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How to Make a Bead Lizard

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Beaded Lizard Instructions

Bead Lizards

Creating a bead lizard is easy and fun - anyone can do it!

As an added bonus, bead lizards are pretty much all the rage from elementary to early high school.

Children and teens alike hang them on keychains and off their backpack zippers, so these make a great craft-time project for parents to do with their kids, or for older children to make on their own.

friendship bracelet instructions

What You Need:

  • 1⁄8" (3mm) wide ribbon, cut to about 40" (~102cm)
    (You can find this at Michael's - 50 cents for 10 yards, last I checked.)
  • 30 primary color pony beads (I used black - we'll refer to these as #1)
    Note: Pony beads come in a variety of sizes.  I used 9mm, but 7mm would work, too - it would just make a smaller lizard.
  • 20 secondary color pony beads (I used orange - we'll refer to these as #2)
  • 2 pony beads for the eyes (I used glow-in-the-dark beads for this - we'll refer to these as #3)
  • Optional: Keychain, lanyard hook or other object to hang your lizard on.  Please see the bottom for instructions on how to do this.

Friendship Bracelet Instructions

We'll be inserting a video in here soon, but until then...

Step 1

String 3 #1 (black) beads. Let one of them drop down to the middle of the ribbon, and hold the other two together, an inch or so from the end.

Step 2

Take the other end of the ribbon and string it through those two beads in the opposite direction, so there's a ribbon end coming out of each side of the two beads.

Hold the two ends of the ribbon flush with one hand and pull the two beads down to the center of the ribbon with the other.

You should now have two (very short) rows of beads.

Step 3

Next, string on one #3 color (the eyes), one #1 color and another #3 color, in that order. Put the other end of the ribbon through them in the opposite direction and pull them down to the center of the ribbon, as before

You should have a little "triangle" now.

Step 4

String on a row of two #1 beads, and then a row of multicolor beads, in this order: 121

Make sure you're going through the beads with both ends of the ribbon in opposite directions for each row, and always pull tight.

Step 5

This time, we're only going to use one end of ribbon. On that end, string two #1 beads and three #2 beads.

Next, you're going to use that same end of the ribbon to go back through the two #1 beads, without going back through the three #2 beads.

You might have to rearrange the 'claw' a little bit, but you've just created one leg!

Step 6

Repeat on the other side, so you have the two front legs completed.

Step 7

Next you're just going to continue as before, stringing row by row, like this:


Step 8

Leg time again! Make two legs, one on each side, just like in Steps 5 and 6.

Step 9

Almost done. String on a row of two #1 beads, and then you're at the tail.

Step 10

For the tail, you're just doing one bead per row. I like to alternate between the #1 and #2 beads, starting with #2. You can make your tail as long as you want, though the 40" ribbon won't go far past eight or nine beads.

My lizards usually have six beads in their tails. ;)

Step 11

The final knot to secure your bead lizard is really easy with ribbon - you just need to tie two overhand knots. Sometimes, I tie two knots, then slide the ribbon ends back through the final bead, then finish with two more knots, just to make it extra secure.

How to Attach Your Bead Lizard to a Keychain or Lanyard Hook

Basically, all you have to do is tie the ribbon on the keychain/hook using a Larks Head Knot. You then skip that first row and start with two #1 beads.

That's It!  You're Done!

Go show off your awesome bead lizard!

Related Pages

Knot Tying
Bracelet Making
Friendship Bracelet Patterns
How to Make Anklets
Earring Making

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