Why Every Christmas Tree Needs a Spider:
A long time ago in Germany, a mother was busily cleaning for Christmas. The spiders fled to the attic to escape her broom. When the house became quiet the spiders slowly crept downstairs for a peek.
Oh what a beautiful Christmas tree they saw!
In their excitement they scurried up the trunk and out along each branch. They were filled with happiness as they climbed all over the glittering tree. As they climbed, the tree became completely shrouded in their dusty grey spider webs.
When St. Nicholas came with the gifts for the children and saw the tree covered with spider webs, he smiled because saw how happy the spiders were, but he knew how heartbroken the mother would be if she saw the tree covered with the dusty webs.
So he turned the webs to silver and gold. The tree sparkled and shimmered and was even more beautiful than before.
That's why we have tinsel on our tree and every tree should have a Christmas spider in its branches!
~Author Unknown (and the story varies - sometimes Santa Claus is the leading man)
1. 4 pieces of 24 gauge wire (approx. 8" long each)
2. 1 eye pin (approx. 2" long, a lower gauge for durability)
3. 1 bead cap (sized to cover largest bead perfectly)
4. 1 large bead (like this or this for the body)
5. 1 small bead (for the head)
6. Seed beads
7. Bugle beads
1. Needle nose pliers
2. (Optional) Wire cutters
The Time Required:
Once you get the hang of it, no more than 15 minutes per spider.
First, cut the wire for the spider legs (I recommend doing a bunch at one time).
Wrap all four wires gently around your finger. Keep them as neat & lined up as possible:
|Make a gentle loop, not a kink or bend.|
Hold the spider body together tightly and adjust the wires so they come out of the bead cap similar to a real spider's legs. Holding the spider together tightly, trim excess wire from the eye pin (using either your needle nose pliers or wire cutters) leaving enough to create a loop:
To create a loop, use the same steps I outlined in this post about DIY earrings & this post about my DIY pearl & chain necklace. Bend the wire in one direction then, using your needle nose pliers, gently bend the wire to create a loop in the opposite direction:
Once your spider's body is nice and tight (not wibbly-wobbly), move on to beading the legs. Thread on one seed bead, then a bugle, then a seed bead . . . until the legs are the "right" length (this is purely subjective). For this spider, I used one short bugle and three longer bugles. You can mix it up with size and colour but don't ditch the seed beads because they act as "joints". When you've threaded a leg, trim the excess wire and close with a loop. Make sure not to make the legs too tight, or beads might break when you bend the the legs. But not too loose, either, because you might see gaps. You'll get the feel for it! Finish beading all of the legs.
Your spider might look a bit octopus-like when you're done. Take some time to bend and shape the legs the legs. It will take some fiddling, but that's the fun part!
And that's it!
For one-of-a-kind spiders, I use some reclaimed beads from vintage jewellery. I scour yards sales and flea markets for funky necklaces to take apart and mix those beads with supplies from local bead shops, big box craft stores - even dollar stores. Click here to see more colour combinations!