Introduction: Beaded Lizard

About: I am a computer programmer. I like to cook and make awesome things.

Back when I was in girl scouts (I was probably in middle school at the time), we learned how to make these at camp. I've made a few since then. They're pretty easy as long as you know the pattern.

These are a great craft to do and I'm sure one could easily come up with other "animals" to make.

I usually make them into key chains, but you could use them for other things. Maybe you could make a lizard zipper pull or just use it as decoration.

Step 1: Materials

You will need the following:
  • Seed Beads.
    These are tiny glass beads, probably the smallest you can find. This would probably work alright with similar-sized beads but I think if the beads are too big, the "folding" that you will see might not work right. Unless you're doing some crazy colors, you'll need:
    • 50 for the top color
    • 41 for the bottom color
    • 2 for the eyes
  • Fishing line.
    The stuff I have is 4lb test, I think as long as it fits through the hole in the beads (twice), it will work. (I think I bought the lighter stuff because it's cheaper)
  • Scissors
    To cut the fishing line
  • Key Ring
  • Jump Ring
    Optional - If you're going to attach the guy to anything by his nose, you'll need one of these. They will let the lizard move freely around the key ring or whatever you attach it to without hurting the fishing line. Ideally you'll want a "split" jump ring (these look like a tiny key ring, they won't have a space for the fishing line to fall out). You could probably make one of these out of some wire too.

Step 2: Find Your Colors

I have the amounts needed listed in the materials step. If you have any seed beads, you probably have plenty. The pattern is shown below and I will include it in each step for reference. In the pattern, the "top" color is shown in black, the "bottom" color is white, and the eyes are blue.

Shown below are a few examples of colors I've done. In this instructable, I will make one with a green top, black bottom, and orange eyes. He's shown in the middle. The others pictured:
  • Top - silver on top, black on bottom, blue eyes
  • Right - black and blue striped on top, black on bottom, green eyes
  • Bottom - Black on top, white on bottom, light blue eyes
  • Left - gold on top, silver on bottom, black eyes
Another cool combo that I did (I don't know where he went) was random pastel colors on top, white on bottom. I don't remember what the eyes were but it was cool.

Step 3: Start Creating

First, cut a length of fishing line. You don't really need much for the finished product, but you want enough to work with. I'd say maybe about 2 feet.

The lizard will start in the middle of the fishing line. We're starting with the nose and working our way down.

If you're attaching a jump ring, slide it onto the fishing line.

Take both ends of the fishing line and string a bead (top color) onto one end. Take the other end and string it through the bead the opposite way (see pictures). Pull both ends evenly so that the bead is at the middle of the length of fishing line. It should stay in place on its own. If you put a jump ring on, it will be tight up against the bead.

*Note: When I took the pictures, I didn't realize how terrible the background was. I was sitting on the couch and taking pictures under the lamp next to the couch. I photoshopped the background to black so they might look a little weird, but they're better than they were.

Step 4: Continue the Head

Following the pattern, we need to add a row of two of the bottom color:
  • Grab one end of the fishing line and slide two bottom-color beads onto it
  • Insert the other end through the beads in the opposite direction (like the single bead, see pictures)
  • Pull each string, tightening the 2-row up against the starter bead.
In a similar fashion, we'll add a row of 2 of the top color. Ideally, this should fold nicely so that you get a sort of "triangle" of rows if you're looking from the side. The two rows of top color should be up against each other. It's tough to get it to look right on this step, but by the time we add another row, they should line up. (note- you want the fishing line as tight as possible so that it folds correctly)

Then we'll add a row of 3 of the bottom color the same way. Now they will line up so you can see two top-color rows from one angle and two bottom-color rows from the bottom.

Continue on this way, following the pattern, until you reach the first set of legs. (after the next row of 2 bottom-color beads)

When you do the "eyes" row, you'll do one top color, two eye color, and one top color all in a row.

Step 5: Legs

The first set of legs happen after a row of 2 bottom-colored beads. The second set of legs is after a row of 3 bottom-colored beads. Refer to the pattern.

Each leg is on one string only. For a leg, you'll string four of the top-colored beads onto the end of one string. Then add one bottom-colored bead and thread the end of the string back through the four top-colored beads (see pictures). From there, you can slide the leg up against the body.

Repeat for the other leg.

Note: After a set of legs is a good place to take a break. If you don't have time to finish, the legs will hold it pretty tight.

Continue on with the body as outlined in the pattern and then add the second set of legs.

Step 6: Add the Tail and Finish

After the second set of legs, continue on following the pattern.

When you hit the last 5 top-colored beads, you'll have to let the fishing line stay a bit looser so that it doesn't fold the beads - you want the tail to be straight.

Tie a knot at the end a few times so that it stays, cut the excess line.

If you're adding a key chain or similar, slide it on now.