Introduction: Illuminated Snowflake Ornament

Simple and elegant, the illuminated snowflake ornament will brighten up your holidays. 

These LED snowflake ornaments are super-easy to make and only take about 15-20 minutes each (depends on how long you experiment with the beading). This is the first project that I've really "beaded" but I can imagine such beautiful forms from crafters/makers with actual beading experience.

You can download a detailed PDF here.

Note: If you are planning on making more than a few LED ornaments, it is more efficient to create a "power ribbon" using traces of conductive thread connected to a rechargeable battery. Later this week, I will upload a diagram of the "power ribbon".

Materials:
— 3" Head Pins {6} Any conductive wire can be used—brass, nickel and copper jewelry wire works great.
— Beads (with a large center-hole to fit head pin AND wire wrap wire)
— Crimp Beads {6} *optional
— 3 or 5mm LED
— Wire Wrap Wire {12"} You can substitute wire wrap for any other thin insulated wire
— Metallic Magnetic Jewelry Clasp
— 3V Coin Cell Battery
— Solder

Tools
— Needle-nose pliers
— Wire cutter and stripper
— Soldering Iron
— Glue Gun

Step 1: Design the Snowflake

String the beads on the head pin, leaving at least 1/4" of the pin free on opposite end. If you have crimp beads handy, add a crimp bead at each end to prevent the beads from moving. Repeat four times, creating a total of 5 beaded pins.

Step 2: Add the Battery Wire

Cut the wire into one 8" and 4" piece. Strip 1" of wire off both ends.

For the 6th pin, string the beads along the 8" wire AND pin. (If the center hole of a bead is too small to fit both the wire and pin, string the bead on the pin only.)

This wire, along with the one of the head pins will be used to the LED to the coin cell battery.

Step 3: Prepare LED

Using wire cutters, trim the LED leads to about 1/2".

Step 4: Solder the LED

Insert the LED in between two beaded pins, one with the wire and one without the wire.

If the LED lead fits, secure the lead inside the last bead of each pin, making sure the LED lead and pin overlap.

Solder the LED lead to the beaded pin with the wire, making sure that you do NOT solder the wire accidentally. You will be soldering the wire to the opposite pin.

Wrap the stripped end of the wire around the LED lead and pin (without wire). Solder, creating a nice solder joint.

Step 5: Assemble the Snowflake

Using a hot glue gun, glue the remaining four beaded pins symmetrically to the center of the LED.

Step 6: Solder the First Magnetic Clasp

Wrap one stripped end of the 4" wire around the loop of a magnetic clasp. Wrap the opposite end around the loop of the pin. Solder.

Step 7: Solder the Second Magnetic Clasp

Wrap the stripped end of the 8" wire around the loop of the remaining magnetic clasp. Solder.

Step 8: Add Battery

Congratulations! Your ornament is complete! Place the battery in between the two magnetic clasps and check to see if your LED light is on. If the LED does not turn on, flip the battery!

Note: To turn the ornament off, simply flip the battery.

Step 9: Another Variation


Comments

author
canucksgirl (author)2011-12-07

FANTASTIC Syuzi - I absolutely love these and plan on making them soon!

author
phoenixjen (author)2009-12-08

I want to make these but I need to know a good source for the LED lights. Also, the wire wrap wire, is that like beading wire? Thanks for your response.

author
Syuzi (author)phoenixjen2009-12-14

 Hi! If you're only planning on making a few, I would just go down to your local Radio Shack or electronics store and pick some up. 

If you are looking to begin experimenting with LEDs, than I would look into buying a package of 50 or more from various sources on ebay. I buy my LEDs from here. It takes a few weeks to receive them though. 

Sparkfun also has LEDs and they ship pretty quickly. 

Wire wrap wire is not beading wire. It is a thin electrical wire (30 AWG or so) that is coated. 

You can use any type of thin wire — including nylon coated stainless steel beading wire. Just make sure to strip the ends (remove the nylon coating) before you solder. You MUST use a coated wire otherwise you'll short the circuit. 

I hope I've answered your questions! Let me know if you need more help!

Good Luck!


author
phoenixjen (author)Syuzi2009-12-19

Thank you so much! I am planning on trying it this week now that the kids are off. :)

author
Nicolas Jara (author)2009-12-07

That's great!

author
Syuzi (author)2009-12-06

 please post some photos if you do get around to making the ornaments. I would love to see them!

author
debpix (author)2009-12-06

Your photos are excellent and the instructions are extremely clear. Keep it up!

author
Syuzi (author)debpix2009-12-06

 thanks! :-)

author
hishealer (author)2009-12-04

I might have to learn to solder, these are beautiful!  Genius with the magnetic clasp!

author
ChrysN (author)2009-12-03

Wow, it's so pretty!

author
fungus amungus (author)2009-12-03

These look great!