Make fun bug accessories with wire and beads
by Kelly J. Nicodemus-Miller
hese delightful garden creatures are the only
bugs you’ll love to have around. Sort through
your bead stash and look for beads shaped like
wings, feet, and bug bodies, keeping proportions in
mind. In this case, gathering the beads can be just as
much fun as making the project. Incorporate these
critters as a fun decoration just about anywhere. Hang
them in a window, adhere them to picture frames,
flower pots, and candles, tie them on gifts, or add a pin
back and show off your new garden friend just in time
for summer. Before you know it, you’ll want them
Push the beads together, feet
leaving a little space between them Sting a foot bead on one of the wires
for attaching the wings or feet. about 1⁄4 in. from the body beads. Fold
the wire over the foot bead and twist the
antennae wires together, ending with the long
String a 4mm crystal on one of wire crossing the front of the bug
the wires about 1⁄2 in. (13mm) (photo j). Repeat with the other wire.
from the head bead and fold the Wrap each wire in opposite
wire over the crystal (photo c). directions between the body beads to
Grasp the crystal and the wire the back. Twist the wires together for
with your index finger and your thumb. the length of the body bead below.
Twist the wires together between the Separate the wires and bring one wire
crystal and the head bead to form an around each side to the front and cross
antenna (photo d). Repeat with the the wires between the beads (photo k).
other wire. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to make
Hold both wires together and bring additional pairs of feet.
them down against the head bead. Wrap Go to the instructions for adding a
the wires around the neck, between the pin back or other finishing techniques.
stepbystep head and body bead (photo e). Make
two wraps and end with the wires in the pin back
All four bugs are made using the same back. Don’t cut the wires. Look at the shape of your bug and
wire techniques. First, make the body, decide if the pin back should be placed
starting at the bottom and working up wings vertically or horizontally.
to the head. Then add the antennae and If you are making a caterpillar, skip this Weave each wire through a hole on
form the wings or feet. Finish by attach- section and go to the instructions for the pin back. Pull the wires taught and
ing a pin back or using one of the other making feet. twist them together (photo l).
finishing options. Hold the wires in place at the neck, Secure the pin back by weaving the
All the wirework is done with your wrap one wire around the other, and wires up behind it and back down
fingers. Chainnose pliers can be used to separate the wires so they go in opposite against the twist made in step 2.
tuck in the wire ends, but don’t use directions (photo f). Trim the wires about 1⁄8 in. (3mm)
them to twist the wire – it will break. String a wing bead on one wire, past the bottom of the pin back. Use
leaving about 1⁄8 in. (3mm) between the chainnose pliers to bend the wire ends
body wing bead and the neck. Bend the wire behind the pin back.
Cut a 36-in. (.9m) piece of wire and down along the back of the bead and Gently adjust the wings and tail.
fold it in half. wrap it around the wire exiting from the
Bumblebee: Gently twist 1⁄4 in. (6mm) body (photo g). For beads that are top other finishing techniques
of wire at the fold to make the stinger drilled or have two holes, you won’t For a creature that will be glued to a
(photo a). Then go to step 3. need to bring the wire down against the picture frame, candle, etc., secure the
String a 4mm crystal or a small bead back of the bead. wires with a couple of twists between
on one wire against the fold. For the bumblebee on p. 110, I the wraps for the wings or feet. Trim the
Working from the bottom up, string strung a 3mm silver ball after the wing wires just past the twist and use chain-
the beads over both wires as follows: bead and then brought the wire back nose pliers to tuck the ends in.
Dragonfly: String Czech fire-polished through the wing bead so it would spin. For a plant decoration, continue
and glass beads with silver spacers, the Then in steps 3 and 4, I made the wire twisting the wires to form a stem that can
body bead, and the head bead (photo b). loops larger than the wing beads. be inserted into a pot of soil (photo m).
Butterfly: String the body bead and Form a decorative loop against the Twist in a thicker gauge wire for a
the head bead. front of the bead (photo h). Make longer, sturdier stem.
Caterpillar: String a repeating pattern another wrap to secure the loop. For a hanging critter, twist the wires
of 10-12mm beads and rondelles or Make a large loop around the out- together as described for the plant deco-
silver spacers followed by the head bead. side of the bead and secure it with a few ration. Then make a wrapped loop (see
Bumblebee: String yellow and black wraps (photo i). End with the wire in “Basics,” p. 180). Bend the loop up and
beads for the body followed by the head the back. Do not trim the wire. against the back of the bug (photo n). w
bead. If the bead strung next to the Repeat steps 2-4 with the other wire.
stinger has a large hole and slides off the Repeat steps 2-4 to make a second Bug kits are available for purchase.
wire, string a small bead that fits snug wing below the first on each side. Contact Kelly at (503) 681-9578,
against the wire twist before stringing Go to the instructions for adding a email@example.com, or
the body beads. pin back or other finishing techniques. www.krellydesigns.com.
b h l
c d i
e f j m
g k n
materials • 2 12mm heart-shaped beads (wings)
all • 2 15-20mm flat teardrop or oval beads
• 24-gauge craft wire (wings)
• pin back with 2 or 3 holes caterpillar
• 3 4mm Swarovski crystals (antennae and • 6-10mm round or heart-shaped bead (head)
end of tail) • 3-4 10-12mm lampwork beads (body)
dragonfly • 2-5 4-6mm rondelles or flat silver spacers
• 10mm round or heart-shaped beads (head) (body)
• 18-20mm oval or teardrop-shaped beads • 4-6 4-6mm heart-shaped beads (feet)
• 4 15-22mm pressed glass leaves (wings) • 8mm round bead, yellow (head)
• 3-4 6mm Czech fire-polished beads (tail) • 2 6mm beads, yellow (body)
• 4 6mm rondelles (tail) (optional) • 2 6mm rondelles, black (body)
• 3-6 4-6mm flat silver spacers • 2 6-10mm heart-shaped beads (wings)
butterfly • 2 3mm round silver beads (optional)
• 6-10mm round or heart-shaped bead (head) Tools: wire cutters; chain- and roundnose
• 15-20mm bead (body) pliers (optional)
Bead & Button • June 2004 113
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