by Joanna Ochocinska
Snowflakes are awesome. Mother Nature should get a Nobel Prize for creating something so perfect, so beautiful and so intricate. People have been fascinated by snowflakes to such an extent that the International Commission on Snow has been founded. Scientists have devoted many years and a great deal of energy to studying snowflakes' structure. Thousands of scientific articles, books and photographs later they discovered that snowflakes come in many different shapes and forms and that it's almost impossible to find two identical snowflakes. Apparently, the only time such case was documented was in 1988 when Nancy Knight was conducting a study for the National Center for Atmospheric Research.No wonder the snowflake has become such a popular and omnipresent Christmas motif. It found its way onto cards, shop windows, clothes, wrapping paper and, of course, Christmas trees in our homes. In this tutorial, you will learn how to recreate the snowflake of 'stellar plates' type (according to the International Classification System produced in 1951).
1. Small seed beads
2. Large oval beads
3. A needle
4. Approximately 1m piece of thread
6. A short piece of nylon thread
1. Slide 6 seed beads down to a few centimetres from the end of the thread.
2. Push the needle back up through all the beads and pull to form a loop.
3. Tie the two thread ends together.
4. String one oval bead and 7 seed beads onto the thread.
5. Slip the needle up through all the seed beads.
6. Go down through the oval bead.
7. Move forward through the next seed bead from the central circle.
8. Repeat steps 4-7 until you've made a full circle.
9. Go up through the next oval bead and one seed bead directly above it.
10. String an oval bead onto the thread and push the needle down through one seed bead from the neighbouring 'arm' of the snowflake.
11. Push the needle up through the seed bead on the other side.
12. Repeat steps 10-11 to connect all the arms of the snowflake.
13. Tie a knot around the intersecting threads at the base of the oval bead.
14. Bring the needle through the oval bead to conceal the knot and cut the thread end.
15. Conceal the other thread end the same way.
16. Slip the nylon thread through one seed bead at the tip of one of the arms.
17. Form a loop and secure it with a knot at the top.
I encourage you to try out various combinations of colours, sizes and types of beads on this project. I used smooth surface oval beads but faceted ones look great as well. Don't be afraid to experiment. It won't take you more than 30 minutes to complete one snowflake so it's not going to be the end of the world if something doesn't turn out to be the best idea. Who knows, you might even come up with an entirely new type of snowflake!