Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Beaded Snowflakes Tutorial

I always love a project that has a lot of effect for little time. These snowflake ornaments are just the ticket. They are near and dear to my heart, and I'll tell you that story in my next post. Meanwhile, here is the tutorial.
There are two ways you can make these- The Right Way, and The Other Right Way.
I'll show you The Right Way first.

These are the tools you need- a file suitable for thick wire, sturdy wire cutters, fine gauge wire, 20 gauge wire, and a plier.

Cut three lengths of 20g. wire, about 8 in. or so.

 Make them all the same length. File your sharp ends for safety.

Cut a length of your fine gauge wire, about 8-10 in. Start wrapping all three wires in the center. 

Just wrap a few times around all of them.

Then, split all three, keeping them the same distance apart.

Start weaving your thinner wire through the three thicker pieces, keeping them the same distance apart the entire time. Cut your thin wire when you're satisfied that the form is secure. Finish weaving the end.

When you're done weaving, it should look like this.

Take your pliers and squeeze your woven wire on opposite sides toward the center. This will stabilize your form.

Next, it's the fun part. Firstly (and this is VERY IMPORTANT). If you didn't center your thick wire before you wrapped the center, you will perhaps have one spoke that is shorter than the rest. START ON THIS ONE FIRST! If you don't, you might not have room for the same sequence of beads all around if you start on the longer ones first. Make sense? If not, you'll only have to make this mistake once to see what I mean. ;)
I like to start out by surveying my beads and planning a general design. I group my beads into 6s. If you don't do that, you may end up on the last spoke, only to discover that you don't have enough beads to make it symmetrical. Trust me, I know.

Start threading your spoke. If you don't like the design, just take the beads off and start over.

Some beads might have large center holes. Keep this in mind as you thread them. If you put this one next to a smaller bead, like a seed bead, it will fall right over the bead, messing up your design and symmetry. I also like to start with smaller beads in the center. You'll see why later.

When you're satisfied with your first spoke, cut off the rest of the spoke, leaving a little bit to turn over (about 1/4 of an inch or less). Don't cut it too short. You need room to turn it over. Grab your pliers.

"Fold" your wire about 90 degrees to one side.

Then, grab the end and "turn" it to the opposite side. Close up the loop with the pliers.

This is what it should look like. 

Continue with the remaining 5 spokes, closing the ends after each spoke is finished. How do I know that? Let's just say that I think I have beads on my kitchen floor that haven't been found for years.

And, this is The Other Right Way. I didn't start out with smaller beads in the center, and my snowflake got all wonky because there wasn't room for the bigger beads to start out. I'm probably going to re-do this one (by cutting the ends off and making a smaller one), but I wouldn't have to. If you don't want to make your snowflakes symmetrical (let's face it, I have lots of mismatched beads waiting to be used), you don't have to. It's purely preference.

Here's a finished one. 

And this is how it looks on my tinsel tree. I just think they're the bee's knees.

And, stay tuned for another idea of how to dress these snowflakes up even more!
Thanks for looking!
Fondly, Tami
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1 comment:

  1. Such a pretty snowflake-a beautiful ornament on your tree!


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