Resources – making scabies mites


This page is all about making the scabies mites used in the project. Initially a pattern had to be made, and four sizes were chosen.

Ideas for ways of making the eight legs that each mite requires, (except the nymph which has six)

Adding legs to the mites can be done in various ways, but making them from twisted yarn is effective, and involves some learning of sewing skills. They are floppy and can be manipulated easily, can can even have wire inserted if you want to pose the legs.

four completed legs

Twisted yarn mite-legs – this is what they look like

The link to the pdf instruction sheet is below.


Pipecleaners – the final solution

A bundle of multi-coloured pipecleaners makes great legs, but at a cost. Five hundred 15cm x 6mm chenille pipecleaners cost approximately £6 on ebay, and as each mite needs to have eight legs, this seemed a reasonable bundle to order. Using wired pipecleaners means that the mites will to a certain extent be ‘poseable’ when taking stills and footage for animating the stories.  The chenille finish and rich colours of the pipecleaners were lovely, and we got carried away by this as much as the children.

The pipecleaners are used doubled so that we could get two legs from each one, but we still used most of them what with example mites, demonstrations and some children making more than one mite.


Making the final mites

We used scrap materials – various colourful cotton prints, synthetic satin, and some tweeds.


Stuffing with polyester fibre

Mites in a bag

The mites made and ready to go to the workshop for decorating



Adding ‘bling’, legs and antennae

Fancy yarns were perfect for antennae and buttons, sequins, goggle eyes and a selection of stick-on gems (from the Pound shop), were ideal for decorating and adding some ‘bling’ to the mites. The children loved this part, but then who wouldn’t?

Some children managed to sew on the buttons and sequins, but others decided to glue them on. We had provided a fast setting high-tack fabric glue, which meant that it didn’t take too long for them to set. Unfortunately when they were transported some of the sequins etc came adrift, so I spent a few hours one evening watching TV whilst I sewed the sequins on more securely otherwise I didn’t think they would survive being handled whilst the animation was being made.






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