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Picture of Snowflake decoration
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My sister sells beads on ebay so I thought I would try making some Christmas decorations with them.
I'd never really made anything with beads before, though I have done lots of other crafts.


I'm selling kits to make this in my rather sparse shop on etsy and also on ebay.
 
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Step 1:

Picture of
To make the snowflake you will need
  • 24 12mm (large) beads
  • 18 6mm (medium) beads
  • 42 4mm (small) beads
  • 1 m 0.5 mm (24 gauge) beading wire or similar (should keep its shape when bent)
  • ribbon or similar for hanging
wire cutters, strong scissors or nail clippers

To make the snowflake used here, the large and medium beads are acrylic white translucent beads, the small beads are transparent iridescent beads.

Step 2: Snowflake center

Picture of snowflake center
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Thread six large (12mm) beads onto the wire.
Slide them so that they are at the centre of the wire. 
Take the right end of the wire and thread it left to right through the leftmost bead on the wire.
Pull the ends of the wire so that the beads form a circle. This is the centre of the snowflake.
The two ends of the wire should come out on either side of one of the beads.
The next bit can get confusing, so I'll call the end on the left "end A" and the end on the right, "end B".

Step 3: First arm of snowflake

Picture of First arm of snowflake
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On the right hand end of the wire (end B), thread
  • medium (6mm) bead
  • small (4mm) bead
  • medium bead
  • *small bead*
  • small bead
  • large bead
  • small bead
  • large bead
  • small bead
  • large bead
  • small bead
Make a loop by threading the wire back through the small bead marked with asterisks (of the two small beads together it is the one closest to the snowflake centre). I find making the loop easier if you bend the wire and get the beads where you want them to be before threading the wire back through 4mm bead.

Step 4: Bottom of first arm/ start of second arm

Picture of bottom of first arm/ start of second arm
Thread on to the wire end B (the end you've just used to make the loop) and then
  • one medium bead
  • one small bead
  • one medium bead
Both ends of the wire should be on the same side of the snowflake arm, if not the arm will need to be twisted.
Thread the other end of the wire (end A) through the last medium bead on end B, in the opposite direction.
End A is now ready to start the second arm of the snowflake.
Thread end B though the large bead shown in the photo.

Step 5: Second Arm

You might notice that I've turned the snowflake over here, just to be confusing.
On end A thread
  • small bead (you might notice this is missing from the picture - I made a mistake!)
  • medium bead
  • small bead - this is the bead you thread the wire back through
  • another small bead
  • large bead
  • small bead
  • large bead
  • small bead
  • large bead
  • small bead

Step 6:

Picture of
Thread the end of the wire (end A) back through the small bead shown (of the two small beads beside each other, the one closer to the snowflake centre)
Again, make sure that both ends of the wire are on the same side of the snowflake arm.

Step 7:

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Thread on to same end of wire (end A)
  • medium bead
  • small bead
  • medium bead
then thread the other end of the wire (end B)  through the last medium bead in the opposite direction. This end is now ready to start the next arm.
Thread end A through the large bead shown.
Pull the wires tight.

You might notice that the mistake I made earlier has now miraculously been corrected. No idea how this happened.

Step 8: Third, fourth and fifth arms.

Picture of Third, fourth and fifth arms.
To make the third, fourth and fifth arms, repeat steps 5-7, but with alternating ends of the wire. The third arm is made by threading beads onto end B, the fourth arm by threading onto end A and the fifth arm by threading onto end B again.

Step 9: Sixth arm

Picture of Sixth arm
Repeat steps 5 and 6 to make the sixth arm.
After making the loop, thread onto the wire (end A)
  • medium bead
  • small bead
Thread end A through the medium bead at the bottom of the first arm as shown in the picture, then back through the large bead shown (this means that the ends of the wire are now separated by two large beads)

Step 10: Making a hanging loop

Picture of Making a hanging loop
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Take the longer of the two ends of the wire and thread through a medium bead as shown.
Leaving a loop large enough to thread a ribbon through, thread the wire back through the same bead.

I usually work out the length of wire needed to make the loop, then cut off the excess before I thread the wire back into the medium bead, so that the end of the wire is hidden in the bead.

Twist the wire loop to secure it.

With the beads I've used here, the ends of the wire can now be cut off using wire cutters, scissors, or nail clippers, if you haven't already done so. However, when using beads with larger holes, I've found that the snowflake can be a bit loose, in which case,I thread the ends through a few more beads until it feels secure. 

You may need to bend the arms of the snowflake to even it up.

Thread a ribbon through the loop, and congratulations, you have made a beautiful snowflake!