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Russian Leaves by Sarah Millsop

This is a gorgeous pattern to use in autumn as you will create these leaf-like shapes that can be used for so many jewellery making and crafting projects. We will be using a diagonal peyote stitch and you can also view our ‘how-to’ video to bead a long with me. This written text is a brief overview for you to follow.

In the video, I refer to the 2 colours of seed beads as a ‘frame bead’ and an ‘accent bead’. As these names suggest, one seed bead will give you the main frame and coverage of your leaf, while the other gives the little coloured accents around the outer edges. Below, they’ll be beads ‘F’ for the frame and ‘A’ for the accents.

  • Jewellery Making
  • < 1 hour
  • Intermediate

You Will Need:

  • Seed Beads in 2 colours (one for the Frame and one for edge Accents)
  • Beading Thread
  • Beading Needle (size 10 or 15)
  • Scissors
  • Ear Wires
  • Jumprings


  1. video

    Sarah Millsop Makes Russian Leaves With Peyote Stitching

    View Now
  2. Begin with approx. 1m of thread. This should see you through the whole project, but work with a length that you are comfortable with.

  3. Attach a stopper bead onto your thread. This is a bead you sew through twice and will allow you to keep the tension in your work for the first few rows. This bead should sit about 15cm from the end of your thread. We will weave the tail back through our work when we finish.

  4. Pick up 1A, 9F, 1A, 1F and move towards the stopper bead. You will now need to change direction of your thread by sewing through the 4th bead from the end and pulling the thread tightly. This will give you an accent bead at the end and 2 frame beads sitting along side each other. You will now peyote stitch back up to reach the first A bead. To peyote, pick up a new ‘F’ bead, miss a bead in your pre-threaded row, and sew through the next. Again, pull tight and correct any gaps in your work by tightening the tension.

  5. Once you reach your first ‘A’ bead, you should be exiting the top having completed a peyote stitch before it. You will now change direction again and peyote stitch a new row next to it, beading back down towards the bottom. Pick up an ‘F’ bead and bring your needle down through the bead sticking out just below the ‘A’ bead you are exiting from.

  6. Continue to peyote, filling all the gaps in-between this row until you are ONE bead away from the bottom. You will have one gap left in your row. Pick up 1A and 1F and turn direction, beading back up through the rows or beads with peyote.

  7. When you reach the top and you are exiting at the very top, pick up 1F, 1A and 1F, move the beads to your beadwork, and come back down through the first ‘F’ bead you picked up. This will give you 2 beads sitting next to each other at the very top. You want your ‘A’ bead sitting on the left. Position these and continue to peyote to down your work. Again, bead until you have one gap left and repeat the process as before, picking up 1A and 1F, changing direction, and beading upwards. Again, bead all the way to the top and repeat as before, picking 1F, 1A, and 1F. You will repeat this process until you have 9 ‘A’ beads on the top and bottom edges of your work.

  8. On your final downwards stitch, fill all gaps with ‘F’ beads to finish. You will need to navigate your way to your very starting bead. Do this by threading your needle diagonally through your established beadwork. Keep your path in line with the beads so that your threads are not visible.

  9. Once you reach your original starting bead, you will need to bead up through it, so your thread is exiting the top. Bead a row downwards of peyote using ‘F’ beads, until you’re one gap from the bottom, and use the same pattern as before.

    *TOP TIP: You may find it easier to turn your work over so that you are beading in the same direction as before. It keeps the pattern familiar for you!

  10. Continue to bead in the same way as your other side has been formed, creating your turns at the top and bottom of your rows. Again, finish with a downward row of ‘F’ beads. You will need to navigate to the top of your work and exit from the very top bead. Use just one ‘F’ bead to connect the two tops together by sewing down the other side.

  11. Secure your threads with half hitch knots and weaving through your beadwork. You can even sew through this connection a couple of times if you want reinforcement.

  12. Thread a needle to your original tail thread and also secure with half hitch knots and weaving into your work.

  13. You can finish your leaves with a jumpring and ear wire, or use as beautiful embellishments for a necklace or crafting project.

What You Need