SHARE IT
Pin this on Pinterest

Seed bead penguins

Make a charming penguin in tubular square stitch

This fun little friend stitches up so quickly, you’ll find yourself making more than one. Stitch the head and body as one shaped tube, then add the feet, tail, wings, and beak and he’s ready to take to the ice.

SUPPLIES

One penguin 1 1⁄4 in. (3.2 cm) tall

  • size 11/0 Japanese seed beads
    • 3 g color A
    • 3 g color B
  • nylon beading thread, size D
  • beading needles, #10
  • fiber fill
INSTRUCTIONS
Seed bead penguins 1
Figure 1

Penguin base

Start the penguin with a ring of beads at the crown of its head, and work in tubular square stitch, moving down to its feet.

1. On 2 yd. (1.8 m) of beading thread, leave a 4-in. (10 cm) tail, and pick up eight color A (black) 11/0 seed beads. Tie the tail to the working thread with a square knot to form a ring, and sew through all eight beads again. Pick up an A, skip the next four As on the ring, and sew through the following A (FIGURE 1, a–b).

2. Begin stitching in rounds of square stitch. As you finish each round, sew through the first pair of beads added to the round. Switch directions with each round. The number of beads you pick up in each stitch will vary. In the following instructions, the beads picked up for each stitch are separated by semicolons. 

Round 1: Pick up an A, sew through the bead you just exited in the same direction, and continue through the A just added (b–c). Continue in square stitch, sewing through one base bead for each set of beads you pick up: two As; two As; one A; three Bs; a B and an A; an A and a B; three Bs (c–d). Sew through the first two As of the round to start the next round (d–e).

Seed bead penguins 2
Figure 2

3. For the next five rounds, sew through two beads on the previous row for each stitch.
Round 2: Two As; two Bs; an A and a B; two As; a B and an A; two Bs; two As; two As (FIGURE 2, a–b).
Round 3: Two As; two As; two As; two Bs; two Bs; two As; two Bs; two Bs (b-–c). 
Round 4: Two As; an A and a B; a B and an A; two As; an A and a B; a B and an A; two As; two As (c–d).
Round 5: Two As; two As; two As; two Bs; two Bs; two As; two Bs; two Bs (d–e).
Round 6: Decrease to make the neck of the penguin. For some stitches, you’ll only pick up one bead: two As; two Bs; a B; an A; a B; two Bs; two As; two As (e–f).

4. Stuff the head of your penguin with fiber fill or another fibrous material. 

5. Begin increasing for the body of the penguin. Note that on some stitches you will only sew through one bead on the base, instead of two.
Round 7: Two As, sew through two beads on the base; two As (through two); two As (through two); two Bs (through two); one B (through one); two Bs (through one); one B (through one); two Bs (through two) (f–g).
Round 8: Two As (through two); two Bs (through two); two Bs (through one); three Bs (through two); two Bs (through one); two Bs (through two); two As (through two); two As (through two) (g–h).
Round 9: Two As (through two); two As (through two); two As (through two); two Bs (through two); two Bs (through two); one B (through one); two Bs (through one); one B (through one); two Bs (through two); two Bs (through two) (h–i).

6. For the next two rounds, sew through two beads on the previous round for each pair you pick up.
Round 10: Two As; two Bs; two Bs; two Bs; two Bs; two Bs; two Bs; two As; two As (i–j).
Round 11: Two As; two As; two As; two Bs; two Bs; two Bs; two Bs; two Bs; two Bs (j–k).

7. For the remaining rounds, decrease to taper the base of the penguin.
Round 12: Two As (through two); two Bs (through two); two Bs (through two); one B (through one); one B (through two); one B (through one); two Bs (through two); two Bs (through two); two As (through two); two As (through two) (k–l).
Round 13: Two As (through two); two As (through two); two As (through two); two Bs (through two); two Bs (through two); two Bs (through three); two Bs (through two); two Bs (through two) (l–m).
Round 14: Sew through two beads on the previous round for each stitch. Two As; two Bs; two Bs; one B; two Bs; two Bs; two As; two As (m–n).
Round 15: One A (through two); one A (through two); one A (through two); one B (through two); one B (through two); one B (through one); one B (through two); one B (through two) (n–o).

8. Finish stuffing the body and sew through all the beads on the last round again.

Seed bead penguins 3
Figure 3

Feet

1. Exiting the middle A on the last round, snug up the beads. Pick up an A, skip three beads on the base, and sew through the next B (FIGURE 3, a–b). Sew back through the center bead, the middle A on the last round, and the next A (b-–c).

2. Pick up four Bs and sew through the first two Bs again, so that the beads sit in two side-by-side columns (c–d). When the foot is attached to the body, the first column will be the outside column, and the second column will be the inside column.

3. Pick up three As and sew through the last two Bs (d–e). Sew through the center A on the bottom of the body from back to front and through the last two Bs on the foot in the same direction (e–f).

4. Sew through the two Bs in the outside column, the B adjacent to the As on the bottom of the body, and the next three As (f–g).

5. Repeat steps 2–4 to make the second foot, stitching it as a mirror image of the first (g–h).

Seed bead penguins 4
Figure 4
Seed bead penguins 5
Figure 5

Tail

1. Weave through the beads on the body to exit round 14 between the first pair of As, with your needle pointing toward the closest B (FIGURE 4, point a).

2. Square stitch two new pairs of As to two pairs of As on the base (a–b). For the next row, square stitch an A to each pair of As in the row just added (b–c). Weave back into the beadwork.

Wings

1. On a comfortable length of thread, leave a 6-in. (15 cm) tail, and pick up two As. Sew through both beads again (FIGURE 5, a–b). Picking up one A per stitch, work in ladder stitch until you have eight beads (b–c). 

2. Pick up two As, sew under the thread bridge between the last two As on the previous row, and sew back up the second bead you picked up (c–d). 

3. Continue adding beads in brick stitch until you’ve stitched a second row eight beads long (d–e). 

4. Weave through the beads to exit the third bead from the end (e–f), and stitch a third row six beads long (f–g).

Seed bead penguins a
Photo a
Seed bead penguins a
Photo a

5. Weave through the beadwork to exit the third bead of the third row (g–h), and repeat step 2 to add two beads (h–i). Secure the thread in the beadwork, and trim the tails. 

6. With the working thread from the body, weave through the beadwork to exit the first pair of Bs in round six (PHOTO A). 

7. Sew through the three As at the top of the wing and the two Bs your thread is exiting (PHOTO B). Retrace the thread path to secure the wing to the body. 

8. Repeat steps 1–7 to make and attach a wing to the other side of the body.

Seed bead penguins c
Photo c
Seed bead penguins d
Photo d

Beak

1. Weave through the body to exit the pair of As in the center of the face on round 4. Pick up two As and sew back through the two As on the face again in the same direction (PHOTO C). 

2. Pick up two As and sew through the two As on the base again, positioning the new pair of As above the pair just added. Sew through the new pair of As again, pick up an A, and sew back through the pair of As (PHOTO D). 

3. Secure the thread and any remaining tails in the beadwork with a few half-hitch knots, and trim.

Do you beading?

Then you’ll want to subscribe to Bead&Button magazine! You’ll get exclusive projects, gorgeous design inspirations, helpful advice about new products, and much more!

Want to leave a comment?

Only registered members of FacetJewelry.com are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
PRODUCTS YOU MIGHT LIKE
DIGITAL DOWNLOAD
$3.95
DIGITAL BOOKLET
$7.95
SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER
Get awesome news, tips, & free stuff!