::: home ::: palmstuff ::: links ::: me ::: books ::: podcast ::: crafts :::
How to make Beaded Snowflakes:

It's not hard at all, but it does take a little practice, so don't get discouraged if your first attempt is a little lumpy -- just try again. You'll need only a few supplies: some beading wire (I like 28-gauge), something that'll cut the wire (ordinary scissors do the trick), and some assorted glass beads. Oh, and some jump rings, little wire circles that you'll add at the end of a spoke so you can hang your snowflake up. You can find jump rings with jewellery findings. The snowflake that I'll demonstrate will work fine with beads that are all the same size, but later you can experiment with some larger round or faceted beads. Don't buy the tiny tiny seed beads, as they are much too small for the wire to go through. Click the right-hand photo, notice the millimeter markings on the ruler, and try to find some beads that are similarly sized to the green and yellow ones next to the ruler. Get good-quality glass beads if you can. Sometimes they have acceptable stuff at your basic crafts store (e.g. Micheal's) but you'll have better luck at a real bead store. But use whatever you can find, they'll be pretty no matter what :)

Step 1:

We'll pretend you are making a red-and-clear snowflake like mine. Cut about 3 feet of wire. That'll probably be too much, but better too much than too little, since there's no way to add more once you've gotten started. String 18 red beads on the wire. Snowflakes always have 6 spokes (arms? points?) so you'll always string a multiple of 6 for your center circle.

Step 2:

Now bend the wire around and form a circle. Stick the end of the wire back through the first bead you strung, so it has a 2-inch tail of wire going off to the left, and the long tail of wire going off to the right. Ignore that little short tail until the snowflake is all done. You can kind of bend it up so it doesn't try to sneak back though the beads. Keep an eye on it. Keep your circle kind of loose -- you can tighten it up when you're almost done.

Step 3:

Now string the following sequence of beads onto the long tail of wire: 4 clear, 1 red, 4 clear, 1 red, 1 clear.

Step 4:

Ok, now skip the single clear bead and stick the end of the wire through the red bead, 4 white beads, and the next red bead. Click the picture for a close-up. This part is a little tricky. Pull that wire slowly though the beads, making sure it DOES NOT KINK. Think of the wire travelling away from the circle and then back again -- pull on the "away" part of the wire to keep the beads nice and snug, and then brace them with your fingers while you tug the "back" part of the wire into place. This will be much easier on your second snowflake :) Ok, when you've got that wire pulled snug, feed 4 more clear beads onto it, and then skip two red beads and work the wire through the third red bead. This is why you keep that circle kind of loose :)

Your first spoke!

You should now have something that looks a lot like this. Now, all you have to do is repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have 6 spokes. But you still have to add that jump ring! So make another spoke, and then check back...

Your second spoke:

Add that jump ring:

It doesn't matter which spoke gets the jump ring. I tend to forget -- so I plan on doing it on the 2nd or 3rd spoke, and often forget 'til the 6th... Try not to forget completely -- it's possible but difficult to add one when you're all finished. String it on the wire after that last clear bead, and then skip the ring AND the clear bead when you go back. The pictures should make it clear.

3, 4, and 5 spokes:

Finishing up:

All right, now that you have 6 spokes, pull both ends of the wire until everything is snug. Clip the long end of the wire to about 2 inches, and then wrap each end around the circle-wire a few times and clip it off. Tug the spokes and even everything out, and you should have a beautiful snowflake!

Well, there you have it! Now you can experiment with different beads and color combinations! Here are some photos for inspiration:

Thanks, Henry, for taking some of the photos for me! Including this one :)

email me@REMOVECAPSkayray.org
thanks to dan parsons and nyip.net for webhosting and shells and happiness :)