Introduction: Beaded 3D Turtle

Picture of Beaded 3D Turtle

Looking for a unique handmade gift for a friend? Want to try a new craft project?

These instructions will walk you through how to make a beaded 3D turtle that you can put on a keychain, etc.

Have no fear if you have never done a beading project before, as each step will be explained in detail. If you're experienced, you can simply focus on the pictures.

Look through the list of materials needed and gather what you need before you start. I recommend that you complete the project in one sitting. It will take approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete.

Find a comfortable place to sit, make sure you have adequate lighting, and let’s get started!

Notes

  • Remember to pull the strings tight after each step so the beads are snug and the finished product will be stiff.
  • Pay attention to the orientation in referenced figures because the steps refer to the strings in relation to the figures’ orientations.
  • Strings are referred to as left and right or top and bottom. Please refer to the figures if this becomes confusing at any point.

Step 1: Materials Needed

Picture of Materials Needed
  • 28 beads of one color (body)
  • 12 beads of another color (shell)
  • 2 black beads (eyes)
  • 1 meter of thin nylon/monofilament string
  • scissors

Beads don’t have to be a particular size or type, but they must be consistent (same size and type). The smaller the beads are (<2.5 mm), the more difficult it gets. Beads that are too large reduces the stiffness of the structures.

I recommend bicone beads within 3-8 mm. Spherical beads of similar sizes are also good choices.

5.8 mm bicone beads are used in this tutorial. White is used for the body and orange is used for the shell.

Step 2: Making the Body

Picture of Making the Body

Only body beads will be used in this section.

You will be making a 4 section right angle weave (commonly abbreviated as RAW).

  1. Thread 4 beads onto the middle of the string.
  2. Take one end of the string and thread it through the last bead. (Figure 1)
    Check that your orientation matches Figure 1's!
  3. Thread 3 beads onto the right string.
  4. Cross the left string through the last bead strung. (Figure 2)
  5. Thread 3 beads onto the top string.
  6. Cross the bottom string through the last bead strung. (Figure 3)
  7. Thread the right string through the bead adjacent to the bead the string is currently in (circled red in Figure 4), away from completed sections.
  8. Thread 2 beads onto the right string.
  9. Cross the left string through the last bead strung to complete the RAW. (Figure 4)
  10. Double knot the strings.
    Before knotting, make sure strings are tightened so that beads are snug!There should be no gaps between contact points.
  11. Cross strings back through the same bead the knot was made at.
  12. Orient sections so that bead with the strings passing through is at the top left corner. (Figure 5)

Step 3: Making the Shell

Picture of Making the Shell

Only shell beads will be used in this section.

You will be making another 4 section RAW.

  1. Thread 1 bead onto either string.
  2. Cross the other string though the bead.
    Verify that orientation of your own assembly matches Figure 6.
  3. Thread 3 beads onto the right string.
  4. Cross left string through the last bead strung. (Figure 6)
  5. String 3 beads onto bottom string.
  6. Cross top string through the last bead strung (Figure 7)
  7. String 3 beads onto left string.
  8. Cross right string through the last bead strung (Figure 8)
  9. Thread right string through the bead adjacent to the bead the string is currently in (circled white in Figure 9), away from completed sections.
  10. Thread 2 beads onto left string.
  11. Cross right string through the last bead strung to complete the RAW. (Figure 9)

Step 4: Putting the Shell and Body Together

Picture of Putting the Shell and Body Together
  1. Thread one of the string downwards back through the current bead and the bead below (Figure 10). String should go through that entire side of the RAW.
  2. Take the other string and thread it upwards through only the current bead. (Figure 11)
  3. Fold the body and shell RAWs on top of one another so that the sides with the adjacent beads line up with the gaps of the other RAW. (Figure 12)
  4. Thread the strings through the beads as shown in Figure 13.
    After pulling the strings tight, the body RAW should be flat and the shell RAW should be a round dome on top of the body.Don’t forget to tighten strings!

Step 5: Completed Body

Picture of Completed Body

The completed body should look like Figure 14.

Step 6: Making the Head

Picture of Making the Head

Beads used in this section are body beads unless otherwise specified.

  1. Thread 1 bead onto either string.
  2. Cross other string through the bead. (Figure 15)
  3. Thread 1 bead onto each string.
  4. Thread 1 more bead onto one of the strings (either string works).
  5. Cross the other string through that bead. (Figure 16)
  6. Repeat Steps 3-5. (Figure 17)
  7. Thread 1 black (eye) bead onto each string.
  8. Repeat Steps 4-5. (Figure 18)
  9. Thread 1 bead onto each string Loop chain of bead upwards toward the bead closest to the body (circled blue in Figure 18).
  10. Cross strings through that bead.
  11. Check that the eyes are in the right position (top of head). (Figure 19)
    • If eyes are not in the right position, slightly loosen beads and flip the loop inside out. Tighten the assembly.
    • If eyes are already in the right position, tighten the assembly until head is no longer loose.
  12. Double knot the strings.
  13. Cross strings back through the bead that they were knotted at.

Step 7: Legs and Tail

Picture of Legs and Tail

Only body beads will be used in this section.

  1. Thread strings through the flat bottom RAW (body) followingFigure 20.
    • Add 1 bead for each leg.
    • Add 2 beads for the tail.
  2. Double knot the strings together.
    Make sure this knot does not unravel, or the entire project will come apart.
  3. Thread strings randomly back through the beads. This secures the knot and hides the string.
  4. Cut off the strings.

Step 8: It's Complete!

Picture of It's Complete!

Comments

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2016-10-12

Great looking jewelry piece.

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