Say BOO! with Beaded Spiders
Beaded Spiders are very popular as holiday ornaments. Most jewelry makers are making them for Christmas. I am making them for Halloween decorations. Small ones can be used as focals with ribbon necklaces or simple chains. They can dangle from mirrors and lampshades in your home. I am using memory wire with my beaded spiders to create a dangling web and then they can be used for suncatchers this fall. Take a look at my designs.
I visited several sites that discussed how to make beaded spiders. Most had a cute story that went with the Christmas holidays (why we have tinsel on our trees). Here is how I adapted all of these tutorials. Here are some of the tutorials that I bookmarked.
Spider Tutorial #1 I tried this one and I did not care for the wrapping of 4 leg wires and working them thru the filigree bead cap. It was too cumbersome for me.
Spider Tutorial #2 This tutorial will show you how to make a spider without using a headpin. Instead of making 2 eyes for the spider you can make a wrapped loop for attaching the spider to something. Also put small bead in center of wire for body and thread both wires thru two parts for body. I originally make the two eyes and used rosettes at tail but I liked my adaptation better.
Spider Tutorial #3 I liked this one the best. It was my main resource.
How I did my beaded spiders
First….. I found it easiest to use a long headpin to make the body. You can use sturdy (20 gauge) piece of wire and wrap to make the body. I made a wrapped loop at the front to attach to the memory wire.
The trickiest part is the legs. Use thinner wire and cut 4 equal lengths. Take a pair of wires and twist them in the center. Then take this twisted wire and wrap it tightly between the head bead and body bead. Pull VERY hard like you are trying to tie a shoe lace REALLY tight. Repeat this with the other pair of wires. Spread the wires out so that you have 4 on each side. Despite all of your efforts it is likely that some legs are shorter than others. Don’t stress. Check the legs and first bead the shortest leg of your spider using any pattern of your choice. I found small round beads and bugle beads worked the best. The addition of the round beads give you some flexibility in bending the legs WITHOUT wire showing. Leave enough space at the end to make a small coil. I always started with a small round bead and wedged it between head and body. The pattern that you made for your first leg will be the pattern and number for all of your other legs. You will be tempted to start shaping the legs to look like spider legs. If you can—wait until you have beaded all of the legs.
Next bead a length of memory wire (about 3 or 4 circles) and attach one end of the memory wire to the wrapped loop at the head of the spider.
Some of my spiders were not heavy enough to pull down the memory wire. To fix this, I made a spider web.
Here is tutorial I used for web. I only used step one of this tutorial. Spider Web Tutorial
Cut 4 lengths of 20 or heavier gauge wire. Cut the wire long enough so the web and spider will be proportional. Wrap the wire in the center and fan the wire out to look like a web. Now get a long length of thinner wire. Wrap some in the center and then work your way to the outside. Wrap once around a wire then go the the next and wrap then the next and wrap and continue until you are at the edge. Make rosette at end of each wire.
Attach your spider to the web you just made using the spider leg coils. I liked mine off center but it’s your spider…do what you want. Attach the memory wire to one of the rosettes of the web.