Want to learn how to make beaded Christmas spiders and find out why every Christmas tree needs a beaded Christmas spider ornament among its branches? I’m going to show you the tutorial for a DIY Christmas spider ornament – and also share The Legend of the Christmas Spider (also known as the Christmas spider poem or Christmas spider story). If you’d prefer a printable PDF tutorial, you can find that here – I also have a limited number of a handmade, one of a kind Christmas spiders for sale here.
Prefer a Printable PDF Tutorial?
*NEW* for 2022! If you’d prefer a printable PDF tutorial for how to make a Christmas spider, I just launched a 13-page tutorial with brand new photos that are LARGE and clear. Also included is a condensed 2-page printable tutorial, plus the spider original story.
Once you learn how to make a DIY Christmas spider ornament, you’ll want to make one for everyone you know! DIY beaded spider ornaments make a wonderful handmade gift topper or homemade stocking stuffer idea. They’re so sparkly and, the way I make them, no two are alike!
Christmas Spider Story:
Wondering what is the story behind the Christmas spider? This is the story behind the Christmas spider tree ornament and why every tree needs a Christmas spider ornament:
The Legend of the Christmas 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)
Isn’t that a sweet story? I suggest printing out the Christmas Spider origin story and gifting it alongside this handmade Christmas spider ornament so your recipient will know why these are so special. I have been making and selling these Christmas spider ornaments for years and years, so today I’m excited to show you how to make your very own DIY beaded Christmas spiders! I might be biased, but I think I make the prettiest spider tree ornaments!
Supplies for Making a Spider Tree Ornament:
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 approx 20mm bead (for the body)
5. 1 small approx 8-10mm bead (for the head)
6. Seed beads
7. Bugle beads
If you’d like more suggestions for spider making supplies, I’ve curated a list of supplies and beautiful beads that are the right size right here. Click here for more bead suggestions!
Tools Required for DIY Christmas Spiders:
1. Needle nose pliers
2. (Optional) Wire cutters
Time Required to Make Beaded Christmas Spiders:
Once you get the hang of it, no more than 15 minutes per spider ornament, so you can make one for everyone you know in a weekend.
How to Make Beaded Christmas Spider Ornaments:
First, cut the wire for the spider legs to approx. 8″ length. Once you get the hang of it and have made your first one, I recommend cutting a lot of legs at once to save 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.|
Thread the larger bead onto your eye pin, followed by the wire you’ve made a loop in, then the bead cap and finally the smaller bead (this will be the spider’s body):
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. Take a moment to line up and position the wire. 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 beaded 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 right after making your first one! 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!
That’s it! I promise it’s really easy to get the hang of making these DIY beaded Christmas spider ornaments.
How to Make One of a Kind Christmas Spider Ornaments
Hopefully you enjoyed this tutorial for how to make beaded DIY Christmas spiders and will try this Christmas spider craft. For one-of-a-kind spiders, I like to use 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 to get inspired for making your own Christmas spider ornaments!
P.S. Don’t Forget to Pin for Later!
Thanks for sharing the tutorial Tanya. I look forward to making some of these for my own tree:)
I hope you post photos of your spiders! I'd love to see how you re-interpret this project 🙂
This is great. Thank you for such a great tutorial.
From the link party page this spider looked real! cool and fun-and never knew the story behind them before this-thanks for sharing 🙂
So cool!!! I hope I can squeeze in a little DIY time soon.Happy Thanksgiving 🙂 xoxo
That is beautiful!
Thanks everyone! Glad you enjoyed this tutorial 🙂
Those are too too cute! Thanks for linking them up!
Thanks Cassie! Glad you hosted such a fabulous linky party 😉
Wow! You are a Christmas crafting genius! So glad I found your project via Centsational Girl.Please stop by for a visit to my blog. I am currently in the midst of a Gifts to Make series.Be Merry and Bright!
I can happily vouch for how insanely gorgeous these are. The attention to detail on the one you posted out to me is spectacular. Thanks again Tanya xx
Tamsyn, I'm so pleased you like yours! It was so lucky for me that you posted about Christmas decor inspiration, because I used that post to create a spider in colours I hoped would suit.
wow great looking spider! thanks to Sova beads I got luck b/c of lots of bugle beads I can make these lovely spiders.
What is the size of the bugle beads?
I use different lengths but I prefer longer ones because then it’s less work, haha!. I recently bought 15mm long ones but honestly even a bit longer works or much shorter. It just changes how many joints the legs have, but really tiny ones look cute too.
So glad I came across this tutorial! I was looking for some crafts for my family to do after we eat our Thanksgiving meal. My great aunts used to make Christmas spiders in the 70's – now I will start the tradition for my family. 🙂
Oh, that sounds like such a fun thing to do with the family! I hope you all have a lovely time!
You knew about this back in the ‘70’s?
Just finished mine! http://i.imgur.com/MPsB3.jpg
At first as I wasn't able to open the link but this time it worked (yay)! Your spider looks GREAT! I love the pretty colours you chose. I'm so excited that this tutorial was helpful. Are you addicted and planning on making a zillion more? (It starts with one . . . ) CONGRATS!
Wow looks great! I love the legend too! 🙂
what a lovely project! i actually collect antique christmas spiders. they get a tree of their very own and a special place in the foyer each year. so lovely!
I didn't realize there were antique Christmas spiders to collect. They must look so gorgeous en masse!!
Thank you for this! My three year old daughter wrote her letter to Santa tonight and the first thing she said is she wants a spider…what kid asks for a spider?! LOL…down to our last week and currently living in Germany I don't have time to order one already made, all I could think of was to make her one of these Christmas Spiders and your DIY is the most thorough I have seen! I will be using your instructions – thank you so much for sharing! Her Christmas spider will be the best spider she can get for years of tradition to come!
You've made my day!! I'm so happy to hear that your daughter will get the spider she's been dreaming of. So cute that she asked for a spider! I hope you have fun making one. A warning: it's addictive 🙂
Every crafty addiction I have started with a great teacher!! They are the best addictions to have when it comes to spending money and making memories! 🙂
Love it, going to try my hand at making one this afternoon. Antique Christmas Spiders, now that sounds like a cool hobby!!!!! Thank you for the tutorial!
Wow…the memories you just brought back. When I was a young child in elementry school we went to a museum here in Nashville, they had a display of Christmas trees from around the world. My favorite was the tree covered in spider webs. I had forgotten all about that. Thank you for the memory.
Thanks for sharing this sweet memory with me. I'm so happy to have helped you recall such a beautiful tree 🙂
Thank you so much, I have been looking and found your easy way to make them. Very cool 🙂
So happy to help!
Wonderful story and craft…best thing is I actually have most of the supplies!thank you so much for sharing xx
I love love love these spiders. I was looking through a box of old crafting supplies that was gifted to me and I came across some beads. Then I remembered your beautiful beaded spiders. I decided to make some as apart of our Halloween decor. I have a little blog and made a post linking it to this tutorial because your tutorial is so awesome. Hope that is okay. Your blog is very inspiring. Lots of love sent your way. http://makingthingsisawesome.com/diy-beaded-spiders-halloween-decor-idea/
Thanks for your sweet comment! I LOVE that you made some for Halloween! I'm popping over to your blog right now to take a peek 🙂
Loved the spider and your directions were very clear on it however it would certainly make things easier if you truly wish to share these ideas – to put them in a pdf file where they could be copied easier.
I listened and took your advice and now have a PDF available that’s easy to print and also includes brand new, large photos and instructions. You can find it here: https://dans-le-lakehouse.myshopify.com/products/beaded-christmas-spider-ornament-tutorial-pdf
Thank you I am going to try I hate spiders but that was a sure Beautiful might want to try to make some maybe I’ll get me over the fear thank you
I know a lot of people are creeped out but these and I totally understand!
Thank you for your tutorial on how to make Christmas Spider and the story that goes with them.Where I live we have Christmas Beetles that come out around Christmas time.
You’re so welcome, I’m so happy you found it! I’m not sure how to make a beaded beetle, haha, but it’s better than a Christmas centipede…
Thanks for the tutorial! What size bugle beads do you use? The link above is broken. Thanks!
Sorry about that, it’s an old post I should update the links. I have used literally every size – the longer, the faster it is to make the legs, but the shorter ones looks cute too. So whatever you can find will totally work.
Love love your spiders beautiful
Thank you so much!!
I’d really like to be able to print the instructions for making a Christmas spider. It’s just not easy to work on a project with my only instructions being on my IPad. Is there a way that I can do that?
Hi Sue, my apologies, but right now I don’t have any downloadable instructions available.
I love these spiders. I am having difficulty making one. The whole thing is wibbly-wobbly.
I’m not understanding how to make it tight. Please help!
No problem, I can help! So first you take the eye pin and put on the larger bead for the body. Then wrap the four pieces of wire (for the legs) around the eye pin so you have four “legs” going in opposite directions. At this point, pull that wire tight on the eye pin and then also press the wire against the body bead. Hold it tightly there and then thread on the bead cap and head. Keep holding everything tight. Make a loop on the eye pin and curl that loop tightly against the head bead. That should keep everything nice and tight and stop it from wobbling. The other thing that can cause it sometimes are the supplies: I find too small bodies or misshapen heads cause troubles – and also very thin/weak eye pins also make it difficult to pull everything tight.
The eye pin should be a pretty rigid metal. If you want to follow me on Instagram or sign up for my newsletter, I’ll be putting together a video tutorial soon and that way you’ll see it 🙂
I hope this helps! You’re also welcome to email me a photo and I can “diagnose” your spider problem! It’s [email protected]
I LOVE these spiders! I asked my homeschooled son last week if he wanted to help me make spiders for Christmas gifts and I told him the story about them. He enthusiastically said YES! Then I showed him a picture on this webpage. He immediately said, “No thanks. Those suckers look too real and you know I hate spiders mom!” LOL It was too funny! I told him he already agreed so there was no turning back now. 😀 I ordered everything to make them from Amazon and the last thing (the bead caps) are supposed to be here tomorrow. We hope to get some made by next weekend. Thank you so much for sharing your how to! I’ll try to post pics after we get some made.
Aww that’s such a cute reaction. I know some people really are terrified, no matter how pretty they are! Hopefully he will find them not so scary when he puts them together himself. Happy crafting and I’d love to see!