Intro: Kinetic Snowflakes
This is a quick and easy way to make moving snowflake decorations.
Step 1: Use Illustrator or InkScape to Create a Vector Drawing of a Snowflake
When you make your vector drawing, be sure to include several areas in the middle that can be cut out and removed to allow your snowflake to move. Here is my .ai (Illustrator file, CS4 or later) if you want an idea to work from.
Step 2: Use a Laser Cutter to Cut the File Into Wood, Acrylic or Cardboard.
If you turn the .ai file into an .svg, you could also 3D print it, but laser cutting will be much faster if you have access to one. For my example, I used 1/4" light wood. I like the wooden look of the snowflakes, but they could easily be painted or stained.
Step 3: Drill Holes Into the Top and Bottom of Your Snowflake Pieces.
After laser cutting your snowflakes, discard the extra inner pieces so you are left with at least three pieces per snowflake. Then, very carefully (especially if you used 1/4" wood like I did!) drill holes into the top and bottom of each piece. This is where you'll put the string! If you cut your snowflakes from corrugated cardboard, you should be able to put the string right through one of the holes.
Step 4: Insert String Through the Pieces and Tie Them.
Take a piece of string or fishing line and insert it through all the holes you just drilled. Tie a support knot at the bottom of each piece to help the spinning (a small piece of scotch tape would work here too). Finally, tie a nut or washer on the bottom of the string to weigh it down a little and make it spin more easily and hang it for all to enjoy!