There is an old custom of including a spider in with the Christmas tree ornaments, originating in Germany or Eastern Europe. You can find lots of examples on Pinterest, this one is our rendition using a Swarovski Checkerboard bead for the body.
Here is the Legend:
A long time ago, in a small village, a mother was busily cleaning her house in preparation for the coming Christmas celebration. It was the day before Christmas and she hurried around, busily sweeping all the corners, scaring the spiders up into the attic.
Later on that night, after all the activities of the house had come to an end and it was quiet the spiders came back down to the main room and discovered the Christmas tree. Oh! What a beautiful tree it was!
In their excitement over the beautiful tree they scampered up the trunk, then and out on the branches. They were filled with happiness as they climbed all over the tree, and as they were climbing they were laying down spider webs all along the way. By the time they finished they had coated the entire tree in gray, and dusty looking spider webs.
When Santa came in with the gifts for the children, and saw the tree covered with spider webs he smiled when he saw how happy the spiders were, but he knew how heartbroken the mother would be if she saw the tree covered in dusty looking webs.
So, he twinkled his nose and turned the spider webs to gold and silver. The tree sparkled and shimmered and was even more beautiful than before.
And that’s why we have tinsel on our trees and why every tree should have a Christmas spider amongst its branches!
- 1 Swarovski 15mm Checkerboard Bead # 5005
- 24 ga wire for the legs
- 1 headpin for the body
- an assortment of 3mm bugle beads (you could also alternate with 11/0 rounds)
- 1 6 or 8mm Rhinestone Rondelle
- 1 6 or 8mm Swarovski Princess Cut Bead #5040
- 1 Round Ear Wire or you could make your own hanger out of wire
- 3″ of Crystal Cupchain and 2 ends
I put it together by stringing the “head” and adding the front legs, which I cut two pieces of wire to about 4.5″, winding the wire around the headpin tightly, and I continued on stringing the rondelle and the second set of legs, which were about 6″ long so 3″ on each side. Then the body and a loop on the end. (I used my Big Loopers, so easy).
Once it was together I went back to each set of legs and added the beads, working the wire to the shape I wanted, work hardening it as I went along, and it worked well. At first the wire was loose and a bit floppy but by the time I got done with it and had manipulated the legs they became fairly stiff and I was confident they would retain their shape. Each leg gets a small loop to finish it out. I also made a tree hanger with a round ear wire and a 3″ piece of rhinestone cup chain, and two end connectors. Glittery!
I think you could make the spider with any number of other beads, big pearls, glass beads, etc. And this would be a great project to do with kids, maybe using wooden beads for the body, get out the paint and glitter and make a special ornament with your child that will last through many holiday seasons!
We’d love to see photos of your creations! Please feel free to send them to me and I will include in this post. Just send to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add yours to this post.