Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Beaded Spider Tutorial

 Here are the simple steps to create a large (about 3-4 inches square) beaded spider. The beads used are for the spider shown. The size of beads can be adjusted to fit the size of spider you want to create. These are fun to create! 
 Step One: Find a large bead for the spider body and a slightly smaller one for the head. Here I'm using a 16mm round bead for the body and a 10mm round bead for the head. I also added a 3mm Swarvoski crystal and a crystal rondelle spacer to the back of the body to just add a little more sparkle. 
 You could also add bead caps and a rondelle in the center of the spider if you desired. Place the beads on a flat head pin and twist the end down like a little coil with a pair of jeweler pliers or needle-nose pliers (use the very tip).
 Step Two: Cut 4 long pieces of wire, about 7 inches long each. Use wire that can easily bend and twist. I use from 24-28 gauge and different colors depending on the spider color. Fold the four wires in the middle, creating eight legs.
Step Three: Place the wires between the head and body beads and twist them in the under side. Thinner wire can be twisted once, but thicker wire will only be able to be "pointed" in the opposite direction...without any actual twists. That is the case with this spider, here is what the wire looks like at the underside of the spider.
Step Four: Plan your beads for the legs. Always start with seed beads because the legs will begin by hugging the body and need to have small beads to start. Add larger beads or combination of beads to mimic "joints" in the legs, there will be two of these areas. Then end with seed beads and bugle beads for long slender portions of the legs. For this spider I've used this sequence of beads for front/back legs: 5 seed beads pink, 4mm flat round pink, 6 mm round ivory pearl, 4mm flat round pink, seed bead, bugle bead, seed bead, 5mm rice bead, seed bead, bugle bead, seed bead, bugle bead, seed bead, bugle bead, seed bead, seed bead. The center legs have one less bugle bead and seed bead than the front and back legs..this is optional as all eight legs could be the same.
Step Five: Place the beads on the wire. Cut the end of the wire until you have about 1" of extra wire left. Twist the end like a spiral until it touches the last seed bead placed. Repeat this to complete all eight legs.
Step Six. The spider is finished. You can play around with the placement of legs until you have a realistic pose. I start by pulling all eight legs straight up and putting the spider body flat on the table with the top facing up. Then I bring the middle legs down bending at the "joints" and having the legs at a straight angle out from the body. The front and back legs are done in a similiar manner but are pointed towards the front and back instead of the side. (Note: This spider would hang from it's "head" because that is the coil end of the head pin...if you wanted it to hang down from it's "tail" the head pin would start at the head and be coiled at the tail instead.)
Here is how the spider looks underneath when finished.
So, go find some beads...and wire...and one flat head pin (or use a piece of wire and coil both and head/tail ends)...and create a beaded spider. Have some fun!

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