Tubular gourd stitch is used to adorn pouches, rattle handles, drum beaters, lighters, fan handles, and other cylindrical objects. The patterns you can create with gourd stitch can add character and vibrancy to the item that you are decorating. A variety of cultures around the world have used the stitching pattern, including Ancient Egypt. Today, the stitching pattern is commonly used to adorn sacred items from the Native American Church.
What you will need
Any seed bead will work. The beads pictured in the photo above are size 11 delica beads that can be ordered from Jewelry Supply, Beadaholique, or possibly by your local bead store.
The beading needle I used for the pattern above was size 11. You can order them from Wawak Sewing and you can probably find them in your local bead store. I recommend having a few on hand just in case one breaks.
Piece of leather or thick fabric and glue
Your strip of leather will help the beads secure firmly against their surface. You may also use thick fabric for this part. To attach the leather/fabric strip onto your cylindrical object, first wrap it around and see if there is any excess material. Trim the leather/fabric to your liking and attach onto the surface using whatever glue you have available. Elmer’s will work, as will wood glue. In the photo above you will see the seam going down the center of the leather. There is no need to overlap the leather; try to line it up as evenly as you can.
I used size D in the pattern above and picked it up from my local beading store.
Beading grid, colored pencils, and ruler
The grid will help you design your pattern. Fusion beads has a great printable patterns. Size 11 beading grid
Small ball of wax (such as beeswax) to glide along the length of your beading thread to prevent fraying
If you are right handed you will bead from right to left and if you are left handed you will bead from left to right.
If this is your first time beading tubular gourd stitch, we recommend watching all three videos straight through to get the full concept of the process before actually beginning your project.