Habitat: Asia; Europe; North America Length: ¼ to ? inch (8 to 10 mm)
This relatively challenging project calls on a variety of techniques to create one of the undisputed stars of the bug world, the ladybug. It may take a little practice to get an ideally neat result, but the finished options are so cute that it’s worth taking a bit of extra time to get this insect absolutely right. It makes an ideal desk ornament.
From Beaded Bugs: Make 30 Moths, Butterflies, Beetles, and Other Cute Critters by Nicola Tedman with Jean Power/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC
All 30 options are based on six straightforward prototypes. Graded projects take you from your first simple butterfly to more complex beetles and bugs. The projects are based on species from around the world; they include a few facts on each bug and an easy-to-follow pattern.© 2013 Nicola Tedman / Andrews McMeel Publishing · Reproduced with permission.
Making the Head
Cut a 31-inch/80-cm length of wire. Following the Front of Head chart on page 66, bead rows 1 through 11. Weave back through the last two rows, trim, and bend the wires to finish.
Cut a 31-inch/80-cm length of wire. Thread eight black seed beads onto it. Refer to the Top of Head chart on page 66 to see how these beads (row A) join rows 1 and 11. Thread the wire ends through rows 1 and 11, making sure you go through the correct side as shown. Thread the wires back through rows 2 and 10 and pull tight.
For row B, thread eight black seed beads onto the right wire and thread this into row 2. Pass the left wire through these beads and into row 10. Pull tight.
Continue weaving through the work to add rows C and D; your wires will then be exiting rows 4 and 8.
Following the Feelers chart on page 66, thread one black bugle and three black seed beads onto each wire. Skip the last bead and pass back through the other three beads and into rows 5 and 7. Use the bradawl to tighten.
Make a row of two black seed beads to fill the gap at the top of the head. Pass both wires back through rows 5 and 7.
Thread both wires up row 6. Thread one wire inside the head. Thread the second wire over and between the last two seed beads and inside the head. Twist together on the inside. Trim both wires to ¼ inch/5 mm.
Adding the Elytra
Cut a 35-inch/90-cm length of wire. Holding the head facing toward you, thread the wire into row 1 and the first three beads of row A (the three closest to the right edge). Center the wire and, following the Elytron chart on page 66, begin beading the left elytron. When all rows are completed, secure the wires and trim.
Mirror repeat Step 9 to bead the right elytron.
Use your fingers to bend and curve the elytra into a round shape so that the head and elytra will lay flat on a table.
Lacing the Elytra
You will now use seed beads to join the two elytra. Cut a 16-inch/40-cm length of wire. Center it through the two beads at the back of the head that don’t have elytra attached.
Thread two black seed beads onto the right wire and thread the left wire through this new row. Hook the right wire behind the loop between rows 1 and 2 of the right elytron. Mirror the hooking on the left side.
Add one black seed bead to the right wire; thread the left wire through in the opposite direction. Hook each wire around the next loop on the elytron on the appropriate side.
Continue lacing, using fi rst one white seed bead, then four black seed beads, and fi nally 10 red seed beads, threading and hooking the wires as you did in Step 13 after you add each bead.
To finish lacing, add two more rows of one red seed bead and then one row of two red seed beads. Since there are no loops left to attach to, pass through, one at a time, the three beads in row 17 of the elytron. Weave the wire into the work to secure and trim.
Making the Belly
Cut a 35-inch/90-cm length of wire and thread five black seed beads onto it. Turn the ladybug over and thread each end of the wire behind the loops between rows 3 and 4 and 8 and 9 on the head.
Following the Belly chart on page 66, bead rows 2 through 19; before picking up each row, hook the wire under the next loop on the elytra to lace the work together as you go. To add the legs to the ends of rows 5, 8, and 11, thread one black bugle bead and one black seed bead three times onto each wire, then skip the last bead added and pass down through the other five. Continue with the next row as usual.
Weave your wires back through two rows to secure, then trim and hide. Finally, use a small modeling tool with a round end or a cotton swab to poke into the body through the hole at the end of the. Use the tool and your fingers to straighten the rows and perfect the ladybug’s shape.