Niki.Tasha – Lesson 14 – Amulet Bag Strap

Hiya, Niki. We’re almost done with the peyote technique.

A decision must be made how you intend to use this small amulet bag. Will you wear it attached to your belt? or around your neck? or as a cell phone strap?

If you choose to wear it around your neck, you must decide how long you want the strap. Will you require a clasp to get it on?

If you choose to make it a part of your cell phone, you need to use wire to make the strap. And the findings will be different, too.

A – Attached to your belt: decide how far down you want the wee bag to hang. Double that measurement and that is how long your need your strap to be.

B – Around your neck: A short necklace requiring a clasp to get around your neck needs different findings than a long necklace that can easily be slipped over your head.

C – A cell phone strap: A loop will be made that fits comfortably over your hand but that is not so big that it slips easily. The idea is to keep the cell phone close but without having to hang on to it. If the strap is too loose, the cell phone will likely land on the pavement more than once.

A – A reasonable width of an Even Count Peyote strap would be 6 glass beads wide. Keep within the colour scheme you chose for the pouch itself. It works quickly back and forth and really can be made any length as long as the glass beads are in supply. Don’t get too carried away, though. The essence of grace is that the person seems unaware of herself while she is interested in you. If you are constantly tugging at your clothes or the belt adornment is being fiddled with, then you lose that grace. A belt ornament of this style really shouldn’t hang lower than your knee. You can draw out the pattern on paper before stitching or randomly pick up each glass bead in any order: this last works because you will be using the same beads that you used in the body of the Tubular Peyote.

B – An Even Count Peyote strap can work as a necklace. You will embed the thread at the side of the tube and come up in the groove between two zipper teeth. The side of the tube was established when you worked on the flap. Start the strap as any other Even Count Peyote, such as the flap and one version of the bottom. Work back and forth until you have reached the desired length. Embed the thread in the other side of the Peyote tube. If you run out of thread before the strap is its decided length, run the needle through several rows of the strap and add a couple of discreet knots along the way. Don’t cut off the tail until you have started the new thread: run the needle and thread as you did to tie off the old thread, ….. only in reverse. After several rows stitched with the new thread, go back and trim the tails left from the tying on and off of threads.

If your strap requires a clasp, decide which one you want. You will also need: jump rings for each strand hole in the clasp, bead tips to tie off the threads and you will need them in quantities to complete the job – both parts of the clasp. Check out the How-To category – so far I have the title but not the substance. It is a WIP (Work In Progress).

If the clasp is for a single strand, life just got easier. You will be working from each side of the Peyote tube towards the middle back of your neck – a little less than half the length each. Make a pyramid at the end of each strap by using only the middle 4 beads and then the middle 2 beads. Get yourself some crimps and some bead tips – I prefer the clamshell bead tip. This site can provide you with what you need:

Run the thread through the bottom hole in the bead tip. Now run the thread through a small bead and make a discreet knot.  Add a small dab of glue. Close the bead tip. Add a jump ring to the bead tip and to the clasp.  Do exactly the same thing on the other half of the necklace.

You can make a completely different style of necklace; something other than the peyote technique. I would suggest using stringing wire: it’s strong and flexible. Back to the side of the peyote tube: start the even peyote strap as above. Make it very short and attach it to the edge of the wee amulet bag. This is a casing for the beaded wire to attach to. You will require crimp beads and jump rings and a clasp if the wee pouch is to sit high on the chest. You will require only crimp beads if there is no clasp. Thread the wire through the crimp bead, a bead and a 2nd crimp bead. Add your beads, run them through the casings made earlier and finish by running the wire through the crimp bead, the glass bead, and the 2nd crimp bead. Tighten up the string and use your crimping pliers on the crimp beads. When I say ‘tighten’ I don’t mean strong arm the strand – you want the strand to hang gracefully, not all bunched up on itself.



Copyright © 2008 Helene Turnbull All rights reserved.  No part of this work covered by the copyrights hereon may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means – graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or information storage and retrieval systems – without written permission of the author.


Niki.Tasha – Lesson 11 – Sides and Bottom

Hiya, Niki.   This lesson brings your personal sense of style into this peyote tube amulet bag.  You have finished with the graph for a short time.  Don’t get rid of it:  it has your notes about the pattern on it.  Just tuck it away in a safe place where you can easily find it again.  Right now it’s time to simply look at the tube you have created. 

In photography and the different software packages you can ‘crop’ an image by moving the borders in and out.  You can manipulate the size of the photo and you can focus on just a section of the picture, too.  That’s what we are doing now but in our hands, not on the computer.

Gently squeeze the tube to see what one side might look like.  Then make the tube round again and squeeze it in a different place.  What you are looking for is the most attractive design, in your opinion.  At this stage , you don’t have to stick to the design as graphed.  Perhaps you like the design to wrap around the side of the amulet bag.  You might like the side to cut the image by 3/4’s:  3/4s of the image on one side, and only 1/4 of the image on the other side.

Flip the tube upside down:  you may prefer the design that way.  

Keep in mind that you will be making the bottom of the amulet bag, a flap, a strap, and fringe, too. 

Keep in mind, also, that there are 2 bottoms and 3 tops you can apply to your design.  This Step 11, will give you one alternative bottom. 

Youhave chosen the part of the design that will show on the front and back.  Gently squeeze the tube flat, paying attention to 1 detail.  The teeth that were formed when you started this tubular peyote glass bead amulet bag need to be lined up at the bottom like teeth of a zipper.  ZigZag. 

With the long tail kept at the very beginning of this project, remove the stop bead, and thread your needle.  The working thread needs to be at 1 side, decided by you when you were tube squeezing.  Run the needle through the next ‘tooth’, pick up a bead, run the working thread through the next ‘tooth.’  Continue in this fashion until you reach to other side. Run through the last ‘tooth’, pick up a bead and put the needle through the first ‘tooth’ of the next row.  Return to my diagrams of starting Peyote Technique My Way.  Go back and forth for a couple of rows. 

Now,run your needle through the teeth alternating from side to side.  After every 3 or so ‘teeth,’ pull up the thread and the zipper will begin to close.  It is easier to obtain a nicely closed zipper if you pull up your thread firmly every 2 – 3 zigs. 

When the zipper is closed, neatly tie off the thread by running it back and forth through nearby beads.


Without doing another thing to this item of glass bead  artisan jewelry, you can tell people you have completed an amulet bag. 

Pick a bead or charm that represents you.  In our First Nations each family and person has a totem.  A person may be of the bear clan and that person is a water bear:  s/he might add a bear paw charm to his/her amulet bag.  This token is a ‘totem’ by which s/he can be identified and it brings him/her good luck.

Thissame idea can be used by all races and religions:  Christians might wear a cross or crucifix, Jews may wear a Star of David, the Star and Crescent belong to Muslims, a Kirpan for the Sikhs.  Individuals may identify strongly with  something in the animal world:  dragons, bears, parrots for example, and that would be their personal totem.  A charm indicating this personal totem might be slipped into an amulet bag.  Have you such a totem, Niki?

If you add lucky charms to your amulet bag it is a good idea to tie them in:  use a piece of thread knotted and tucked inside, or run a thread of beads through the charms and loop it neatly inside to secure your totem.

You can also finish the bottom with a round flat piece of peyote and for that technique see the next lesson.

Copyright © 2008 Helene Turnbull All rights reserved.  No part of this work covered by the copyrights hereon may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means – graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or information storage and retrieval systems – without written permission of the author.