Playing with Carrier Beads – Rainbow Ombre Necklace


So, we got carrier beads in at work a few months ago and they have been FLYING off the shelves. I quickly grabbed myself a few packs and have been steadily working on designing and stitching up a necklace design. Here it is!


Are y’all familiar with the mechanics of carrier beads? Basically, they are two-hole beads meant to “carry” strips of peyote. It’s a great way to make really graphic beaded beads. They come in acrylic and glass, but personally I don’t see the point of the glass ones. They’re too pretty to cover up with the peyote and they make necklaces SO heavy.

So, to start, I made 14 strips of peyote that I zipped up into little rings.


The zig-zag design is one that I came up with off the top of my head, but it’s a very standard design. It’s 6 beads wide and 50 rows long. I used all Miyuki delicas and each strip has Matte Black (310) and Light Bronze (022L).


Here’s the basic pattern. Yes, it is VERY messy, but I don’t do peyote patterns, so cut me some slack, pretty please.


You’ll notice that the inner zig-zag part has two colors (blue and turquoise in the graph), but on each of my strips I alternated two colors and traded out one color per strip to get the ombre effect.



So! They all use the Matte Black (310) and Light Bronze (022L), so here’s the accent color that changes from peyote strip to peyote strip.



1. Matte Cantaloupe AB (852) and Duracoat Opaque Toast (2110)

2. Duracoat Opaque Toast (2110) and Sparkling Lt Yellow Lined Chartreuse (908)

3. Sparkling Lt Yellow Lined Chartreuse (908) and Opaque Avocado (1135)

4. Opaque Avocado (1135) and Matte Emerald Green AB (859)

5. Matte Emerald Green AB (859) and Opaque Sea Opal (1136)

6. Opaque Sea Opal (1136) and Matte Opaque Turquoise (793)


7. Matte Opaque Turquoise (793) and Metallic Blue Green / Gold Iris (1052)

8. Metallic Blue Green / Gold Iris (1052) and Duracoat Navy (2143)

9. Duracoat Navy (2143) and Matte Cobalt AB (864)

10. Matte Cobalt AB (864) and Frost Opaque Glazed Grape (2292)

11. Frost Opaque Glazed Grape (2292) and Frost Opaque Glazed Rainbow Dk Red (2308)


12. Frost Op Glazed Rainbow Dk Red (2308) and Frost Op Glazed Rainbow Cardinal (2306)

13. Frost Op Glazed Rainbow Cardinal (2306) and Opaque Pumpkin (653)

14. Opaque Pumpkin (653) and Matte Cantaloupe AB (852)

Oy! It was a lot to keep track of, but I think staggering the colors really helped the fade.


Okey-doke. So, once you have your peyote strips, it’s time to grab your carrier beads.


They’ve got two holes and are relatively flat-ish (to show off more the peyote design, I would imagine). The glass ones are much more chubby, but again, I don’t use those. You can buy these acrylic ones here.


I put on a very very very thin coat of super glue on the carrier bead before sliding on the peyote strip. I used one single thin swipe of liquid super glue.


And then voila! Beaded beads!


To make the necklace curve, I took my infamous 20lb Fireline and strung 4mm gunmetal fire-polished crystals through the top holes and 6mm round hematite beads through the bottom holes. I also made big loops at the sides because I knew I wanted to add ribbon.


Sorry for the terrible lighting. The sun had set by this point in the evening.

I grabbed some Sari Silk and used some lark’s head knots to finish off the necklace!


I am so happy with the final necklace. I think the rainbow fades gently and fairly evenly and I think the ribbon looks organic, but neat.



I have so many more ideas for the carrier beads and I am super enjoying color fades right now. So what do you guys think? Any interest in carrier beads? I think I’m hooked.





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4 Responses to Playing with Carrier Beads – Rainbow Ombre Necklace

  1. this is beautiful! I love the colour graduation, so clever! I haven’t come across carrier beads, I might have to give them a go.


    • samwescott says:

      Thanks! I’m really enjoying them a lot. Peyote is so satisfying, but it can take forever to do a full bracelet. Doing these little strips was SO satisfying! :D


  2. Aurora Jimerson says:

    I’d very much like to work with the carrier beads. Are you the only ones who carry them or is there more places they can be found? I do love what you’ be done with them. They look really cool


    • samwescott says:

      I think a few more people are carrying them now, but I’m pretty sure Beads Direct USA still has the best prices. And then some folks are selling the Czech glass ones, which I personally don’t love, but will work for the same general kind of piece. :)


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