Beading / Jewelry

Beaded Snowflake

By  Maria Rypan  for  Rypan Designs

Bring the magic and wonder of winter indoors by creating opulent beaded snowflakes tipped with sparkly Swarovski crystals.

Materials

  • Bugle beads, 20mm or 30mm, 24
  • Swarovski Crystal Bicones (5328), 6mm, 12
  • Seed beads: Size 6/0, 24 pony; Size 11/0, 12 fine
  • Softflex SoftTOUCH Very Fine Beading Wire, .010, 4’ or 5’ length

Tools

  • Hand tools: chain-nose pliers, fine wire clippers, very fine beading needle

Basic Supplies

  • beading mat or plate
  • General
  • 1. Cut 4' of beading wire if using 20mm bugles or 5' of beading wire for 30 mm bugles. See Photo 1.

    Photo 1
  • 2. Use chain-nose pliers to flatten tip of beading wire. See Photo 2.

    Photo 2
  • 3. Using pliers, insert flattened end of wire through eye of beading needle. See Photo 3. Hold onto needle eye as you pull wire for 2" tail. (Note: Inserting needle any further would cause abrasion to wire.)

    Photo 3
  • 4. Insert 12 pony beads onto beading needle for inner circle. See Photo 4. Push beads down needle, folding 2" tail.

    Photo 4
  • 5. 5 Tie pony beads into circle 6" away from opposite end of beading wire using double knot to create firm circle. See Photo 5 and Figure 1.

    Photo 5


    Diagram 1
  • Starting First ‘V' Point
  • 1. Note: Refer to labels on Figure 2 for this section. Hold snowflake in hand throughout entire process. Keep circle of beads tightly between thumb and index finger of your non-dominant hand. Firmly set each bugle in place as you bead around circle of beads as beading cannot be tightened later.

    Diagram 2
  • 2. String 1 bugle, 1 pony, 1 crystal, and 1 seed bead (Beads A-D) down wire for start of point. See Photo 6.

    Photo 6
  • 3. Leaving seed bead on wire, insert needle back through crystal and base pony bead to create zig point, holding beads in between fingers to control tension and placement of tip. See Photo 7.

    Photo 7
  • 4. Pull beading wire firmly to secure beads, making sure there is no space between bugle and beads. See Photo 8.

    Photo 8
  • 5. String 1 bugle (Bead E) on wire. Insert needle into the fourth bead from start of first leg. Pass through three beads and exit out of circle (Beads 4 to 2). Pull with firm tug to set ‘V' point. See Photo 9.

    Photo 9
  • Continuing ‘V' Points
  • 1. Note: Refer to labels on Figure 3 for this section. Keep work in hand to maintain tension so the fanwheel points keep shape.

    Diagram 3
  • 2. String 1 bugle, 1 pony base, 1 crystal and 1 seed, (Beads F-I). Create zigzag point by passing back down through crystal and base. Tip will act as plug. See Photo 10.

    Photo 10
  • 3. Firmly set zigzag point in place by holding bugle against bead circle. Pull with firm tug to set point. See Photo 11.

    Photo 11
  • 4. String 1 bugle (Bead J) on wire. Insert needle into fourth bead from start of second leg. Pull through three beads and exit out of circle (Beads 5 to 3). Pull with firm tug to set point. See Photo 12.

    Photo 12
  • 5. While holding snowflake, keep repeating stringing sequence in Step 1-3 of this section for nine total inverted "V" points. Always make sure ‘V' points start at front of snowflake. The eighth point will have one bead in between inverted ‘V's on circle. Continue to hook in second leg of ‘V' four beads over front where point starts and pass back through three beads to have perfect spacing. Each point will be one bead apart. See Photos 13-20. (Note: The ninth inverted ‘V' will be last time you can comfortably pass back from front.)

    Photo 13


    Photo 14


    Photo 15


    Photo 16


    Photo 17


    Photo 18


    Photo 19


    Photo 20
  • ‘V' Points 10, 11 and 12
  • 1. Start tenth inverted ‘V' from front, following the same sequence as Continuing "V" Points, Steps 1-3. See Photo 21.

    Photo 21
  • 2. String 1 bugle. Flip snowflake over and carefully study back of fanwheel. Hook bugle leg into next pony bead in sequence, four beads from start of ‘V' leg on back. (Note: Remaining spare beads will be used by 11th and 12th point.) See Photo 22.

    Photo 22
  • 3. Pass through three beads and exit out of circle. Pull with firm tug to set ‘V' point. See Photo 23.

    Photo 23
  • 4. Pass needle through to front of snowflake to start next point in sequence. See Photo 24.

    Photo 24
  • 5. Start eleventh inverted ‘V' from front, following same sequence as Continuing "V" Points, Steps 1-3. Repeat Steps 2-3 of this section to continue fanwheel sequence on front and back of snowflake. (Note: Eleventh point will be tucked behind fanwheel.) See Photo 25.

    Photo 25
  • 6. See Photo 26 for view of flipped over snowflake to show how sequence continues back of snowflake and where to hook in second leg. Pass through three beads and send needle to front.

    Photo 26
  • 7. Start twelfth inverted ‘V' from front, following same sequence as Continuing "V" Points, Steps 1-3. See Photo 27.

    Photo 27
  • 8. Repeat Step 2 in this section. Flip snowflake over and hook final leg into space between fanwheeled bugles. See Photo 28.

    Photo 28
  • 9. As you pass through three pony beads of circle, wire ends should meet; tie double knot. Snowflake will start folding into trumpet, which is sign of well-constructed fanwheel. See Photo 29.

    Photo 29
  • Finishing
  • 1. Holding snowflake as shown in Photo 30, reinforce inner circle by tying overhand circle knots between beads as desired. Trim wire for clean finish.

    Photo 30
  • 2. Flatten points of snowflake. See Photo 31. To hang as ornaments, add fine thread through seed bead tip of any point. With two ends together, tie into single knot.

    Photo 31
  • Tip
  • 1. SoftTOUCH is a very fine knottable beading wire, which is required for manipulating long bugles at odd angles and supporting the 6mm crystal tips. This is the only beading wire soft enough to tie knots like thread for the initial start and clean finish.