How to Bead a Butterfly

by Amber Hemmer

Beaded animals and insects can be made into beautiful key chains, belt clips or zipper pulls. Pony beads are strung onto craft lace and weaved within each other to create patterns. Different colored beads within the patterns create artwork that resembles animals. Beading a butterfly is a simple project, ideal for someone learning to create beaded animal patterns. Customize the colors of your butterfly by adding different colored beads while you weave the craft lace.

Items you will need

  • Craft lace
  • Scissors
  • Key chain or clip
  • Pony beads, assorted colors
Step 1

Cut a piece of craft lace measuring approximately 2 yards. Fold the craft lace in half to locate the middle.

Step 2

Slip the key chain or clip onto one end of the craft lace. Slide it to the middle point. Tie a slip knot in the craft lace just below the key chain or clip. This knot will hold it in place while you work.

Step 3

Separate your pony beads. Choose 16 beads of the same color to represent the body of the butterfly. Use two beads of a different color for the eyes. The wings will require 36 pony beads. These beads can be the same color or choose different colors to create a colorful butterfly.

Step 4

Begin weaving the first row with two beads for the body. Push the beads onto one of the strands and move them toward the slip knot. It does not matter which strand you work with first; they will both turn out even. Grasp the other strand and push the end through the two beads. Insert the end into the bottom bead and through the top bead. Grasp the two strand ends and pull them tight. This will align the beads at the top. This weaving process is used to create the body of the butterfly.

Step 5

Create the eyes of the butterfly. Put one eye-colored bead onto a strand. Push a body-colored bead and another eye-colored bead on the strand. Move the three beads to the top. Weave the loose strand through the beads and pull tight. Push the rows of beads down as you work so they stay flat.

Step 6

Weave on three body-colored beads to create the third row.

Step 7

Grasp the right strand to create the first wing. You will not use both strands of craft lace for each wing. The right strand will create both of the right wings, while the left strand will create both left wings. Push 10 of the wing-colored beads onto the right strand.

Step 8

Push the 10 beads up to the body of the butterfly. Push the end of the right strand through the first bead of the wing. Continue to push it through all 10 beads, creating a loop with the craft lace. Pull the lace tight, ensuring the beads are up against the body. This will secure the wing in place.

Step 9

Create the left wing using the left strand of craft lace. Push 10 beads onto the strand and curl the strand through all 10 beads. Tighten the wing against the body.

Step 10

Add another row of three body-colored beads. Weave the strands through the three beads as done with the other rows of the body.

Step 11

Weave a row of two body-colored beads onto the body of the butterfly.

Step 12

Create the bottom right wing using the right strand of craft lace. This is done exactly as the top wing. Push eight wing-colored beads onto the right strand. Curl the strand through all eight beads, starting with the first one. Pull it tight and align the wing against the body.

Step 13

Push eight wing-colored beads onto the left strand of craft lace. Curl the strand through the beads, creating the bottom left wing. Pull it tight and ensure it is against the body.

Step 14

Push the two strands through each side of the two beads on the last row of the body. This pulls the wings tight and helps create their shape.

Step 15

Weave two additional rows in the body, each consisting of two beads.

Step 16

Add one bead onto a strand and move it toward the body. This is the last row and creates the end of the butterfly. Push the other strand through the bead, weaving it into place.

Step 17

Pull the strands together below the last bead. Tie a slip knot in the craft lace and position it below the bead. Pull it tight.

Step 18

Cut the craft lace, leaving a 2-inch tail on each side. This gives it a pretty ending, but also gives the craft lace room to expand so it doesn't untie and fall apart.

Tips & Warnings

  • Experiment by using different kinds of beads and string.