loop A. Again, turn the needle and push it through the top of the newest bead. Continue this sequence until the end of the row.
Repeat Steps 5, 6 and 7 for the third and fourth rows. When finished, tie the thread in a knot around the last bead. Leave a 2-inch tail of thread at the end and tie this to the tail of thread attached to the first bead. You now have a brick stitch bracelet.
The brick stitch is simple but requires some practice before all the beads lay correctly.
Tips and warnings
- The brick stitch is simple but requires some practice before all the beads lay correctly.