Monday, 12 December 2011

Advent day 12: crystal snowflakes tutorial and a giveaway

Edited to add - this is my Making Winter post for this month!

I feel a bit of a fraud - not only is it not day 12, it's the morning of day 13, but also we didn't actually do yesterday's scheduled activity. We were supposed to go shopping for Christmas ornaments (the girls get a new one every year to make a little collection they'll eventually take to their own homes - assuming we ever let them leave home. Ahem.) but events overtook us, so instead I've taken a few pictures of how to make the crystal snowflakes.

And here I feel a fraud again - the first thing to do is to buy the snowflake frames. I know some of you thought I had cleverly soldered and twisted and spun the frames out of the purest green, but in fact they are on sale at my local bead shop. If you're in or near Cambridge, the Beaderie is your source for all snowflake making components (and mine are an adaptation of the ones Sally makes there), otherwise google is your friend ...

So, first grab your frames:

round and flat nosed (chain nosed? I am making this up as I go along) pliers:

crystals - these are glass and very sparkly:

and seed beads in mouthwatering colours:

Thread beads onto one arm in a pleasing arrangement, leaving about 70mm free wire. The most important thing is to put a seed bead, or other small bead at the open end as these frequently get chipped or cracked in the next stage and you don't want to waste Swarovski:

Bend the tip of the wire firmly with your flat nosed pliers - the wire is stiff, you'll need to be insistent:

Bend the free wire into a loop with your round nosed pliers:

Neaten the loop and urge it closed with flat nosed pliers:

Repeat on the other five arms:

And go a bit crazy:

Hang them up and admire the sparkle.

And now for the giveaway. Months and months ago, lovely Ali Magic Bean ran a pay it forward which I won and never blogged about, and spectacularly failed to follow up on. So I shall try to make up for it now and say that there are 3 of these snowflakes up for grabs, with no strings attached except for the ones to hang them by. Not a PIF, just a gift. Leave a comment if you'd like one - I can't guarantee a colour preference but I will try to accommodate requests. You can sign up till Friday to give me time to get them in the post before The Big Day - though sadly international commenters probably won't get theirs till the New Year now!


  1. Aaahh thank you for the tutorial and now I know where to get the snowflake frames from, not that I knew such a thing existed.

  2. oooh, please add my name to the hat while I go off in search of some snowflake frames........

    Thank you x

  3. Rachel Livingstone13 December 2011 at 12:43

    Lovely snowflakes. Thank you for doing a giveaway.

  4. Oh! They're on snowflake frames -- very, very clever! They're beautiful Ms. Dotty -- thanks so much for sharing the how-to with us!!!

  5. Oh they're so gorgeous and fabulous to see them en masse like that is all their colourful sparkly goodness. Which days might be good to get the little ones together next week?

  6. Did wonder how you got the frames. Wondered how I could twist sme wire to get the right shape. And by the way they are lovely decorations.

    Thanks for sharing this.
    Morag x

  7. oh they are just so gorgeous, and you make that wire bending look so easy, which I know it isn't........

  8. And there I was picturing you with you goggles and soldering iron!

    Lovely sparkly stars... I can imagine they are really addictive to make.


  9. what an amazing tutorial and they are all so lovely! xxx

  10. I wondered how you got such a beautiful snowflake shape. They are gorgeous and I know I would never get such a beautiful loop at the end. I don't expect you to put my name in the giveaway as I am already lucky enough to have one. Lovely to see you today and I went straight off afterwards and bought my tree at Bury Lane.

  11. Evening. Gorgeous. Please can I join in even though I was at the other end of the Pay It Forward???? Ax

  12. Oooo! I have some of those frames hanging around. Although they are buried under 2/3 of a kitchen being inthe wrong room.

  13. As soon as I saw your post about these I was searching for a tutorial and have found me some frames but am so grateful for the clear instructions - now to go wild with the beads! Thanks so much for sharing rhis.

  14. Tutorial and a giveaway - you are spoiling us ;-) AND informative as I never knew you could even buy such a thing as snowflake frames!

  15. HI, what gorgeous snowflakes!! I haven't seen anything I like more than these, so please add me to your giveaway even though I'm internationally challenged with post!!!! :-)
    Happy Christmas to you.
    Suzanne x

  16. Snowflake frames eh? If I got some, then it'd be a good reason to go bead shopping, wouldn't it? And the little set of pliers I got after Emma's workshop would get some use. Hmmmm.....

    Thank you for the fab tutorial!

  17. So todays shopping list -
    milk, pretty beads, snowflake frames, nappies and pliers!
    Thank you :)

  18. I love these snowflakes and was another who thought you had made the stars. Was about to ask you how. All is now revealed. I would love to own thress so please enter me in the draw. Happy Christmas.

  19. Very pretty and an excellent tutorial. Thanks.

  20. Thanks for taking the time to do that tutorial , it is fab! I would love to have one of your creations in my home, please pop me in your hat x

  21. thank you for the tutorial - I love the instruction to 'urge it closed'!
    I would love to win one of your oh so pretty snowflakes!

  22. Oh I love your pretty snowflakes! Now if I can just muster up the patience to make one ;)?
    Merry Christmas!

  23. I love these, they're so pretty and thanks for the tutorial too.

  24. they are beautiful and I would love one, any colour.

    I am really enjoing your December blogging, glad to see you back

  25. I'm way behind in my reading, but wanted to let you know how beautiful I think these are! Happy New Year!


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