Introduction: Beaded Dragons
This guide will teach you how to make Dragons out of beads and wire! These make great charms or trinkets, can be converted into jewelery, key-chains, clips, etc. You can attach the to clothes, bookmarks, just about anything, and they make great hand-crafted gifts!
You'll need about 3 to 4 feet of fine wire, 199 seed bead (plus extras in case you lose a few) in at least 2 different colours (I usually use 3-5 colours), and a pair of scissors. These are sold at numerous art supply or craft stores.
Step 1: Materials & Getting Started
First measure yourself two arm's lengths of wire, which should be way more than enough, especially since you will be using seed beads. It has to be thin wire, fine enough to fit through the beads you are using at least twice. It's better to use too much wire than too little. Too much, and you can use the excess to make the wings or to connect the dragon pieces together. Too little and you need to start over.
You'll need 199 seed beads. Those are those really tiny little beds about a millimeter wide each, though sizes may vary a bit. You can pick these up in most art supply stores. Though the dragons consist of 199 beads apiece, you will need more than that, A. because you probably want an assortment of fun and funky dragon colours, and B. because you will almost certainly lose a few beads while making the dragons because they are teeny and lightweight.
Have a pair of scissors handy too, for cutting the wire.
A. String two beads on the wire. MAKE SURE they fall to the center of the wire.
B. Now string two more beads onto wire A (see picture) and CROSS wire B through those same two beads in the opposite direction. Your wires should cross inside the beads and emerge from different sides.
C. Pull the wires tight. Congratulations! You've created your second row!
Step 2: Adding Rows 3 & 4
D. Add the next row of 3 beads. String them onto wire A (you could also use B, but for the sake of this guide, let's just say A) and cross wire B through all 3 beads in the opposite direction. Pull the wires taut.
E. Now it's time to add the eyes! Make sure they are a different colour from the rest of your dragon's body. Add 5 beads to wire A in this pattern: Body colour, eye colour, body colour, eye colour, body colour. Then cross wire B through all 5 beads in the opposite direction. Pull the wires taut to add your row.
Step 3: Rows 1-9
F. Continue up to your 9th row of beads using the diagram below and the same technique you used for the first 4 rows. No surprises here- keep going! Remember to pull the wires taut after adding each new row. When you finish the 9th row, (it will be a row of 4 beads) STOP!
It is now time to add the first pair of legs!
Step 4: Adding the Legs
G. String 7 beads onto either one of the wires, then loop the SAME wire back through the FIRST 4 BEADS ONLY in the opposite direction. You should now have a 3 toed leg. Repeat the same process with the other wire on the other side of the dragon.
Step 5: You Should Now Have...
I. You should now have something that looks like this: 9 rows of beads and the first 2 legs!
Step 6: What the Completed Top Body Should Look Like
J. Continue adding rows of beads as you normally would until your body is completed. Remember to insert the next pair of legs between the next 2 rows of 4 beads. The legs are always added between two rows of 4 beads, both the front and the back legs.
When you finish this pattern, tie the loose ends of your wire into a knot at the dragon's tail. Cut the excess wire away with your scissor.
Congratulations, you have finished your dragon's Top Body!
Step 7: This Is the Pattern for the Belly
K. Make the belly separately from the Top Body of the dragon. Use the excess wire from the Top Body if you have enough. It's the same as the top body except it has no legs or eyes. I recommend making it a different colour from the top body for variation.
Step 8: Wing Pattern
L. This is the wing pattern- use two different colours for best results. When you are finished DO NOT clip the excess wire. You will be using it to connect the wings to the body. Make 2 wings.
Step 9: Connecting the Top Body, Belly & Wings
M. Use a third piece of wire (or excess wire from Belly or Top Body if you have enough) to literally sew the top body and belly together. Make sure the body halves are aligned properly with their rows matching.
Weave your wire in and out and work your way around the outside edge of the dragon while keeping the beads lined up. I start at the tip of the tail and end at the tip of the tail. When you are done sewing the halves together tie a knot and cut the excess wire.
N. Now that you've connected the body top and the belly, it's time to add the wings. Use the excess wire from the wings to fasten the wings around the front legs, working it through the wire on the already-connected Top Body and Belly as you do. Use the excess wing wire to tie a knot underneath the front legs. Repeat this procedure for both wings. Now snip.
Step 10: Ta-Dah!!!
Voila! You should have a completed dragon! here are some pics!!!