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Beaded toy frog

Toy frogs are great fun in and of themselves, but adding an array of sparkling beads makes them irresistible.
Beaded Toy Frog hero

Start with a solid rubber or plastic form and stitch a colorful peyote pattern over the entire thing. When choosing a form to bead over, find one that has limbs that are separate from the body so you can bead around them.

SUPPLIES

  • 2-3-in.-long (5-7.6cm) plastic or rubber frog in swimming position (dollar stores, museum gift shops, or toy stores)
  • 7-10g (approx.) each color Japanese cylinder beads:
    • metallic green
    • silverlined gold
    • cream
  • 1g shiny black Japanese cylinder beads
  • 2 4mm black fire-polished beads for eyes
  • beading needles, #12 or 13
  • Nymo D beading thread, green or black
  • beeswax or Thread Heaven
  • 2 yd. (1.8m) 34-gauge craft wire
  • clear nail polish or G-S Hypo Cement
  • chainnose pliers
  • stiff needle or a drill with a fine bit
  • wire cutters
  • Optional: 1-in. (2.5cm) pin back or 2 oval jump rings

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Feel free to create your frog with any color combination you like or by following the coloration on the plastic base. This frog is metallic green with a few gold beads randomly mixed in. A diamond pattern down the back lends a dramatic element. 

If you put a pattern on the frog’s back, work the increases and decreases that shape the beadwork to the form along the sides. The underside of this frog is a random mix of cream and gold beads. Since this side won’t show if you wear the frog as a brooch or pendant, you don’t have to change colors if you don’t want to.

Beaded Toy Frog Photo A
PHOTO A
EYES

1. Create a hole through the head of your toy frog. If the form is soft rubber, you can use a stiff needle and chainnose pliers to poke holes through the head on the outer and inner edges of each eye socket the width of the eye bead apart (PHOTO A). If the form is hard, use the finest drill bit you have and drill the holes.

2. Bring the needle up from the underside of the head and out one of the eye holes, leaving a 4-in. (10cm) tail. Pick up an eye bead and sew down through the adjacent hole. Tie the thread to the thread tail with a surgeon’s knot and glue the knot. 

3. Sew through the bead again. Then come up the inner hole on the second eye and sew a second bead in place, reinforcing it. Don’t worry about the exposed thread. As you cover the body in peyote stitch, the beadwork will cover it. End with the needle exiting an eye bead.

Beaded Toy Frog Photo B
PHOTO B
HEAD

1. String enough gold beads to surround half the eye bead and sew through the eye bead. Then string the same number of gold beads to surround the other half of the eye (PHOTO B) and go through the bead again. 

2. Go through all the gold beads once. Repeat around the other eye. Now begin peyote stitch around the eye using green beads: Pick up a green bead, skip a gold bead on the circle, and sew through the next gold bead.

Beaded Toy Frog Photo C
PHOTO C
Beaded Toy Frog Photo D
PHOTO D

3. Repeat around the eye. On the second round, you will have to add two beads in some of the spaces to fill them (PHOTO C).

4. Take the needle over to the other eye to stitch around it, alternating one or two rows at a time on each until they meet in the middle of the top of the head. You may have to work flat peyote around only the top half of the eyes to keep all the beadwork on the upper side of the frog. Zip the beads together in the middle by going through the high beads alternately (PHOTO D).

5. Next, fill in the beads on the nose to the front of the head, working in flat peyote and decreasing on the sides so you’re just covering the top of the head. Filling in the “V” between the eyes requires you to place beads where they are needed, going through as many beads as necessary to re-establish the peyote-stitch pattern. 

6. You can use two black beads for the nostrils with a green bead between.

Beaded Toy Frog Photo E
PHOTO E
Beaded Toy Frog Photo F
PHOTO F
BODY

1. Pass your needle through the beads around an eye to fill in the gap between the eye circles at the back using flat peyote and joining to the eye beads as you come to them. 

You will have to zigzag in and out of beads to fill in this area (PHOTO E).

2. When you can peyote half a circle around the neck, do so. String enough white and gold beads to complete the circle on the underside, joining it to the other side of the peyote on top of the frog (PHOTO F). 

Peyote around the frog’s neck for one row, using green and gold beads on the back and white and gold beads on the belly.

Beaded Toy Frog Photo G
PHOTO G

3. When you get back to the belly, work forward in flat peyote under the head, joining to the beads along the sides of the top of the head and at the front of the nose (PHOTO G)

4. Work your needle back to the circle around the body and continue working in tubular peyote until you come to the front legs. Work any needed increases or decreases at the sides so they don’t interfere with any pattern you may have decided to put on the back. Use either gradual or rapid increases or decreases as needed to fill the area smoothly.

Beaded Toy Frog Photo H
Photo h
5. Be sure to graph out the back pattern first (PATTERN, at the bottom of this page), making its scale appropriate to the size of your frog. When you come to the front legs, work the back and belly separately in flat peyote until you get past the place where the legs join the body. Then string beads between the back and the belly and resume working in tubular peyote (PHOTO H). Repeat this process when you reach the back legs.

6. Decrease for the tail end as needed and zip the top and bottom together.
Beaded Toy Frog Photo I
PHOTO I
Beaded Toy Frog Photo J
PHOTO J
LEGS

1. When the body is complete, you’ll need to reverse direction to be able to work around a leg. Come through a top body bead and pick up a bead going perpendicular to it.

Go through the next body bead and repeat all the way around the leg hole (PHOTO I). Some of the body beads will already be correctly oriented.

2. Now work tubular peyote stitch through the beads you added between the body beads. At the joints, you’ll need to work over just the outer curves until you can resume tubular peyote (PHOTO J).

3. When you get to the end of a limb, cut off the plastic toes and zip the top and bottom beads together as at the tail. Work all four legs.

Beaded Toy Frog Photo K
PHOTO K
TOES

Use the 34-gauge craft wire to attach the toes like fringe.

1. Weave the wire through the beads to exit the foot where a toe would go. String three or four gold beads and one black. 

2. Skip the black bead and go back through the gold beads and a base bead at the end of the foot to begin the next toe (PHOTO K). Make three or four toes on each foot.

MAKE A NECKLACE OR BROOCH

To wear your frog as a brooch, sew a 1-in. (2.5cm) pin back to the belly. To make the frog into a necklace, sew an oval jump ring on one back and one front leg.

You can open the rings to attach a purchased chain or a beaded necklace and their oval shape will prevent the rings from falling off. Attach both a pin back and rings to your frogs so you can wear them either way.

Beaded Toy Frog Pattern
PATTERN
FIND MORE: home decor , peyote , found object

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