Fire Frog's

Beady Critters Page.

I first became interested in beady critters when my Nanny showed me how to make bead butterflies with fuse wire and glass seed beads. Her brother (injured in the fighting) had made them after the war, to help with his rehabilitation. It helped him to recover his dexterity.

.Bead butterfly.

This is a reconstruction of what he made, based on what Nan told me. Cute, and with the right combination of colours - very pretty.

To make beady critters you must first decide on
which of two styles to use. Then you can chose what
items you will need to make them.

Wire Critters

Ribbon Critters.

Small seed beads with big threading holes.

Fuse or craft beading wire.

Horse beads.

Very thin ribbon.

Wire cutters, pliers often have them built in.

Thin nosed pliers. Jewellers pliers.

Sewing kit needle threader.

Glue or nail varnish.

Shallow dishes to put beads in.

Key ring. Earring posts. Broach backing's

Dishes to put beads in.

Key ring.


Wire ones will hang nicely, but they use small beads and are very fiddly. Also the wire needs cutters to be use on it (which have a habit of pinching your fingers!) and the wire ends can cause small stabbing injuries, even to the person wearing it. The tie off can scratch. This style is not recommended for young children.

Ribbon hung beady critters use big, easy to thread horse beads (called that because they were first used to bead horses mains, I think) but they don't hang as well, and are quite large. They also are not as durable and can come undone. They are lots faster to make though and wipe out a lot of the aggravation factor, in that you get results fast.J


A LadyBug made using ribbon and horse beads.


Wire and seed bead LadyBugs.


You will need the right type of beads, ones with large threading holes, and the right thickness of wire or ribbon to go threw each bead 'twice'. This is important, otherwise the weaving that holds the critter together won't work

A fine beader's wire is available from craft shops, or there is fuse wire. Be careful not to kink it, or it may snap off. Thin ribbon is better than cord, that doesn't tie well, or thread that tends to snap, or either of them for shape. The flat ribbon tends to hold beads in place better.

Cvekert has written to say : "For horse beads I found that waxed dental floss works well. You can also get scented floss that really tops it off."

Thanks Cvekert!

You will also need a pattern. They are available from books in the library, or from the internet. Why not ask some of your older relatives if they have ever made beady critters? You might be surprised.

General instructions for critters.

You start at the nose, at the center of your threading wire/ribbon. Thread one bead, then another two, which you pass both ends of wire/ribbon through. In different directions.

Getting the length of wire/ribbon right is quite hard. Try to have a third more than you think you will need. Trust me, too much left over is much better than running out before the end.

Then you end at the tail, tying off the ribbon on a key ring if you want to, or just as a knot. Seal with glue or nail polish, so it won't come undone. With wire, you wind it round itself, or around the key ring. The LabRat below has a handle made from wrapping wire around itself.

Patterns, with instructions.

Sorry to repeat myself with each instruction, but it has to be done. Just click below to see the patterns and instructions.





Place beads ready to use in little dishes, with different colours per dish. Saves you having to look for them later. Put out more beads than the pattern requires, as you often have them pinging off into the stratosphere, never to be seen again (till spring cleaning, when an entire bucket load of the things will be discovered under the settee.)

If you place a bath towel under your work area, the beads that do fall wont bounce, and should be easier to find again.

To prevent yourself weaving the same end back threw the beads when using ribbon, dab one of the ends with a colored texta.



This is a beady LabRat, I make them for my fellow
LabRats at work. They go on keyrings. If you gave
her bigger ears she could be a mouse, pointy ears
and different coloring and she is a fox.

Lucky Ducky

Another one I have made is a duck. My Nanny
takes one to bingo in her purse as her lucky
ducky. This critter is done in plastic beads. I
prefer real seed beads but plastic ones are
bright and colourful, and way cheaper.

For more plastic beady critters look here.


And this is a traditional turtle. It is sewn on to clothing, and looks a lot better if you use a green thread to make it with (sigh.) I saw a picture for it on an American Indian web page:

I used the description for rosettes provided at: (
but it doesn't seem to work any more so try here -
to make the body. Then I just added legs, head and tail, and <should have used> green cotton or ribbon with green beads. Sorry I can't provide a pattern, but I never had one, just kind of copied the picture.

Got any URL's you want to recommend? Please e-mail me, I like to hear from people about what's going on.

Mail Me Quick!

Baby Critters.

These are from a kit I brought at a local toyshop.

More to come!

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