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A lot of people have asked me to share a wire art tutorial on how we made Matilda and her web. Matilda is the little spider that
keeps kept our spooktacular skull company. Well, she used to anyway. We’ve moved her outside so she can start making some real arachnoidish friends. I must admit their plotting was driving me insane 😀
She’s really easy to make. All you need is some 14 gauge jewelry wire (we had some left over after making the Tree of Life), 26 gauge jewelry wire, a empty frame and two beads. I didn’t have a spare frame so we just made one using pallet offcuts and an old rusty hinge. I couldn’t find my frame clamps the day we made the frame, so I had to use a brick to weigh the off cuts down while the wood glue was drying.
Once the frame was dry, we could start making the web. Using the 14 gauge jewelry wire we cut:
The length of the wire depends on your frame size (ours is roughly 36 cm by 30 cm) so adapt the lengths to suit. Bend the two 50 cm pieces in half and then lay them out as shown below in the second pic. Take the shortest middle wire and wrap it around both the bent longer pieces to form the outer strands of the spider’s web.
Rearrange the pieces in the corner of your frame and pull them apart until you’re happy with the spacing.
Use the thinner 26 gauge jewelry wire to add the cross strands. I’m not even sure if that’s the right word, I don’t do spider speak 😉 Anyways, start at the top about 2 .5 cm down from the the point where the 14 gauge wires join and wrap the 26 gauge around each strand. Leave a long enough piece of wire on either side so you can attach the web to the frame when your done. Repeat the whole process as you move down the strands to complete the web.
When all the cross strands have been added, use a staple gun to staple those lose bits on the end of the web to the frame. Trim off any scraggly bits.
To make Matilda we used some black beads from a broken necklace and the left over bits of wire. We cut 4 pieces about 8 cm long for the legs and a longer piece to join the beads together. I started by pushing the wire through the smaller bead and then wrapping it around the 4 leg pieces.
Once the legs were attached to the head, I pushed the wire through the larger bead to add a body. Matilda really came to life when I started bending her legs. I never knew that spider legs actually have seven different sections. I looked it up on Google. The femur, tibia metatarsus and tarsus are the longer bits and the coxa, trochanter and patella are the joints in between. To try make Matilda as realistic as possible I adjusted the legs accordingly and gave them three bends each where I though the joints should go.
I used some fishing gut to hang Matilda from the web. When I first hung her, I did it all wrong. It was only when hubby said “you do know that spiders spin out of their bums” that I realized my mistake 😀 Geez, I can name a spider’s leg bits but completely forgot where her spinnerets are. So much for trying to make her look realistic.
We hung her and her frame outside using some twine and an old hinge. I think she turned out pretty cool and I really hope she makes some new friends. What do you think?
If you’re looking for some more wire art ideas and want to try something a little more “complicated”, then these wire art tips will help.
So quick question, are you an arachnophobe or an arachnophile? Me, I’m definitely an arachnophile, I love them, my favorite is probably the rain spider. We have three in our house at the moment. Guess we’ll be getting some rain soon 😉 As always sending you much love and tons of blessing.
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