Introduction: Bead Spider Decoration / Jewelry

Picture of Bead Spider Decoration / Jewelry

Creepy crawly and cute. Seeing these spiders, I fell in love. I wont pretend to be a pro jewelry maker or an entomologist. but flying blind I did have fun making 'em. This turned into an addiction for a while and these critters were all over the place. The finished size is roughly four inches. They make cool gifts for about anyone. Well maybe not babies. 

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

Things You''ll Need:
42 Medium beads (not seed beads) 3mm?, 32 of one color, 10 of another
40 Bugle Beads of one color
2 Large Beads (one larger than the other)
1 jump ring
1 Spool of 24 gauge jewelry wire
5 inches of 18 gauge wire
Wire cutters
Rounded Jewelry Pliers
Piece of felt (optional)

I had a learning curve regarding terminology.  I didn't know a Bugle bead was a Bugle bead until I had a craft store employee scratch his head like I came off the short bus and gave me a learnin'. I felt like I was pointing at a shelf and just simply grunting...UGH UGH...BEAD GOOD.....

Bugwise I do know is that a spider body is composed of two segments as opposed to three for regulation insects. And yes I know my leg segments are not anatomically correct. So bear with me for my jargon and indiscretions. The gist hopefully is easy enough to follow. 

As to bead colors, I'm only writing numbers in conjunction to the final piece I made. Go nuts and use any combination that makes sense to you.

I mention the optional felt because since you are beading, you can use it to keep your beads from rolling away. I seen a beading cloth displayed at the craft store for something like $10. What a gyp. I used my free Shamwow. 

Another thing to look for is a grab bag of beads. I found an insanely good deal on a grab bag of large beads at my craft store. The dominance of the beads were unique. Your lucky if four are alike. But two kinda similar ones are all that's needed.

Step 2: Make a Bead Bug Body

Picture of Make a Bead Bug Body
Say it three times fast. I started with the construction of the spider body. 

To Start, take the length of 18 gauge wire and use rounded jewelry pliers to bend a loop at the tip of the wire.

Insert beads and jump ring as indicated in the diagram. 
The medium beads on the ends of the body are from set of ten of a single color.

Using the rounded jewelry pliers again, create another loop at the tail end of the body.
You want to use this to "snug" the body together.
You don't want it too snug. The wire for the legs will need inserted and you can crack your beads as well. 

The loops on the top and bottom can be used to hang your creation. 

A note about the jump ring. I never heard of them before this project. I know they are pre-made metal loops used in finishing jewelry. I couldn't tell you what gauge it is except it is roughly the thickness of a coat hanger. And Yes you could make your own out of bending thick wire. Given the variety of beads I ended up using for different spiders, it made sense to get a bag of thick ones and trim/bend them to conform to different bead scenarios. 

Step 3: Add Wire Spider Legs

Picture of Add Wire Spider Legs
From the spool of 24 gauge jewelry wire, cut four pieces approximately 10-12 inches long.  You could go with a higher gauge and thinner wire. I find that though a little harder to work with, this gauge maintains it's bent shape and isn't as fragile.

Bend these four pieces in half. It can have a fairly pointed corner at the bend.

  • These wires will loop around the thicker center body wire. Two on either side of the jump ring. 
  • Where the leg wire crosses itself, should be on the bottom side of the body. This also goes for the cut side of the jump ring.
  • The jump ring serves as an embellishment that will hide the looping wires. I've seen versions that were visible, but they weren't for me
  • This is where earlier I mentioned not making the body to snug. The wire will kinda "pop" behind the jump ring and around the center wire. It will need a little give by the beads constructing the body.
  • The length of wire is to give one a little more leverage when pulling these wires tight. The excess will be trimmed after compleation.
  • If you find the body beads are too loose after adding the leg wire, you can tighten the bottom loop with your rounded pliers.

Step 4: Beading and Finishing the Legs

Picture of Beading and Finishing the Legs

With the bead-spider on it's back the wire legs legs should splay upwards a bit. 
Commence to a beadin' using the diagram as reference.
The addition of an extra Bugle bead nearest the body is because it will be partially hidden when legs are bent. the added length will give the illusion that all the segments are uniform. These could be swapped out with three or four "seed beads"

When beaded, pull the excess wire towards the body, parallel to the leg and add a little side twist. Clip the excess wire.
As with the body, you will want to pull the wires snug, but not too snug. Extremely tight wire will break beads when positioning the legs. 

An alternative to this bending hook/loop is leave the wire straight and add a small amount of glue to the end of the leg. Let it dry and snip the excess afterwards.
Being impatient I didn't opt for this alternative being I didn't want to wait overnight for the glue to dry. 

Repeat beading and trimming on the other legs.

Step 5: Bend, Shape, Finish

Picture of Bend, Shape, Finish

Flip you spider right side up and bend the legs into a more realistic pose. 

The loops on either end of the body gives hanging  and mounting options.
I have one hanging from my car mirror with black cording.
The spiders I gave away as gifts, I included a small suction cup with a metal hook to stick on windows and smooth surfaces. 

Comments

jacq01uk (author)2012-04-09

I love this spider, I'm going to give it a try tomorrow ;o)