Introduction: Beaded Dragons

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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...

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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!!!

Picture of Ta-Dah!!!

Voila! You should have a completed dragon! here are some pics!!!


Nemesis-Perilous (author)2017-10-05

I'm going to have to make an adorable army now.

UmbreonNightfury (author)2017-01-10

cool i modified mine to be a nightfury

Amelia makes stuff (author)2015-05-22

Hey does anyone know what kind of wire she uses? Mine is way to big for the small seed beads.

Plaid1013 (author)2014-11-21

Very good work, so adorable!

kkvam (author)2013-12-07

Thank you for this cool tutorial :) here's my dragon :D

Toralin (author)kkvam2013-12-08

Wow!! That's awesome :D I love your colour choices!

stevbob (author)2013-03-19

Love the dragons. I did rings using the same method when I was in high school (in the 60's).

psunk (author)2012-03-13

Wow, they're great! I'm gonna try to make them... or at least I'll ask my sister to make it.

Autiebell (author)2009-11-21

This is a great instructable...the dragons are so cool!  I'd like to try variations for other animals as well.  Perhaps you've got another instructable in ya?  Hint hint!

Toralin (author)Autiebell2009-11-21

Thank you:) Might do another when I get some free time- I'm glad you like the dragons:)

miyagisan (author)Toralin2011-11-04

what is the ideal guage of wirer to use and why 2 arms length of wire for such a small thing

MurasakiDragon (author)2011-07-23

How long should the wire be for the belly? How do you tie off the top body?

Toralin (author)MurasakiDragon2011-07-23

Wire for the belly doesn't have to be as long as the wire for the body (about the same, but without the legs). I've never measured exactly but I imagine a meter, or an arms span would be way more than sufficient if you're using seed beads. Err on the side of caution; better to go too long than too short, and if you have a length of extra wire, you can always use it for the wings :) As for tying off the body, a regular double knot or a simple wire twist should suffice ^^ Good luck and if you have any more questions, or need more clarification, please don't hesitate to ask!

miyagisan (author)Toralin2011-10-15

what guage of wire?

dragonfan166 (author)2011-07-24

these are awesome im always so bored i never thought about makeing things out of like that i wanna make a lot of them they are cool its funny when you look at them you start to think i wonder if its hard to fly with wings attached to the top of your arm lol the drawings were a little hard to understand but i cant focus in drawings like correctly anyway

Savernal (author)2011-07-02

Very good diagrams.

Two old school beading tips:

If you put a terrycloth towel down on your work surface dropped beads won't bounce off into the rug/oblivion.

If you spill a bunch of beads on the floor you can put a sock or stocking over the end of your hand vacuum and collecting them in the toe of the sock.

Toralin (author)Savernal2011-07-03

Hehe, nice! I never thought of any of that and I'm always losing the tiny little beads! Will have to try that out next time, ty :)

juicymoose (author)2011-04-11

Brilliant my bedroom is full of tiny beaded dragons :)
sooooo cute!!

Toralin (author)juicymoose2011-04-29

Aww, I'm glad they helped bring cuteness to your bedroom (and impressed that you made so many :D)

moira.colette (author)Toralin2011-06-10

i'm new and i though think if you didn't attach wings and attached the legs to the belly instead it looks like a croc

Toralin (author)moira.colette2011-06-10

Hehe, it would indeed :) If you'd like to try it out, let me know how it goes!!!

happyjo (author)2011-04-29

These are radically awesome! :D :D

Toralin (author)happyjo2011-04-29

Thank You! So happy that you enjoy them :)

happyjo (author)Toralin2011-04-30

Yes, I tried to make one but the wire I had was too thick so hopefully I will be able to make one soon! Oh and by the way, this is a very nicely made instructable. Normally I am confused from instrutables of how to make jewelry and charms, but this one was very clear! Congratulations!

spartan181 (author)2011-02-28

well i love these they are great, i find tho its best if u use one peice of wire for the whole body and to join them together makes the dragon alot stronger, im working on incoporation the wings on one peice of wire so i can make them into keychains. if u wanan try this variant its easy just when you get to the tail dont cut the wire and just start making a mirror image of the thing u jsut made (withought the legs of course) and then fold them over and use the same wire to weave them together. srry if someone already does that and im seeming partonising or if the instructable mentioned it and i didnt see. an amazing guide BTW

Toralin (author)spartan1812011-03-01

Hahah what a great idea, I've never even thought of that! Now I've got to try it :) Doesn't seem patronizing at all I always like hearing new ideas and suggestions! Makes me happy when people like the project enough to run with it and throw in their own ideas:) Thanks for posting and I'm glad you like the dragons!

carpfluff (author)2010-10-10

i have a goat out of these beads, but it's 3D. If I could make the 3D kind, my house would be filled with them.

patikiah (author)2009-12-07

haha my mum used to make me make these but I just made lizards! brilliant and easy to understand drawings, great job!
any chance of making a hippo using this technique?? just out interest of course :D

Toralin (author)patikiah2009-12-07

Heheh, tyvm! Hm, a hippo... seems doable, maybe by changing the bead pattern around... have to mess around with these things some more^^

Mattrox (author)2009-03-16


KreaKatri (author)2009-01-20

Really great instructable! One of the few I have read, where I have been completely sure how to do it! You're getting 5 stars from me :) And those dragons are very cute, can't wait to make som fun jewelery with these.

Toralin (author)KreaKatri2009-01-20

Awww, thankyou for the rating! Hahaha, I always stunk at following beading guides but I wanted to make something that made sense to me- I'm really glad that other people can understand it too!

KreaKatri (author)Toralin2009-01-21

Just one question.. Is it normal that it kind of curls when making it, or am I doing it wrong after all?

Toralin (author)KreaKatri2009-01-22

the first layer (top) kind of curls a little bit- the second (belly) layer makes it a little thicker so it doesn't curl- one of the main reasons to add the belly, besides to make it look cool:) The double layer should fix that.

KreaKatri (author)Toralin2009-01-22

Thanks! I figured, but wanted to be sure before making an entire one that wasn't right..

eash (author)2009-01-14

This is absolutely brilliant. I love dragons, so I can't wait to try this. Your instructable is the first beading guide I can actually follow well. It's flawless. Congratulations on writing such a good instructable.

Toralin (author)2008-12-30

Thankyou! Always nice to find other dragon fans:) Have fun with the project!

sgsidekick (author)2008-12-27

These are the coolest I've seen! Can't wait to make some. Both my niece and I are huge dragon fans. Thank you!

ChrysN (author)2008-12-21

Those are really cool, nice instructable!

Tyler W. Cox (author)2008-12-08

This is one of the cleanest, most concise instructables I've ever read. Great job!

Toralin (author)Tyler W. Cox2008-12-13

Why thankyou! I was worried the drawings would be difficult to understand:)

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