Bead Buddies

These charming characters make great best-pal gifts for boys and girls.

What You Need:

For Reindeer:

Let the kids make backpack buddies for all their school friends.
  • 2 yards of cord (plastic cord is easier to thread)
  • Beads: 68 light brown (body); 14 white (antlers); 10 cream (snout and belly); 6 dark brown (eyes and hooves); 1 red (nose)

For Snowman:

  • 2 yards of cord (plastic cord is easier to thread)
  • Beads: 84 white (body); 18 brown (arms); 15 blue (hat); 2 black, 2 orange, 3 red (facial features); 3 green (buttons)

For Rabbit:

  • 2 pieces of cord, one 2 yards long and one 2 feet long (plastic cord is easier to thread)
  • Beads: 60 gray (body); 12 light purple (ears and belly); 2 black (eyes); 1 pink (nose); 3 cream (tail)
  • Knot the two cords together, and start in the middle. Pair the long cord with the short cord to make the ears. After threading the short cord through the nose, leave the ends as whiskers.

For Bear:

  • 2 yards of cord (plastic cord is easier to thread)
  • Beads: 99 yellow (body); 2 brown (eyes); 1 tan (nose); 21 cream (snout and belly)


1. Download the free pattern for this project. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)

Reindeer and Snowman pattern

Rabbit and Bear pattern

Download Adobe Acrobat

2. Measure the amount of cord you'll need for the project you choose. Fold the cord exactly in half, and tie a small knot at the folded end.

3. String the beads for the first row onto the right cord, following the diagram. Then push the left cord through those beads, from left to right. String the second row of beads onto the right cord, and weave the left cord through them, left to right. Continue in this manner, stringing beads onto the right cord and weaving the left cord through them.

4. For arms, legs, tails, or ears, string all the beads you'll need in a single row on one cord. Line up the beads in rows on the cord to make the desired shape. Loop and weave the cord back through the rows to make the shape you want. Bring the part up to the body, tighten the cord, and tie a knot.

5. When you're done, tie a knot in the end and trim the cord.


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