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The Christmas spider

Painted wooden beads, vertical netting, bugle beads and seed beads make up this delicate arachnid

Christmas spider

This project is inspired by the story of the golden Christmas spider.


Once upon a time on a Christmas Eve long ago, a family was preparing their home for the visit of the Christ child. Everything had been scrubbed and cleaned, and after the Christmas tree had been beautifully trimmed, the family went to bed.


While the family was sleeping, the little spiders who had been chased from their favorite nooks and crannies crept back to wonder at the tree’s glittering beauty. They crawled on every branch to see each shining ornament, but alas, in their excitement, they forgot to stop spinning their webs. After their inspection, the tree was shrouded with cobwebs!


When the Christ child came and saw what had happened, He smiled at the thought of the little spiders wanting to see His tree. As He blessed it, He touched each web to turn it into gold, and the tree shone with greater beauty than before.


Today, in many parts of the world each Christmas tree, to be complete, must have one golden spider. – Dearl Kniskern


Every year I look for a different beaded Christmas ornament to make and share with family and friends. Last fall my search brought me to the story of the “Golden Christmas Spider” and it inspired me to create a beaded version. Using techniques described in Carol Wilcox Wells’ book The Art and Elegance of Beadweaving (Lark Books, 2002), I covered painted wooden beads with vertical netting for the head and abdomen of the spider. Then bugles and seed beads are strung on 24-gauge wire and shaped to form the legs.


Hang the beaded spider with a thin piece of monofilament fishing line and it will appear to be dropping from a web, or set it on a branch of the tree.


You can also use this pattern to make a black-widow spider for Halloween. Paint the wood beads black and add a red hourglass to the abdomen.

Christmas spider Photo D


  • 1 10mm Round wood bead
  • 1 1/2 x 3/4  in. (1.3 x 2cm) Oval wood bead
  • 3 1/2 ft. (1m) 24-gauge wire
  • 2g Seed beads, size 15/0, main color (MC)
  • 1g Seed beads, size 15/0, accent color (AC)
  • 72 5mm Bugle beads
  • 2g Seed beads, size 10/0 or 11/0
  • Nymo B or D beading thread
  • Beading needles, #12
  • 3 drinking straws
  • Gesso (primer for acrylic paint)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Sandpaper, fine grit
  • Tools: paint brush, diagonal wire cutters, round- and chainnose pliers


To view full instructions for this project, download the free PDF.

FIND MORE: seed beads , home decor , holiday

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