Two wheelin’

I
think I just did it to see if I could. I had an odd-shaped stone bead that looked like a bicycle seat and a piece of vintage plastic that reminded me of a chain guard. From those two random pieces an entire bicycle emerged. Since then I’ve adapted the pattern to make it possible for anyone with access to seed beads and a few simple craft items to make her own bike.

Build a bicycle with seed beads
by Sharon Bateman
tight circle with a square knot and weave the end in later. Square stitch two beads at a time around the circle (see “Basics” and photo c). Work a second square-stitch row and leave the thread in place for making the spokes. With the hub centered in the tire, alternately string black 110 seed beads and silver 2-cuts to reach the bottom inside of the tire. Go through the beads around the outside of the tire and string a parallel spoke back to the other edge of the hub (photo d). These are the south spokes. Go around through half the hub edge beads to the north side and make the pair of north spokes. Add the east and west spokes in the same fashion (photo e). Then add a set of spokes between each compass point. Note: You may be tempted to run through the spokes to tighten them as you go. Don’t. Make all the spokes first. If there are any gaps when you are done, run through them again. Complete the second wheel.

stepbystep
After beading the wheels and making assorted bicycle parts including the seat, chain guard, gear sprocket, axle, and head set, you assemble the bicycle body by lacing the parts together with seed beads on wire. Final steps include adding the pedals and handle bars.

wheels I prefer to use brass rings (sold as macramé rings) because of their weight, but use what you can find in a local crafts or fabric store. If desired, cover the rings with black electrical tape, or let the metallic glint provide a natural wheel frame effect.

If using a white plastic ring, cover it with black electrical tape, burnishing it to the ring and trimming rough edges. Thread a needle with 2 yd. (1.8m) of thread and tie the end onto the ring tightly with a square knot and a few half hitches (see “Basics”). Transfer 3 strands of black 110 seed beads to the thread (about 60 in. / 1.5m). Run your needle through the last bead again to secure the strand temporarily and keep it snug as you work. Wrap the strand around and around the ring to cover it. When the end reaches the beginning, go through the first few beads (photo a). Then square stitch (see “Basics”) a few beads at the end and the beginning together to secure them (photo b). Knot with a few half hitches between beads, go through a few beads after the last knot, and cut off the thread. Note: If you haven’t strung enough beads to reach the beginning without gaps, add more; if you have too many, remove them. Make the second wheel. To make a hub for each wheel, string 8 black 110 beads on a 11⁄2-yd. (1.35m) thread. Tie the beads into a

assorted bicycle parts Trace, color with colored pencils,

For the next row.6cm). String a 60 bead.) on each end of the wire. String 20 60 beads (21⁄4 in. / 5. the other wheel’s hub. String 16 60 beads (13⁄4 in. Run both ends through a 60 bead. Cut one 3-in. Run through the original hole of the axle bone bead. When you have woven the last row. String 14 60 beads (11⁄2 in. Use a bone bead for the pedal axle. and a 60 bead onto the center of both 20-in. Turn the head set bone bead so the pair of holes faces the seat. String a 60 bead.3⁄8 in.) on each end of the wire. Run the ends through the second hole of the axle bone bead (photo k). a wheel hub. Use a bone bead for the head set at the base of the handle bars. (Different brands shrink to different percentages. Leave the tails for later. you can use any size or variety of beads you like as long as they go over the wire and allow you to reach the specified measurements. one 4-in. Run the opposite end of the wire through the last 2 beads (photo f). Pull tight (photo i). string the red bead on the wire tail left on the head set bone bead. Run both wires through the top hole (photo l). For the seat. cut a 20-in. a b c d e finishing touches To make the pedals.) onto both ends held together. / 3. the original hole of the bone head set bead. Drill a hole in the center of the sprocket after baking. Run both ends through two 60 beads. Drill two holes near the center. Trim the tail. String 3 size 60 beads onto the wire and bend it in half. Continue in this manner. but it will not go through bugles. slightly offset and perpendicular to each other (figure 4). The 22-gauge wire goes through bugles but not doubled. bow the middle of the seat up slightly. (15cm) length. To build the bicycle frame. a 60 bead. Two are side by side placed vertically on the bead toward one end.6cm) length. String 6 60 beads and a pedal bead. Add a crimp bead. the top hole of the large end of the chain guard and a 60 bead. String 14 60 beads (11⁄2 in. If you use another brand. Trim the wire to 1⁄4 . (6mm-1cm) and make a small loop with the roundnose pliers (see “Basics” and photo n). Trim the wire and make a small loop (photo o). 6 60 beads.3cm) onto both tail wires from the seat held together. String 14 60 beads (11⁄2 in. (51cm) length of black 22-gauge wire. Don’t crimp it tightly enough to break the wire. and a crimp bead. following figure 5. String 14 60 beads (11⁄2 in. Cut two 20-in. (10cm) length. wire. bend a small loop on one end of the 4-in. following manufacturer’s directions.) onto each end of the second 20-in. String a pedal bead.cut out. Drill the third hole perpendicular to the first two and a little toward the other end of the bead (figure 3). Pull the beads tight and crimp carefully. f . wire. Separate the wires and run one through the lower hole. (2cm) from the edge with a standard hole punch as shown on figure 1 before baking.or 22gauge wire. and one 6-in. Drill 3 holes all the way through both sides of the bead. (7. Pull one pair of wires forward and one back and ignore the back wires.8cm) on each of the front pair of wires. bike frame Using 20-gauge wire gives you a sturdier bike. Make sure all the beads are tight and even and crimp the crimp bead (photo j). wires. To make the light. lengths of 20. the middle hole of the axle bone bead and a 60 bead (photo h). Twist the wires together 2-3 times right under the seat and leave the tails for later (photo g).) You can cut the holes in the chain guard 3⁄4 in. and bake the Shrinky Dink chain guard and sprocket (figure 1 and 2a or b. Wrap the end of the wire next to the axle bone bead (photo m). Run both ends through a 60 bead. and a 60 bead on one wire end and cross the other wire end through the three elements. shown full size). string 3 beads on one wire and run the other wire through from the other side. / 4. divide the desired finished size by the finished percentage after shrinking and make the template the resulting size. Pass the ends of the wire forward on each side of the seat post wire 3 beads below the seat and string 16 more 60 beads (13⁄4 in.

(1. (3. hole punch.1/4 in. black • 1 Package silver-lined craft store “2-cut” beads or size 1 bugles • 1 Spool 22-gauge craft wire.3cm) long • 1 Sheet Shrinky Dink • Colored pencils • Beading needles. approx. 2 in. drill with fine bit figure 2a figure 3 figure 4 figure 5 . finished size figure 1 5/8 in. tape measure or ruler. black pressed-glass beads for pedals (6-8mm long) • 1 Red pressed-glass bead for front light • 4 Cylindrical bone beads. finished size from edge 3/4 in. finished size from edge 1/4 in. finished size figure 2b materials • 2 2-in. any colors • 2 Flat. roundand chainnose pliers. #12 • Nymo D beading thread. 1⁄2 in. black Tools: scissors. black • 1 Spool 20-gauge craft wire. 3/4 in. black (optional) • 2 Crimp beads • 10g 60 Seed beads. finished size 11/4 in. wire cutter. (5cm) or 11⁄2 in.8cm) Rings • Black electrical tape (optional) • 1 Hank 110 seed beads.

Go through the last hole left on the bone head set bead (photo r). trim the wire. and a 60 bead. 1 plain bone bead. String a 60 bead. and 1-2 60 beads. wire. make a small loop on one end of the 6-in. p k q l r m s . To add a kick stand. String 5 60 beads on each of the tail wires coming out of the head set crimp bead. Trim the wire and end it with a small loop. String a 60 bead. String a 60 bead. Trim close. and make a small loop (photo p). wrap the end of a 2-in. (5cm) wire around the wire in front of the axle bead and string 60 beads on it. w Sharon has bicycle kits in various colors. and 16 60 beads. Wrap the ends around the handlebars between the 5th and 6th beads from the bone head set bead (photo s). the sprocket. or sharondipity@nidlink. String 16 60 beads.com. Contact her at www. a plain bone bead.sharonbateman. To complete the handlebars. bend a small loop on the 3-in.g i n h j o To add the sprocket. Extend it at a slight angle to the side to meet the table and bend the end at a right angle. Go through the hub of the back wheel. Trim the seat post wire and roll the ends into a small loop. String a 60 bead and go through the hole on the small end of the chain guard. wire. down then out on the other (photo q).com. Trim any excess. Bend the pedal wire in opposite directions: up then out on one side.

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