Beautifully Beaded Pipe Cleaner Snowflakes
BY JACKIE CURRIE, HAPPY HOOLIGANS
Dec 13, 2017
With the holidays just around the corner, the hooligans and I are in full-on Christmas crafting mode. Our latest project is a simple snowflake craft that’s fun for all ages to make. You can hang this pretty ornament on the Christmas tree or make a bunch to display as sun catchers in a window in your home or classroom.
Here in my home daycare, we love making homemade Christmas ornaments that the kids can hang on their Christmas tree at home. We’ve made so many over the years that their parents often joke that they’ll soon need a second tree to hold them all. They love these hand-crafted ornaments though, and so do the kids. Each one brings back memories of younger days, and they’ll be cherished for years, I’m sure.
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As with all of our crafts, these ornaments are easy enough for preschoolers to make, but fun and pretty enough that older kids will enjoy making them as well. No matter what their age, the kids always love an opportunity to get out our big bucket of beads. They love sifting through them and sorting them by colour and shape, selecting just the right ones for their project.
Although these snowflakes are simple to make, they provide the kids with an opportunity to explore patterns and symmetry and to strengthen their fine motor skills.
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Preschoolers may require some assistance twisting their pipe cleaners together to form their snowflakes, but you can encourage the older kids to help them. I love it when my older kids help the little ones with the steps that they can’t quite manage themselves. Everyone benefits from a little teamwork.
To make pipe cleaner snowflakes, you’ll need:
- metallic or chenille pipe cleaners
- plastic beads
- metallic thread for hanging
Step one: Cut two pipe cleaners in half. Set one of the halves aside. You’ll only need three to make one six-pointed snowflake. Fold your three pipe cleaner pieces in half so each one forms a 'V'.
Step two: Link two of the pieces, hooking them together at the bottom of the V shapes. The open ends will be facing in opposite directions. Give them a twist where they meet to secure them together.
Step three: Insert that twisted section into the fold of the third pipe cleaner. Secure each arm of this third pipe cleaner by wrapping each piece under or over its neighbour. Fasten tight
Step four: Now that you have all six arms of the snowflake in place, you can adjust them slightly to make sure they’re all equally spaced. If any of the snowflake’s arms seem loose and wiggly, just twist it around its neighbour and adjust the spacing again.
Step five: The fun part. Selecting the beads for your snowflake.
Young children may not be interested in making their snowflake look perfectly symmetrical. They may be happy with some simple patterning or they may just want to use random mismatched beads. Older kids who want their snowflakes to be symmetrical will need to select sets of six matching beads for their snowflake.
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To make it easier to find matching beads in our large collection, we dumped them all out onto a platter.
Let the beading begin!
Some of the children chose to thread as many beads as they could onto their pipe cleaners, pressing them up close to one another. Others chose to space their beads out for a more delicate looking snowflake.
Have the kids leave a bit of pipe cleaner empty at the end of each arm so it can be crimped to prevent the beads from falling off.
Finish by tying a loop of metallic thread to each snowflake so it can be hung and enjoyed in a window or on the tree.
Aren’t they lovely? What a fun and easy way to kick off a season of Christmas crafting!