Friday, November 26, 2010


Happy Friday dear friends! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Today I am joining Debra of Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday: What's Inspiring My Decor This Christmas. Right now I am being inspired by the thought of snowflakes! We don't have any here yet but they are in the forecast and I love snow!

With our hearts filled with gratitude it is now time to turn our thoughts towards Christmas. Part of the pleasure of Christmas for me is making some sort of package topper, sort of a gift before the gift. Usually I try and come up with some kind of simple ornament. What better way to experience that childlike joy of Christmas than to play with childlike craft supplies like glitter and pipe stems.

I was playing around with an idea for an embellishment I wanted to make with wire and grabbed up a pipe stem to practice with and ended up liking the results. I think it is fun to elevate the ordinary and I hope you will agree that these little ornaments are a cut above kindergarten crafts. I promised you a simple snowflake tutorial and here it is:(All photos in this may be enlarged by clicking for better viewing.)


*6 pipe stems per snowflake
*Wire cutter
*Misc. embellishments of your choice - beads, pearls, junk jewels, buttons, lace, trims, etc.
*Craft Glues - I used a combination of hot glue, matte gel medium, Tacky glue, Clear drying gel glue, and a glue stick
*Paper - Sheet music, book pages, etc. of your choice
*Card stock
*Mini clothes pins
*Brown ink pad


Bend pipe stem in halfBend ends up, creating a " W" shape, bends are approx. 1/2 inchBend ends down as shown below
Cross ends over one another and twist one time just below the previously bent area creating three tipsSlightly bow out sides of loose stem ends, cross over ends leaving 1 inch tails and twist as shown belowRepeat for remaining 5 stems

Lay one snowflake tip on top of another one, twist right ends of stems together, gently pull open laying another section together, always twisting to the right, repeat with remaining sections. Once you reach the last one twist the left end of the first and last ones joined.Gently press snowflake flat, shaping and bending as desired.
Cut a 2 1/2 inch circle of sturdy card stock and two 2 1/2 inch circles of your choice of paper. (Note I used a paper punch but a cut circle will work just fine if you don't have one) Using a glue stick, glue together sandwiching card stock in the middle, inking edges if desired If you plan to use this as a gift tag, only cut and glue one piece of paper of your choice to the card stock, stamp a " To & From" on the blank back side.
Hot Glue snowflake to center of circle leaving the loose ends up, if the center tips are a little wonky just clip them evenly with a wire cutter.Cut six 2 inch by 2 inch squares of paper per snowflake
Optional: Ink edges of paper squares, front and back, by bushing ink pad across them, this gives and antique or aged lookCurl paper squares into a cone and place a bead of craft glue (I used Tacky glue) down the seam as shown belowClip with a mini clothes pin to hold until dry, then remove clips, with Tacky glue this does not take very long at allGlue a paper cone between each snowflake tip as shown belowBrush white craft glue (I used Elmer's) into the cone tip and sprinkle with glitter, allow to dryEmbellish your snowflake in any way you desire. Enjoy!

Here are a few ways I decorated some of the ones I made with a few extra tips and tricks to make unique snowflakes, let's start out simple...This one keeps embellishment to a minimum, just simple mother of pearl buttons, and no messy glitter if you want to skip that step too. This one also shows that you can reverse the paper cones for a different look:Don't want to make the paper cone part? No problem, here are a few versions without them, simply reduce the size of your center circle to 1 inch and glue to back of snowflake, embellish as desired. For this one I simply glued pearl strands down the center of the tips and added a pearl bead center. This one is done the same way only using silver bead strands extra clips of pipe stems are twisted around the tips and glued to the center to give it more dimension with a snippet of vintage tinsel added to the center. This one substitutes the paper tips for some store bought mini tree ornaments, these have the elegance and look of a heavy glass crystal but are light weight plastic. The center is another craft store mini tree ornament. Additional beading has been added to the center of each tip and will be demonstrated a little further in the post.This message snowflake has clear rhinestones glued to the tips, vintage pearl beads on the loose center tips, mica flakes glued inside the cones, and a bubble message in the center. To make a bubble message print out a word onto paper of your choice making sure it is sized to fit behind a clear glass piece, you can get these in the floral section of most craft or hobby stores. Use a clear drying gel glue, put a dot of glue on center flat back of bubble glass piece, press onto word making sure glue spreads to the edges, allow to dry, cut out around glass piece and glue to snowflake center.

This one has crepe paper ruffle glued onto a decorative sheet music punch out. Vintage tinsel wraps the tips just below the three points and is glued between the paper cones. A fine tip edge of silver glitter rings the front outer edge of the cones.Here is one done in gold, the center is an old broach: I used a pretty paper girl dusted with Martha Stewart Ultra Fine Glitter and accented her with feathers, lace, vintage velvet posies, and raspberry beads. A hint of teal gives this on a little pop of color.Here is a pretty one all done up in pink. You did not think I would do one with out a bird did you? This one is my daughters favorite. I hand wove the nest from fibers and wire adding three little vintage pearl eggs and glittered a little ready made bird to further embellish the nest, pink and silver glitter, shell buttons, and mini rhinestones round out the sweet design. Here is a silver stunner that glimmers with mini mirror tiles, glass beads, pearls from an old necklace, and a dusting of silver glitter.Now let's get a little more complex in the design by adding some beading and heavy embellishing, my favorite! Call me crazy but I decided to step away from the traditional colors and see what would transpire. I love these next two! The remind me of velvet and to me they are quite opulent. I bet you never thought you would here that word used in reference to a pipe stem! To add beading to snowflake tips string beads of your choice onto matching pipe stemHot glue tip of stem to base and allow glue to setAdjust beads so they are centered, wrap end of pipe stem around tip a couple of times ending in the back, clip excess off with wire cutter Lastly, I made up this little snow bound cutie. I am not even going to try and explain this process, didn't turn out quite like I envisioned but not all things do. I have so many more designs I want to try out. I might need an intervention to Snowflake Makers Anonymous! I hope you enjoy trying out the tutorial and if you missed previous years Christmas tutorials you can find those HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE!

And if that is not enough snowy goodness for you I saw these WONDERFUL paper snowflakes at Maggie Grace Creates:
Teresa used the tutorial from Cherished Vintage. Don't they look stunning hanging from her chandelier?
(Photos used by permission, property of Teresa at Maggie Grace Creates)

I have to give
these a try!

Happy crafting and I'd love to see your creations if you try any of these tutorials out.
Have a wonderful weekend!


Mouse Droppings Folk Art said...

you are A . M . A . Z . I . N . G . T . A . L . E . N . T. E. D. & an . I . N . S . P . I . R . A . T . I . O . N . to me! Hugs Susan

Dorthe said...

Sandy, OHHHH ist this gorgeus or what, they are FANTASTIC and the one with the angel and rasperry colored pearls, is my very favorite- it is like seing a beautifull old charm from long lost dayes.... they are fantastic yes--but you are even more, such a wonderfull talented artist.
THANKYOU dear, for giving this tutorial of beauty, to us.

LiLi M. said...

This is wonderful! What beautiful snowflakes, they are all gorgeous! By letting us see all the differences when you use different material you must inspire all of us! Thanks for sharing and have a lovely weekend!

donna!ee said...

WOW...these are absolutely scrumptious & beautiful! thank you much for sharing the steps... ;)

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

There are lots of beautiful ornaments out there but these are truly some of the prettiest I have seen. You make it look easy to make but I can see you have put a lot time into each of the gorgeous creations ~ Lovely!

Vintage Market Place said...

I love the snow too and miss it so much.
I got a call from my friends back home yesterday telling me it was coming down like crazy.
Your snowflakes are amazing!
and the possibilities are endless as you have shown you have been busy.
I agree pull out the sparkle and the paper and make Christmas special.
Happy Holidays

The French Bear said...

Sandy, these are so beautiful, what a fun thing to make, love the idea. Thank you for sharing....you are so talented!!! They are just stunning!!!!
Margaret B

Rebecca said...

Hi Sandy
What a fun post! Looks like the snowflakes have given you plenty of inspiration... they are all lovely.
Thanks so much for the tutorial

Unknown said...

Your snowflakes are fantastic!! You are right, the possibilities are endless.
Thanks for sharing.

Vee said...

Oh wow! These are so beautiful and vintage looking. I love your creative mind, my dear. I'll be hauling my mother in to see these...they've got to be easier than the crocheted snowflakes we worked on for years.

Nancy said...

Thank you for the wonderful tutorial. I am going to make some of these today.

Sonya Badgley said...

Oh Sandy, you did it again! They are beautiful! I especially love the little glittered girl one. I'm going to have to try these. Thank you so much for going to the trouble to make this tutorial for us. You made it look easy too. (I hope it is):)
We've had snow and we don't usually. They said we are suppose to get a lot of it this year. It would be nice at Christmas time.
Blessings to you, dear,

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Hi Sandy~ just hopped over from Vintage Inspiration Friday...this is a WONDERFUL project and I can't wait to play! Thanks SO much for sharing the tutorial...I am a new follower!

hilary@oldhousetruelove said...

I LOVE those!

Lululiz said...

STUNNING!!! Thank you so much for sharing these with us, the tutorial is great.

Lady Jane said...

I just found your site. What a gift to find!!! Those snowflakes are amazing. So vintage looking. I cant wait to try them. Thankyou for the wonderful tutorial. Blessings. Lady Jane

Cheryl ~ ZanyMayd said...

InCreDiBle ~ Thank You so much for Sharing.....
Cheryl ~ ZM

Linens Lace and Lattes said...

The snowflakes are beautiful!

Decor To Adore said...

I think someone just gave me an early Christmas gift! Thank you so much!

Snugglebug Blessings said...

I was totally blown away, these are just gorgeous and I am crossing my fingers and hoping I find a minute or two to create some of these lovely works of art. Thanks so much for sharing your talent. God bless. cathy

Nice and Easy Antiques said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I might try these, thank you so much for the inspiration and the generosity to share your wonderful work!

Deb said...

Absolutely gorgeous snowflakes ~ Thanks for the tutorial ♥ I will have to try and make one :-)

Susan deGeneres said...

Hi Miss Sandy,
I love these ornaments. I'm in the process of making one of those sheet music wreaths, and now I see I need to make some snowflake ornaments to go with it. Thanks for the great ideas and tutorial.

Season's Greetings,

Anonymous said...

Sandy, they're so beautifully sweet and delicate. I have so much trouble turning cones that small. Your fingers work magic with tiny paper scraps!
You've inspired me and I needed it. I am SO not in a decorating mood this year.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the most thorough and fabulous tutorials I've seen...ever!!

Amanda Lee said...

These are stunning! Thank you for sharing how you created them. I am totally into using vintage paper these day -- even made a series of woven stars from vintage book pages this year, so these are right up my alley! This is my first time visiting -- mind if I follow along?

Charlene said...

Sweet Sandy I ADORE THIS!!!!!!! It is so beautiful!!!!!! THANK YOU for sharing this with us!!! I can't wait to make some of these!!!! This year I wanted to do gold & silver decor so badly. But, we are having the family here & that means the GRANDS(who are really growing up too fast) so I am doing a child related theme for them but, I do have my Christmas Doll that I bought & did a vingette on top of my hutch. It is done in white, silver & gold so MAYBE I will create some of these for the little tree up there. Again, THANK YOU sweet friend! HUGS!

Unknown said...

Oh my. Spectacular, Sandy!!! I'm still trying to find time to make the Christmas trees!!!!

fhgwetzel said...

I just adore your craftiness and eye for the old time beauty of simplicity. I especially enjoyed the beautiful background music. So peaceful!
God Bless! Susan

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs said...

Oh my goodness ~
Those are so gorgeous
they bring tears to
my eyes!!
Okay I am goofy like that
but they do :)
Thank you for the wonderful
inspiration ~


Lola said...

Felicidades por tu trabajo , muy original. Saludos.


WOW! You are sooo talented. I love all of your vintage touches to your crafts; like the ink rubbing. That looks great. I don't think I'm going to have time to make these this year, but they are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.
~ Julie

Susie Jefferson said...

Just to let you know, I've put a link to this post on my own blog: http://1stfloorflat.blogspot.com/2010/12/two-fabulous-christmas-decoration.html
Hope that's OK? (if not, will remove immediately).

I think your projects are absolutely wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing. Hugs from the UK...

me said...

You are very generous to share these- they are just lovely! Thank you! Happy Holidays!

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