Introduction: Beaded Spider Tutorial

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After spending more than half of a year making a beaded spider every day (see 365 Spiders at, I have come up with some fairly far-fetched versions of the average (beaded) spider. This tutorial is meant to be a simple introduction so that after you have created your first few spiders, you'll begin to see the ways in which you can stretch and bend these guidelines to come up with unique creations of your own. And I hope that you do!

Step 1: The Right Stuff

Step 2: Get Snippy With It

Using your wire snips, cut 5 pieces of wire approximately 5 inches in length. One of the wires will be used to thread your eyes. The other 4 wires will be used for the spider legs.

Step 3: Eye(s) of the Spider

Thread two seed beads onto one of your pieces of wire. Move the beads to the center of the wire, and fold the wire in half. To the best of your ability, pinch the two pieces of wire just beneath the beads to contain the beads as much as possible and make for a smoother transition when you thread the other body beads.

Step 4: Stuck in the Middle

Thread the 3 beads that you chose for your spider’s body onto the wire with the eyes in order of head, middle, abdomen (small, medium/spacer, large). The reason that you are threading a medium or spacer bead onto this stem is to help evenly space your spider’s legs so they’re not all crammed together in the center of the spider’s body once you get the beads on the legs.

Step 5: Do the Twist

Once you have threaded your 3 body beads onto the wire, use your wire snips to shorten the remainder of your two wire pieces, leaving about 1/4 inch of wire. Then, use your needle-nose pliers to curve the wire into a loop.

Step 6: (continued)

Use your flat-nose pliers to continue the curve once you start the initial loop until the spiral is tight up against the bottom bead. This not only keeps your body beads from falling off but keeps the legs from rotating around the spider body while you’re trying to bead them.

Step 7: She's Got Legs

Taking two wires at a time, wrap your wires first around the top of your center bead, bringing the wire lengths back around to the front, then around the bottom of your center bead in the same manner. The back of your spider will resemble the picture.

Step 8: Just Bead It

Once all of your leg wires are wrapped around the spider body, you can begin beading. You can be creative with the beading, and you don’t necessarily have to follow this order, but as a primer, start with:

* two bugle beads
* one seed bead
* one E or spacer bead
* one seed bead

Repeat one more time; finish with two bugle beads.

Step 9: My Only Friend, the End

When you finish beading a leg, trim the excess wire with your wire snips. Leave just enough wire to loop once around. If your wire is thin enough and your bead hole big enough, you might be able to thread the end of the wire back into the bead. You can also be creative with the leg ends and create a spiral like you did in Step 5.

Step 10: Smooth Operator

Slightly bend each leg where your E or spacer bead is located to give your spider its creepy angular legs.

Step 11: Ooo, She's a Little Runaway

Take the time to make a few more minor adjustments to the legs so that they’re angled the way you want, and if your spider is a little loose (legs that want to spin around or a body frame that seems a little shifty), turn your spider upside-down, apply some E-6000 glue to places where the wires twist around the center body bead, and let you spider dry for a few hours. Optional: glue a pin back to the back of your spider so you can wear it as a pin.

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