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How to Make Perfectly Creepy Beaded Spiders
Submitted by Pam on Wed, 04/17/2013 - 21:03
My sweetie has agreed to show us how to make very cool beaded spiders!
He learned to make them several years ago and since then has taught the technique to friends and rock & mineral club members.
And now he has agreed to share the technique with my readers!
Once you get the basics figured out - you can create other many-legged creatures if you like.
Love his scorpion! And his creepy tarantula above!
HOW TO MAKE BEADED SPIDERS
To make one spider, you will need: 4 feet of 28 gauge non-tarnishing silver wire; 26 - 8/0 seed beads; 50 - 11/0 seed beads; 24 - 1/2" bugle beads; and 1 "abdomen" bead (5/8" to 1" in length).
Tools that are helpful but not necessary: wire cutters; wire straightener; needle nose or round nose pliers. If you do not have these tools, scissors will be sufficient.
1. Gently fold your wire in half (but do NOT crease).
2. Slip two 8/0 beads onto to one half of the wire and slide them to the center. These will become the "eyes" and are more interesting if they are a different color from the 8/0 beads used for the body.
3. Thread one end of the wire back through both beads. Pull until the wire is laying snuggly against the beads. You should now have a wire coming out of each side of the two eye beads. (Note: one wire will be a bit shorter than the other - NOT a problem.)
4. For each leg you will need 6 - 11/0 seed beads, 2 - 8/0 seed beads and 3 bugle beads.
11/0 seed beads are used at the beginning of each leg as a fastener and at the end as a foot. Note: We used a little gold colored "foot" bead for this spider so it would be easier to see.
Just so you know, sometimes my sweetie uses 8/0 seed beads instead of the smaller seed beads for the feet.
Each leg has three segments (bugle beds) and two joints (made of 1 8/0 seed bead and two 11/0 seed beads.)
5. To begin a leg, thread the beads onto one wire in the exact sequence shown above.
Just so you have a frame of reference, this is where we are headed.
6. Once all leg beads have been added, the wire is threaded back through all of the leg beads.
The first leg or two may seem fiddly - even impossible - but I promise, if you are patient and follow the steps and hints below, you will soon get the hang of making legs!
7.The "foot" bead (sorry just out of the pix frame) acts as an anchor, so do not run your wire back through the foot bead hole but rather around it.
8. Now begin to thread the wire back through the rest of the leg beads beginning with the bugle bead closest to the "foot" bead.
It is pretty easy to thread the wire through the first three to five beads. Thread the wire through as many as you can and then, to make things easier, slightly separate the beads to expose the wire between them as shown above.
9. Hold both wires together between your thumb and forefinger and slide the remaining beads over the wires. This is much easier than trying to thread one wire through all the beads and will help to prevent kinks from forming in the wire. Work slowly and carefully to avoid kinking the wire. Kinked wires do not go through bead holes easily! Sometimes not at all.
Move and separate the beads as needed as you continue threading.
10. Once the wire has been threaded through all the leg beads, pull it just a bit more so that the end extends a little beyond the last seed bead ("anchor" bead) as shown. You might find a little longer extension, like you see in the next photo, easier to work with at first.
11. Gently slide the whole set of beads (except the foot) toward the "eye" bead until they are almost touching.
12. Pull the wire gently but firmly drawing the "foot" bead toward the leg beads. The easiest way to so this is to hold the leg beads close to the "eye" beads in one hand and pull the wire with the other.
Note: if you are going to get a kink, this is usually when it will happen! Especially when you are making the first two legs. There is a lot of wire! So just work carefully and mindfully to avoid a kink.
If a kink does start to form, it almost always forms in the big loop where the foot bead is waiting patiently. Smooth it out before it it forms a tight kink by opening the loop at the foot end a little and smoothing out the wire before proceeding.
13. Continue pulling the wire and if necessary adjusting beads until the anchor bead at the body end of the leg is resting snuggly against the "eye" bead.
14. Proceed to the wire on the opposite side of the "eyes" and repeat steps 5 through 13.
Congratulations! You have completed two legs! And trust me these are the hardest legs of all!!! As the wires grow shorter, (and your fingers grow smarter) building legs becomes easier!
15. Select two of the 8/0 seed beads - these will become "body" beads.
16. Thread the ends of the wires through opposite sides of the two "body" beads. The wires will exit the two "body" beads on the opposite side of the "body" from where they started!
17. Gently but firmly pull the wires through the beads until the "body" beads are as snug as possible (shown above). Be careful not to pull so tight that the wire breaks.
18. Make a second set of legs.
19. Insert the wires into another pair of "body" beads and pull until snug against the first "body" beads as shown.
20. Make two more legs, add two more "body" beads and finally make the last two legs.
The legs get easier and easier with practice - right?
21. Thread the wires through opposite sides of one 8/0 seed bead, bring together as shown, and thread as if they were one wire through the large abdomen bead.
22. Separate the wires again and thread through opposite sides of a seed bead (either size). Bring the wires together again around the bead and twist the wires several times.
23. Cut the twisted wires to about 1/4" and push into the space between the abdomen and final seed bead. (Note: 28 gauge silver wire is very pliable and the little twist can be easily pushed into the space between the beads using your fingernail.)
You are done! Shape the legs in a spider-y like position and right before your eyes your handful of beads and wires becomes a spider! Depending on the beads you selected it will be cute or creepy!
Note: if you like, you can use three 11/0 seed beads for the leg joints (instead of two 11/0 and a 8/0 bead). But fair warning, if you do so and you choose all black beads, these spiders look pretty darn scary. Seriously! They give me the creeps.
Therefore, we like to make them colorful. We gave away the scary spiders!
Notice that pretty turquoise spider with the red garland bead on his behind! My sweetie made this one for me to hang on my tree during the winter holidays. I understand it is good luck - having a spider lurking about in your Christmas tree.
If you like, you can make a beaded abdomen like this one. Just follow the steps below.
1. You will need more wire for this option, so start with a wire about 5 feet long.
2. Make your spider following steps 1 through 20.
3. Thread wire through three 8/0 beads from both sides just as you did when adding two body beads.
4. Pull the wires so the beads are snug.
5. Use 4 beads to make the next row and then 5 beads for the next threading the wires through the beads from opposite sides just as before. Then add a row of 4 beads and 3 beads and finally 2 beads.
You can see the sequence described clearly in the diagram below. (The trantula body above has been further modified with goulishly green outline beads. So not the best example to follow.)
Spiders look pretty spooky-cool hanging, let me tell you! Even as I am writing, the thought of them hanging in dark corners makes me shiver!!!
Once you become comfortable with the technique, you can use it to create different but similarly shaped creatures - like scorpions. The method can be adapted to accommodate different beads and the body and abdomen can be lengthened or shortened, Use fewer legs for six legged insects. Or make 100 little short legs and make a centipede!
As always, if you have any questions at all, please put it in comments or send an e-mail and we will do our best to answer.