how to make a beaded crocodile (or alligator!)

Lately I’ve gotten into beading again, and on the side of my bead bucket there are pictures of these cute beaded animals. Here are some pictures:

I remember trying these several years ago and liking it, but I hadn’t made any since. I’d always wanted to make that crocodile on the left, so I figured now was a good time to try it.

After I made my crocodile I decided to look online to see if there were any patterns for beadie creatures, and I discovered Margo’s Beadie Critter Collection. There are hundreds of patterns for these cute beadie creatures (including some from Frozen! yay!), and I realized Margo had already made a pattern for this crocodile (click here to see it.) I asked her if I could publish the tutorial here, and she kindly said yes! Thank you very much, Margo. I’m really very excited about this whole beaded animal thing. 🙂 (Hers is called an alligator instead, but I have dubbed mine the Fire Crocodile and I can’t bring myself to change the name)

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Meet the Fire Crocodile, a magical reptile who emits smoke when snoring, is fire resistant, and can breathe fire. The Fire Crocodile was born because there weren’t enough green beads left, but there was a surplus of red! (Also note the newfound obsession with saying ‘Fire Crocodile’. :))

Let’s start out with what you need. You can click to enlarge any pictures in this tutorial! 🙂

Disclaimer: I’m rather new to this whole beadie critter thing, so my techniques might not be correct sometimes. I’ll be showing you my method of doing it, which may or may not be the way you like. I do suggest visiting beadiecritters.com if you need more help!

For me, red = main color (MC), orange = contrasting color (CC). I also forgot to put that you need two beads in your eye color (black for me.) On the yarn length, I heard somewhere that your wingspan is about your height, so that would be a bit over 10 feet for me. I had some left over, though, so 10 feet should be more than enough. If you have two yarn needles, you can use both of those instead of one yarn needle and some tape. Actually, these work best with lanyard cord – but I’m far more comfortable using yarn (and if you’re reading this, chances are you are too!) So, substitute to your heart’s content. Let’s continue.

Fold your yarn in half and pull the looped end through the key ring. Then pull the ends through the loop you just created (left). Then loop one end around the key ring once more, and tie a double knot with the ends (right).

Before we go any farther, though, tape one end of the yarn and put the yarn needle on the other end (above) so you’re able to thread it through the beads. Now we’re ready to start beading.

Thread 4 MC beads onto the taped end (left). Next, take your yarn needle and poke it through all four beads, the opposite way from the taped end, and pull it through (middle). Then pull both yarn ends tight (right). You don’t want it to be too tight, though, or your crocodile will bunch up.

Time to go again: thread 4 MC beads onto the taped end – it will be on the opposite side this time (left). Then thread the yarn needle end through them and pull the whole thing snug (right).

Do one more row with 4 MC beads as before (above). Next we’ll be adding the eyes and starting with the CC tummy.

This row goes like this (remember you’ll be threading them onto the taped end, and then with the yarn needle): MC, eye color, CC, eye color, MC. You’ve increased one bead. Just make sure everything’s staying nice and flat. This was the big problem I had when I started out – I wanted to yank everything really tight, and then it bunched up. I had to learn to resist the urge.

The next two rows are basic, now that you’ve got the hang of it.
Row 5 (left): 1 MC, 4 CC, 1 MC. (1 bead increased)
Row 6 (right): 1 MC, 3 CC, 1 MC. (1 bead decreased)

Next we’ll make the arms, which can look intimidating, but I assure you it’s quite easy. You’ll need to make one on each side, which I guess I didn’t need to say. 🙂 Thread 5 beads onto one of the yarn strands (left), then poke the yarn back through the first bead (middle). Finally, pull the whole thing snug (right).

Make another arm the same way on the other side (above). Now we can continue on with three more rows.

The first two pictures show the bead increase – don’t pull too tight! (If only we could give advice to our younger selves.) The right picture shows the next three rows completed.
Rows 10-12: 3 MC, 2 CC, 3 MC.

Make two more legs after that last row (same amount of beads as the front legs.) Now the hard part’s done and we can continue with the tail…

Rows 13-14: 2 MC, 2 CC, 2 MC.
Row 15: 1 MC, 2 CC, 1 MC. (right picture)
Rows 16-18: 1 MC, 1 CC, 1 MC.
Rows 19-20: 2 MC.
Row 21: 1 MC. (left picture)

Now you can tie a double knot with the yarn and cut the ends (I did a triple knot because I’m a paranoid person I like to be extra careful.) Yaaaaay, your Fire Crocodile (or other kind of crocodile) is done! 😀

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Thank you again, Margo, for letting me do this tutorial! Once again, click HERE to see the pattern for the original crocodile (it’s actually an alligator, but the name Fire Crocodile kind of stuck.) Dearest blog followers, I hope you liked the Fire Crocodile – I think I’ll be trying to design some bead animal patterns in the future. We can always branch out, right? 🙂

Have a fabulous day!

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3 thoughts on “how to make a beaded crocodile (or alligator!)

  1. E.C. says:

    Awesome tutorial. Thanks so much. I’ve never done any beading art (besides simple stringing). I may give this a try sometime.
    I like the fire crocodile, it’s a fun critter. 🙂

    Like

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