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Bead Buds Tutorial - How to Make a Lizard!

Janelle Curtis

Have some extra pony beads lying around? Want a cute key chain charm, or a gift for a friend? Well look no further! I used to make these little guys all the time when I was a kid, and I still like to make them now! There are lots of different bead buds out there, but for this tutorial I’m going to show you how to make a lizard. Let’s get started!

Things you’ll need:

1. Pony Beads

2. Lanyard String

3. Scissors

4. Key Ring (Optional)

Step One: Cut yourself a long piece of lanyard string. I don’t usually measure how much I cut, but you want to have too much rather than too little. Look at the image to the left. This is how you’re going to add each row of beads with this project. Take one end of your lanyard string, and place a bead on. Then take the opposite end, and string it through the bead the opposite way. It should look like the above image.

Now, for the first bead, I recommend making the string ends even with each other, and then pull the bead down until it is in the middle of the string. That way, your string ends stay even with each other. From now on though, when you string the beads for each row, you can simply pull each end of the string to get the beads to settle where they need to go.

The next row of beads calls for two beads. Repeat the process of stringing two beads on one end of string, and then string the beads with the opposite end going the opposite direction. Pull!

It should look like this! Getting the hang of it? It’s very simple. String on the next row of beads, which is three beads. It should look like the image below.

Now, before we continue, I want to talk a little bit about color choice. I chose a soft blue for the main color of my lizard. If you want to, you can make your lizard just one color, and two beads of another color for eyes. I like to play around with color combinations and pattern, so I chose yellow to compliment the blue of my lizard, and orange for the eyes and the feet. Play around with what colors you like best.

Step Two: Now it’s time to add the eyes. String on another row of three beads, but have your two eye beads of another color be on the sides, with your regular color in between. Now it’s looking like a lizard’s head!

Next, we add two beads of your regular lizard body color to make the neck. The head is complete.

Step Three: Now we move into the body. Once again we will make a row of three beads, but here is where your creativity can come into play. I added a yellow bead in the middle of the lizard’s back, but you can make the body one color, or add a different color bead in a different place on each row of the body, it’s up to you!


Now, here’s where it may seem a little complicated, but it’s really not. Don’t psyche yourself out! We’re going to add the legs and feet here

Take one end of your string, and add on five beads. They can be all of the same color, or if you want your feet to be a different color than the body, make the last three beads that color. I’m matching my lizard’s feet to his eyes.

What you’ll want to do now is loop that same end of string around the three beads that make the feet, and back through the two beads of the legs. It should look like the picture below

Real simple! Now pull the string to get the beads closer to the body. And you have a cute little leg and foot! Repeat on the other side.

Step Four: Now we finish the lizard’s body. To do that, we add three more rows of three beads each.

When that is done, add another set of legs on either side of the last row of the body.

Woo! It’s looking good!

Step Five: Last step! And the easiest. Now we add the tail. And all that is, is adding one bead at a time until you’ve reached your desired length. Make sure you leave plenty of string at the end to tie several knots. Cut off the excess, and you’re finished.

Another option would be to tie your knots onto a key ring, if you’d like to keep your little buddy on your keys.

And it’s as simple as that! Try making more of these as gifts!


About the Author

Janelle Curtis is a lover of all things that take some creativity, enjoying fashion design, and art and DIY projects. She runs a craft site with her own creations at

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