How to Make Perfectly Creepy Beaded Spiders

Beaded Spiders

My sweetie has agreed to show us how to make very cool beaded spiders!

Beaded Spider

He learned to make them several years ago and since then has taught the technique to friends and rock & mineral club members.

Beaded Spider - tarantula version

And now he has agreed to share the technique with my readers!

Scorpion version of spider

Once you get the basics figured out - you can create  other many-legged creatures if you like.

Love his scorpion! And his creepy tarantula above!



To make one spider, you will need: 4 feet of 28 gauge non-tarnishing silver wire; 26 - 8/0 seed beads; 50 - 11/0 seed beads; 24 - 1/2" bugle beads; and 1 "abdomen" bead (5/8" to 1" in length).

Tools that are helpful but not necessary: wire cutters; wire straightener; needle nose or round nose pliers. If you do not have these tools, scissors will be sufficient.

Beaded Spider process

1. Gently fold your wire in half (but do NOT crease).

2. Slip two 8/0 beads onto to one half of the wire and slide them to the center. These will become the "eyes" and are more interesting if they are a different color from the 8/0 beads used for the body.

Beaded Spider process

3. Thread one end of the wire back through both beads. Pull until the wire is laying snuggly against the beads. You should now have a wire coming out of each side of the two eye beads. (Note: one wire will be a bit shorter than the other - NOT a problem.)

Beaded Spider process

4. For each leg you will need 6 - 11/0 seed beads, 2 - 8/0 seed beads and 3 bugle beads.

11/0 seed beads are used at the beginning of each leg as a fastener and at the end as a foot. Note: We used a little gold colored "foot" bead for this spider so it would be easier to see.

Just so you know, sometimes my sweetie uses 8/0 seed beads instead of the smaller seed beads for the feet.

Each leg has three segments (bugle beds) and two joints (made of 1 8/0 seed bead and two 11/0 seed beads.)

5. To begin a leg, thread the beads onto one wire in the exact sequence shown above

Beaded Spider process

Just so you have a frame of reference, this is where we are headed.

6. Once all leg beads have been added, the wire is threaded back through all of the leg beads. 

The first leg or two may seem fiddly - even impossible - but I promise, if you are patient and follow the steps and hints below, you will soon get the hang of making legs!

Beaded Spider process

7.The "foot" bead (sorry just out of the pix frame) acts as an anchor, so do not run your wire back through the foot bead hole but rather around it.

8. Now begin to thread the wire back through the rest of the leg beads beginning with the bugle bead closest to the "foot" bead.

It is pretty easy to thread the wire through the first three to five beads. Thread the wire through as many as you can and then, to make things easier, slightly separate the beads to expose the wire between them as shown above.

Beaded Spider process

9. Hold both wires together between your thumb and forefinger and slide the remaining beads over the wires. This is much easier than trying to thread one wire through all the beads and will help to prevent kinks from forming in the wire. Work slowly and carefully to avoid kinking the wire. Kinked wires do not go through bead holes easily! Sometimes not at all.

Move and separate the beads as needed as you  continue threading.

Beaded Spider process

10. Once the wire has been threaded through all the leg beads, pull it just a bit more so that the end extends a little beyond the last seed bead ("anchor" bead) as shown. You might find a little longer extension, like you see in the next photo, easier to work with at first.

Beaded Spider process

11. Gently slide the whole set of beads (except the foot) toward the "eye" bead until they are almost touching.

Beaded Spider process

12. Pull the wire gently but firmly drawing the "foot" bead toward the leg beads. The easiest way to so this is to hold the leg beads close to the "eye" beads in one hand and pull the wire with the other.

Note: if you are going to get a kink, this is usually when it will happen! Especially when you are making the first two legs. There is a lot of wire! So just work carefully and mindfully to avoid a kink.

If a kink does start to form, it almost always forms in the big loop where the foot bead is waiting patiently. Smooth it out before it it forms a tight kink by opening the loop at the foot end a little and smoothing out the wire before proceeding.

Beaded Spider process

13. Continue pulling the wire and if necessary adjusting beads until the anchor bead at the body end of the leg is resting snuggly against the "eye" bead.

Beaded Spider process

14. Proceed to the wire on the opposite side of the "eyes" and repeat steps 5 through 13.

Congratulations! You have completed two legs! And trust me these are the hardest legs of all!!! As the wires grow shorter, (and your fingers grow smarter) building legs becomes easier!

Beaded Spider process

15. Select two of the 8/0 seed beads - these will become "body" beads.

16. Thread the ends of the wires through opposite sides of the two "body" beads. The wires will exit the two "body" beads on the opposite side of the "body" from where they started!

Beaded Spider process

17. Gently but firmly pull the wires through the beads until the "body" beads are as snug as possible (shown above). Be careful not to pull so tight that the wire breaks.

Beaded Spider process

18. Make a second set of legs.

Beaded Spider process

19. Insert the wires into another pair of "body" beads and pull until snug against the first "body" beads as shown.

Beaded Spider process

20. Make two more legs, add two more "body" beads and finally make the last two legs.

The legs get easier and easier with practice - right?

Beaded Spider process

21. Thread the wires through opposite sides of one 8/0 seed bead, bring together as shown, and thread as if they were one wire through the large abdomen bead.

Beaded Spider process

22. Separate the wires again and thread through opposite sides of a seed bead (either size). Bring the wires together again around the bead and twist the wires several times.

23. Cut the twisted wires to about 1/4" and push into the space between the abdomen and final seed bead. (Note: 28 gauge silver wire is very pliable and the little twist can be easily pushed into the space between the beads using your fingernail.)

Beaded Spider process

You are done! Shape the legs in a spider-y like position and right before your eyes your handful of beads and wires becomes a spider! Depending on the beads you selected it will be cute or creepy!

Beaded Spider

Note: if you like, you can use three 11/0 seed beads for the leg joints (instead of two 11/0 and a 8/0 bead). But fair warning, if you do so and you choose all black beads, these spiders look pretty darn scary. Seriously! They give me the creeps.

Beaded spiders

Therefore, we like to make them colorful. We gave away the scary spiders!

Notice that pretty turquoise spider with the red garland bead on his behind!  My sweetie made this one for me to hang on my tree during the winter holidays. I understand it is good luck - having a spider lurking about in your Christmas tree.

Beaded Spider process

If you like, you can make a beaded abdomen like this one. Just follow the steps below.

1. You will need more wire for this option, so start with a wire about 5 feet long.

2. Make your spider following steps 1 through 20.

3. Thread wire through three 8/0 beads from both sides just as you did when adding two body beads.

4. Pull the wires so the beads are snug.

5. Use 4 beads to make the next row and then 5 beads for the next threading the wires through the beads from opposite sides just as before. Then add a row of 4 beads and 3 beads and finally 2 beads.

You can see the sequence described clearly in the diagram below.  (The trantula body above has been further modified with goulishly green outline beads. So not the best example to follow.)

Beaded Spider process 5. Twist the wires together several times and either hide them in the areas between beads or form them into a loop for hanging.

Spiders look pretty spooky-cool hanging, let me tell you! Even as I am writing, the thought of them hanging in dark corners makes me shiver!!!

Scorpion version of spider

Once you become comfortable with the technique, you can use it to create different but similarly shaped creatures - like scorpions. The method can be adapted to accommodate different beads and the body and abdomen can be lengthened or shortened, Use fewer legs for six legged insects. Or make 100 little short legs and make a centipede!

As always, if you have any questions at all, please put it in comments or send an e-mail and we will do our best to answer.

Well, it finally happened: I

Well, it finally happened: I absolutely HATE your post today. As a true, died-in-the-wool, unapologetic arachnaphobe it seems so tremendously silly to actually want to have more spiders, of any ilk, in the world. And I'm extra peeved because I wish your beaded spiders weren't so darned cute! How can I HATE then if they're so cute? I've actually been working on beaded butterflies and other insects but I may have to let you take care of the spiders- which are cute. For arachnids :)

They are positively gorgeous,

They are positively gorgeous, but I'm still creeped out :-).

Such talent in your house.

Such talent in your house. I'd love to see the amazing webs these spiders would spin - they're stunning!

Ha!  those spiders are on

Ha!  those spiders are on their own making webs!  Can you even imagine creating a web - a nice big web - out of wire and beads?  Even the idea makes my brain explode!!!

I've been meaning to make

I've been meaning to make beaded creatures for years, since I was a nanny and did these with one of my kids, maybe I'll finally get around to it. Thanks for the tutorial!

You are welcome!  But I bet

You are welcome!  But I bet you can't make just one!!!

The spiders are awesome! As a

The spiders are awesome! As a crazy quilter, I'm always looking for new ideas on spider making . . . you need a nice spider and web for good luck in your CQ blocks! These are plain outrageous and will steal the show! LOL Please thank your sweetie for sharing!

Oh my goodness!  Thank you

Oh my goodness!  Thank you Karen for making time to leave all these kind words in comments.  You made my sweetheart smile.

Those are SO great! I bet The

Those are SO great! I bet The Boy gets a kick out of all the lovely permutations. He thinks creepy crawlies are super-cool (unlike his mother)!

And LIKE his mother, he

And LIKE his mother, he probably has the aptience to make 100 little legs!!!

They are so amazing. And

They are so amazing.
And every one is different!

omg!! I came here a half

omg!! I came here a half hour ago to catch up and got interrupted by


and now I'm back, and LOOK!! My spiders!!

Okay, I really only have two, but still!!