Bead Embroidered Beanie Baby
#MotivationMonday – Bead Embroidered Lizard!
Beanie Baby fever peaked in the 1990s, but those cuddly little plush creatures are still adorable! Beadwork reader Victoria Pearman recently shared her technique for turning an ordinary Beanie Baby into an extraordinary piece of beaded art. With a little ingenuity and by applying her bead embroidery skills she created a bead embroidered lizard!
Anatomy of a Bead Embroidered Beanie Baby
by Victoria Pearman
I love to bead embroider! I make my own doll forms, and sometimes I use premade forms. For this particular project, I used a Beanie Baby. I love lizards and chose the chameleon Beanie Baby. Many beaders have asked how I begin the process. I’d like to share the process that works for me.
Supplies needed: Beanie Baby, hemostat, chopstick or knitting needle, scissors or seam ripper, size 10 beading needle, quilter’s thread or beading thread, assorted beads, ideas for beading from Pinterest or Google, stand for completed form, and 8″ of 22-gauge wire. A plastic fly is optional.
As you can see, the original Beanie Baby has little life to it and the body is limp, making beading a bit difficult.
In order for me to bead on the Beanie Baby, I had to perform some minor surgery. I cut the Beanie Baby apart and removed all of the beans. I used a seam ripper to cut the form. A clothespin marks the exact spot where I cut.
Putting the Lizard Back Together
I stuffed the lizard with 100% polyester fiber, which is available at fabric stores.
Take your time stuffing the form, using a chopstick or knitting needle to push the fiber into the desired area. Use a small amount of stuffing each time. I add the fiber to the tail, limbs and head first. Once those areas are stuffed adequately, continue on the body. If you add too much stuffing at once, your form will be lumpy.
When the stuffing is complete, thread a needle and tie a knot on the end of the thread. Poke the needle on the inside of the cut area to hide the knot. Carefully whipstitch the cut area closed and tie off. Cut the thread. After the form is stuffed and the hole is sewn closed, the lizard can stand and is no longer floppy.
Start the Bead Embroidered Design
Once you have a design idea, begin the bead embroidery. I like to start on the face to give the figure a personality and proceed from there.
After I finished bead embroidering the form, I used cubic right-angle weave to add a tongue to the lizard. I inserted a piece of wire into the weave to give the tongue more strength, and I sewed a plastic fly on the end of the tongue. I’m fortunate to live in the desert and, with my husband’s help, found the perfect tripod wood stand. I used wire to mount the lizard on the stand. My creation is titled Miova Loko, which means “changing colors” in the Malagasy language.
What ordinary objects have you been inspired to bead? We’d love to see them, and we might even feature them on our website! Please send your photos to email@example.com.
For more bead embroidery motivation, check out Kinga Nichols’ Creative Bead Embroidery: Working with Shaped Beads, Fine Fabrics, and Precut Foundations DVD or Sherry Serafini’s Bead Embroidery: Four Great Lessons video download bundle.