How to Make a Beaded Spider
Make a Beaded Spider for Jewelry or Decoration
This beaded spider is an ideal Halloween decoration or traditional Christmas tree ornament. Large spiders make great pins and pendants, while smaller ones can be used as earrings, rings, and accents on purses and hairpins.
Beaded Spider Overview
The beaded spider project is great for kids (with adult supervision when cutting wire) or is a fun introduction to the art of beading with wire. You should be able to complete a beaded spider within a few minutes, if you make a simple spider, or perhaps an hour, if you use a lot of beads and make a highly-decorated spider.
Beaded Spider Materials
Seed Beads (Optional): Use for eyes and beaded legs
Two Different Size Beads: Head and Body
Stringing Material: I used wire so I could pose my spider, but you can use nylon monofilament or other stringing material. If you use beads with large holes, you could use pipecleaners and bend them, to make the project easier for kids to do and to eliminate the need to cut the wire.
Round Nose Pliers
Find Beaded Spider Materials Online
A super-sized box of beads and accessories with everything you need to make lots of bracelets, rings, necklaces, and more. Comes with multi-colored glass and seed beads, earring hooks, thread and clasps in a convenient store-all case.
Makes 40+ cool bead designs! The two handy sorting/storage trays holds 8,000 beads. The kit also includes 4 fun pegboard shapes, idea booklet, ironing paper and instructions.
Beaded Spider Step 1:
You will need two beads, one for the body and one for the head. I have used two crystals (10 mm and 6 mm), but you can use pearls, rounds, bright polymer clay beads, or any beads that strike your fancy. Will your spider have eyes? I gave this spider 4 eyes (or 2 eyes and 2 fangs), but your spider could be completely different! After you select your beads, string them onto the wire (still attached to the spool) in this order: body, head, eyes. Choose a wire that is thin enough to fit through your beads, but wide enough to be strong. I used 24 ga dead soft wire (any craft wire you get will be soft). Half-hard would work, but full-hard may be too stiff to bend.
Beaded Spider Step 2:
If you have beads for eyes, wrap the free end of the wire below the beads to form a loop. Wrap the wire a second time to secure it and cut it flush. Use pliers to push any sharp edges into toward the head bead. If your wire is thin enough, you can twist the wire together under the eyes and then hide the ends inside the body. Use the same technique for 2 or 3 eyes. If you don't want eyes, you could use a long head pin instead of wire.
Beaded Spider Step 3:
I wanted to use the same wire for the legs that I had used for the spider, so I went ahead and cut my wire, leaving several inches below the body bead. If you are using different wire for the legs, you may prefer to keep your spider on the spool of wire until you are ready to finish it.
Learn to Make More Creations with Beads and Wire
Beaded Spider Step #4:
Cut 4 lengths of wire to form the legs. My pieces are each about 6" long (which is more than I needed). Thicker wire makes stronger legs, but it also makes it harder to wrap the legs between the head and body beads. Select a wire thickness in keeping with the overall size of your spider (I prefer 22 or 24 ga). You won't be able to use thick wire if you have small head and body beads. For small spiders, you may want to use 2 wires to make 4 legs (it still looks like a spider). Grasp all 4 wires together at their middle and wrap them once around the wire between the head and body beads. Pull tightly to snug the wrap around the main wire.
Beaded Spider Step #5:
You can arrange the wires as legs and cut them to the desired length or you can add beads to them. I'm a bead addict and I like to add seed beads and sometime short bugles to the legs. To bead the legs, add the beads in your choice of pattern and length, push them securely against the body, and then make a loop or simply bend the end of the wire back from the last bead. I like to make loops because they give me more points from which to hang the spider.
Beaded Spider Step #6:
Here is my spider with all 8 legs beaded. I pushed the spider down toward the finished end and made a wrapped loop below the body bead. These spiders look great with clear monofilament attached to the loop. If your legs are long enough, you can run monofilament through their ends to give your spider the appearance of spinning a web.
Beaded Spider Step #7:
Here's another spider, this time with 2 eyes and unbeaded legs. This spider was made using 26 gauge enameled green wire. This spider doesn't have any loops. Spiders with no loops work well attached to a pinback or onto a barrette (watch those legs!). If your wire ends are sharp, use a cup burr or file to smooth the ends.
My kids were fascinated by this project, so I gave them pipe cleaners (chenille craft wires) and acrylic crystals and let them make their own spiders. It's a great family project, but do be sure to use care when cutting your wire. Please feel free to send me pictures of spiders you make using these instructions (email@example.com) and I will place them in a gallery for everyone to admire.
Video of Making a Beaded Spider
This is a nice example of a bead and wire spider that you can make. This video demonstrates how to use tools to complete your spider.