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Tiny turtle earrings

Only the cutest thing you can make with 88 seed beads!


You can easily adapt this pattern to make a ladybug. Work as described, but omit the tail, and, in round 3, use Bs instead of As and stitch an extra leg on each side.

These little turtles are like the potato chips of the bead world — you’ll love making them so much, you won’t be able to stop. They’re quick and easy to stitch, so before long, you’ll have an entire bale of turtles.  


pair of earrings

  • seed beads
    • 4 size 6/0
    • 44 size 11/0, color A
    • 40 size 11/0, color B
  • 2 4 mm jump rings
  • pair of earring findings
  • nylon beading thread, size D, or Fireline 6 lb. test
  • beading needles, #11
  • 2 pair of pliers
Figure 1
Figure 1

1. On 2 ft. (61 cm) of thread or Fireline, pick up four color A 11/0 seed beads, leaving a 6-in. (15 cm) tail. Tie the beads into a ring with a square knot, and sew through the first A again (FIGURE 1, a–b).

2. Work in modified tubular peyote stitch as follows:

Round 1: Pick up an A, and sew through the next A in the ring (b–c). Repeat around, and step up through the first A added in this round (c–d).

Figure 2
Figure 2
Tiny turtle earrings_a
Photo A

Round 2: Pick up two color B 11/0 seed beads, and sew through the next 11/0 in the previous round (FIGURE 2, a–b)

To add a leg, pick up an A, and sew through the A your thread just exited again (b–c). Repeat three times, and step up through the first B added in this round (c–d and PHOTO a).

Figure 3
Figure 3
Tiny turtle earrings_b
Photo b
3. To make the tail, pick up two As, skip the second A, and sew back through the first A and the next B in the previous round (FIGURE 3, a–b and PHOTO b).
Tiny turtle earrings_c
Photo c
Tiny turtle earrings_d
Photo d

4. Continue in modified peyote stitch:

Round 3: Pick up an A, and sew through the next pair of Bs (b–c and PHOTO C, right). 

Repeat three times, and step up through the first A added in this round (c–d and PHOTO D, right). Pull the beads snug so they begin to form a raised ring.

Round 4: Work four stitches with two Bs per stitch, and step up through the first two Bs added in this round (PHOTO E, below).

Round 5: Work four stitches with one A per stitch, and step up through the first A added in this round (PHOTO F, below).

Round 6: Insert a 6/0 seed bead in the center of the beadwork (PHOTO G, below). Work four stitches with one B per stitch, and step up through the first B added in this round (PHOTO H, below). Sew through the four Bs again to close the gap at the top.

5. Sew through the beadwork to exit a pair of Bs opposite the turtle’s tail. Pick up a 6/0, and sew through the pair of Bs again. Sew through the 6/0 again, and continue through the other pair of Bs parallel to the Bs your thread just exited (PHOTO I, below). Retrace the thread path several times. Secure the working thread and tail with a few half-hitch knots (Online Basics), and trim.

6. Open a jump ring, and attach the 6/0 and the loop of an earring finding. Close the jump ring (PHOTO J, below).

7. Make a second earring.

Tiny turtle earrings_e
Photo e
Tiny turtle earrings_f
Photo f
Tiny turtle earrings_g
Photo g
Tiny turtle earrings_h
Photo h
Tiny turtle earrings_i
Photo i
Tiny turtle earrings_j
Photo j
Mix and match your color palette!
Close up blue
Close up orange and red
FIND MORE: peyote , earrings , seed beads

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