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Square-stitch hummingbird

Give life to your beads by stitching them into a pretty little hummingbird like this one.

Combine both tubular and flat square stitch to make the bird and then string it onto a necklace.


  • size 110 seed beads, 3-5g each of 9 colors:
    • teal, green, black, silver-lined white, red, white, pink, amber, gray
  • beading needles, #12 or 13
  • Nymo B or D or Silamide
  • beeswax or Thread Heaven for Nymo
  • Optional: fiberfill for stuffing


Hummingbird_figure 1
Figure 1
Hummingbird_figure 2
Figure 2
Hummingbird_figure 3
Figure 3


Row 1: Start with a 36-in. (.9m) length of thread or longer. String four teal beads then four green beads and tie into a circle with a surgeon’s knot. String one teal and push it into the center of the circle. Go back through the fourth and third teal beads (FIGURE 1, a-b). Go through the center bead and the second and first green beads (FIGURE 1, b-c). This is the top of the head.

Row 2: You now build increasing tubular rows of square stitch to form the head, working figure 2 clockwise. String one teal and three green. Go through the second green bead on row 1 and the last two green beads of row 2 (FIGURE 2, a-b). String three green and one teal. Skip a bead on row 1 and go through the last green bead and the last two beads strung (FIGURE 2, b-c). String four teal, skip a bead on row 1, and go through the next bead and the last two beads strung (FIGURE 2, c-d). End the row by going through the first bead (FIGURE 2, d-e).

Row 3: The head will start to cup with this row. Add seven greens as shown (FIGURE 2, e-f). Then add two teal (FIGURE 2, f-g), three black and one teal (FIGURE 2, g-h), one teal and three black (FIGURE 2, h-i), and two teal. End by going through the first bead of this row (FIGURE 2, i-j).

Row 4: Add eight green in two stitches (FIGURE 2, j-k), three teal (FIGURE 2, k-l), eight black in two stitches (FIGURE 2, l-m), and three teal and a green (FIGURE 2, m-n).

Row 5: To add the eyes, keep the thread snug. Go through the first six greens on row 4. Then drop down to row 3 and go through two greens, two teal, and one black. Add a silver-lined white; skip one black; go through a black, two teals, and a black; and add another silver-lined white. Skip a black and go through a black and two teals on row 3. Then backtrack through the last three teals on row 4 (FIGURE 3, a-b).

Hummingbird_figure 4
Figure 4
Hummingbird Figure 4a


Row 1: Turn the head so the black beads face your dominant hand. Add eight black beads in three stitches (FIGURE 4, a-b).

Row 2: Turn and work back over the black beads to add eight more black beads in three stitches (FIGURE 4, b-c).

Row 3: Now you have a hummingbird head with a wide, flat beak.Numbering the beads opposite to where the thread exits, go through beads 1-4 (FIGURE 4, c-d) and pull the thread tight to line the beads up as shown in FIGURE 4a and turn the head over. Keeping the thread tight, string 14 black beads. Skip the last bead and go back through 13 (FIGURE 4, d-e). Go through beads #5, 6, 2, and 1 (FIGURE 4, e-f). Reinforce the beak by going through #8-5 and the 14 beak beads. Skip the end bead and come back through the 13 beak beads, #4, 3, 7, and 8 (FIGURE 4, f-g). The head is complete.

Hummingbird_figure 5
Figure 5
Hummingbird_figure 6
Figure 6


Row 1: Hold the head upside-down with the beak pointing toward you. The red lines on figure 5 show the existing thread loops. String three red. Sewing from inside to outside, catch the thread between the black and teal beads (head row 4) on the right. Sew from outside to inside through the loop between the #8 beak bead and the black bead to its right. Go back through the last two red beads (FIGURE 5, a-b). Add one white and two teal (FIGURE 5, b-c), ten greens in three stitches (FIGURE 5, c-d), and two teal and one white (FIGURE 5, d-e). String three red and sew from inside to outside under the thread between beak beads #1 and 8. Then sew from outside to inside under the thread between the left-hand black and teal bead on row 4 and go back through the last two red beads (FIGURE 5, e-f). String one red and go through the first three red beads in this row (FIGURE 5, f-g).

Row 2: Add two white and two teal, eight green in two stitches, and two teal and two white. Then add eight red in three stitches. Go through the first white bead to end the row (FIGURE 6, a-b).

Row 3: Work as shown in figure 6, b-c.

Row 4: Follow figure 6, c-d.

Row 5: Follow figure 6, d-e.

Row 6: Follow figure 6, e-f.

Row 7: Follow figure 6, f-g.

Row 8: Follow figure 6, g-h.

Hummingbird_figure 7
Figure 7
Hummingbird Figure 7a
Hummingbird_figure 8
Figure 8
Hummingbird Figure 8a

Lower belly 

Starting with row 9, the belly begins to get smaller.

Read the rows counterclockwise from the outer circle in.

Row 9: Work FIGURE 7, a-b (first inside row).

Row 10: Work figure 7, b-c.

Row 11: Work figure 7, c-d.

Row 12: Work figure 7, d-e.

Row 13: Work figure 7, e-f.

Row 14: Work figure 7, f-g.

Row 14a: To add the feet over the beadwork as you did the eyes, go through the next green on row 14, the second green on row 13, and string three amber. Skip two beads on row 13, go through three teal, and string three amber. Skip two beads on row 13, go through the middle green, the next green on row 14, and the adjacent black (FIGURE 7a, g-h). If desired, stuff the bird body lightly with fiberfill.

Row 15: Work FIGURE 8, a-b.

Row 16: Work figure 8, b-c.

Row 17: Work figure 8, c-d.

Row 18: Work figure 8, d-e.

Row 19: This fills in the bottom of the belly. String three black and go through the third and fourth black beads from the left. Go through the first black strung then teal, green, teal. Go through the last two blacks strung and through the green and teal (FIGURE 8a, a-b).

Hummingbird_figure 9
Figure 9
Hummingbird_figure 10
Figure 10


Weave the thread up the beads on the back of the bird as shown in FIGURE 9, a-b. The thread exits between the black bead and the first green bead on the side on row 13 (the feet row). 

Add the side tail fringes (FIGURE 9, b-c).

Add the three bottom fringes (FIGURE 9, c-d).

Work the other side fringes (FIGURE 9, c-b). End the thread.

Necklace and wings

Row 1: The necklace is the first wing row. Start with about a yard of thread and tie a bead or large knot near the end so the beads don’t fall off. String 10-12 in. (25-30cm) of black beads (the desired length for half the necklace).

String one white, four gray, 15 black, six teal, six green, two white, and two gray. Go through the center six green beads on the back of belly row 2 (the row with two white beads on each side—FIGURE 10, a-b). String the same pattern in reverse for the other wing and end with the same length of black beads. Slide the beads down so the tails are at least 2 in. (5cm) long and tie them together tightly with a surgeon’s knot. Weave in the ends and cut.

Note: The red lines on figure 10 indicate where your needle exits the back for the wing attachment.

Row 2: Bring a new thread out of the back between the left-hand green and teal beads. String one gray and two whites, count down two beads on the wing row, go through two and go back through the last two beads added. For the rest of the row add beads as shown.

End the row by adding one white (FIGURE 10, c-d). Skip the white bead and go back through all the beads on the new wing row and the green belly bead that you exited to begin the row. Drop down one row and exit the green bead (FIGURE 10, d-e).

Rows 3-12: Follow the thread path shown. Remember to drop down one green bead on the body to begin each row. Also notice the variation in the thread path at the ends of rows 11 and 12.

Work the other wing to match.

FIND MORE: square stitch , necklaces

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