Interested in Star Wars? Like beading? If so, I can show you how to create your very own beaded keychain designed after BB-8 from the new movie "The Force Awakens". I used pony beads because they were all I had, but if you used mini-pony beads or even smaller ones they would work just as well. In fact, mine is quite large to be a keychain, so the smaller the beads the smaller your finished product will be. In addition, don’t worry about it changing the look, it won’t. This is just a design; any sized beads will work as long as they are all the same size and match the color scheme I have set up. Most beaded keychain designs just have a key ring at the top, but I
added a chain to help it simulate the droid’s antenna. Also, I had to use copper wire instead of braiding cord because my design was so heavy that it sagged (the wire did fix the sagging compared to cord). However, you might be able to use cord in yours if, as I said before, you use smaller beads, which means less weight. One
more thing, I actually didn’t have any grey beads! So I took some white ones that I had and spray-painted a couple coats of flat grey primer on them. It wasn’t as shiny as the other beads though, so I put a couple coats of satin gloss on them then. After that, it looked good and surprisingly was pretty well bonded onto the plastic beads.
Here is what you will need:
209 white beads
107 orange beads
46 grey beads
11 black beads
A key ring with a chain on it (just take any keychain and rip off the doohickey)
17ft. of braiding cord or copper wire (which ever you prefer)
A pair of needle nose pliers
Wire cutters or scissors to cut either your cord or wire
Step 1: Tying the Knot
Begin with a key ring attached to a chain (see first photo). Take your wire and bend it in half so it’s an even length on both sides. Now push the middle point through the last link in the chain and make the wire open up into a loop (see second photo). Next, you will take both ends of the copper wire and slip them through the loop you have made (see third photo). Finally, pull the wire all the way through, making your knot (see fourth photo).
Step 2: Weaving the Beads
Now take one wire and slip on six grey beads (see fifth photo). Then push the other wire through the same beads (see sixth photo). Pull the wires tight, creating your first row of beads (see seventh photo). Do the same for all the remaining rows of beads (see eighth photo). I can’t show you how to do each individual row, because that would take too long, but it’s the same process each time. Just look at the cover photo or my photo for the last step and slip on the right colored beads in each row. Use the needle nose pliers to pull the wire extra tight after
completing each row. Better yet, snug it up just before you finish tying it off so it won’t slip back into sloppiness. Believe me, if you use full sized pony beads and copper wire you will want to make sure it is nice and snug so it looks good vertically hanging on say, your backpack or something.
Step 3: Twisting the Wire
Once you’re confident that you got all the beads in the right order, take the ends of your wire and twist it together. You may use a pair of pliers if you want to get it tight like mine (look at the final photo to see how tight I got it). Then when it looks like mine trim the ends with a wire cutters to the length of your desire.
Step 4: Finished Product & Reference Photo
This should be your end product. You can use this photo to guide you through the bead placing process. Remember; get it as tight as possible so when you hang it the keychain won’t look sloppy. But make sure it lies flat! You don’t want BB-8 to bunch up.