Easy Beaded Snowflakes

Easy Beaded Snowflake Ornaments


View the snowflake gallery

It's that wonderful time of the year. Well, wonderful for some; wonderfully stressful for others with not only the holidays, but all that year-end, wrap-up stuff at work. I decided to offer an anti-stress solution to those in the Colorado office: pick up a wire snowflake form and make a beaded ornament. Twenty people–many from accounting!–took me up on my offer.

At left: Nicole's beaded snowflake uses silver bugle beads, crystals and glass beads.

Why do I love this project? Let me count the ways . . . It's inexpensive. It's quick. It's an ideal project for new beaders–male and female alike. And children can definitely contribute–one employee let her 8-year-old son design her snowflake. (Great job, Ian!).

 

Best of all, because the technique is so simple, this project lets people put most of their energy into the design process–choosing the colors and shapes of beads and arranging them into a pleasing pattern. It really showcased people's personalities and talents. Susan created a red, white, and blue version in honor of her husband in the military. Danielle placed a large, flat-backed pink crystal in the center of both sides of her snowflake, so it would look fabulous no matter which way it hung. Sandi fashioned her own hanger on the back with wire.

At right: Sandi twisted some wire to create her own hook for hanging the snowflake.

View the snowflake gallery to see all 21 snowflakes.

Basic Instructions

1. Start with the basic wire form. (We used the 3.75" size from BeadSmith.)

2. String the beads onto the wire. Tape the ends if you don't want to commit to your design immediately.

3. Working on one end at a time, bend the ends into simple loops or use glue to finish the ends. (Bending the wire is much easier with the larger wire forms.)

4. Add a loop or ribbon to one end.

Project Tips:

  • Shopping for beads: Beads with very small holes–like freshwater pearls–will probably not fit over this wire. If you are going shopping for special beads for this project, it's a good idea to take the wire form with you.
  • Bending the wire: This wire is STIFF. A few people were able to bend it, but others broke it (or their beads) when they tried. You may want to glue the beads on the end instead. (E-6000 works well.) Try using a toothpick to put some glue inside the hole of the last bead before sliding it onto the wire. You may also consider using the larger snowflake forms–the wire used in those is much more malleable.
  • Taping the ends: I taped the ends as I worked on them, then did all my finishing once I was happy with the design. (I learned this trick the hard way when I strung all the beads on, picked up the snowflake to see how it looked, and watched all the beads fall off and roll under the sofa.) If you're more of a "make a commitment and stick with it" type of beader, than you can just finish the ends one at a time as you go.
  • Buy an extra package: I bought a package of eight wire forms at my local bead shop, thinking that would be plenty. I ended up buying two more packages! Trust me, even though before now your Uncle Marty has expressed no interest in anything other than armadillos, he will want to do this project once he sees how much fun the rest of the family is having!

Coming Friday: A beautiful pair of crystal earrings, just right for your holiday parties!


 

Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. She created two more beaded snowflakes after finishing the one she "had" to do for the gallery!


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