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Beaded Bugs asserts that the “neat shape and brilliant colors of insects make them ideal subjects for small beading projects” and the resulting projects are certainly intricate and beautiful. All of the specimens in the book are based on real bugs and Beaded Bugs gives a little bio on each, along with their habitat, wingspan and technical name. There’s a wide range of colors represented by the different species, from bright to dark to pastels. When the bugs are finished the author suggests using them as pins to decorate clothes, hats or even a desk or dresser. I think that bags and purses would also be a nice way to display the lovely creatures.

I’ve done beading projects in the past, but if you’re new to it, Beaded Bugs includes several pages of information on simple beading techniques, as well as tips for using beads, wire and tools. The author suggested starting with one of the butterfly patterns in order to figure out how to use the beading chart and also the butterflies are 2-D, while some of the more advanced bugs are 3-D. I started out with the first design in the book, which was for an Eastern Tailed Blue Butterfly. I found the illustrations and diagrams that explain exactly how to arrange the beads very clear and easy to follow. I’m sure I could use a little improvement, but I was quite pleased with how it turned out and I’m excited to move on to the caterpillar, which the author assures us is a simple project. My goal is to work my way up to creating the classic Seven Spotted Ladybug in Beaded Bugs.