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Snowflake ball ornament

Seed beads and crystals add sparkle to holiday ornaments and earrings

Silver-lined beads and crystals make these snowflakes glisten. Hang ornaments in a window for a delightful holiday decoration or tie individual snowflakes onto presents to add a special touch. 

SUPPLIES

Ornament

  • 4mm Swarovski bicone crystals 56 color A 21-25 color B
  • 56 bugles, size 2
  • 1g Japanese cylinder beads
  • 3g seed beads, size 11/03 in. (7.6cm) clear glass ornament

Earrings

  • 4mm Swarovski bicone crystals 16 color A 4 color B
  • 16 bugles, size 2
  • 16 Japanese cylinder beads
  • 1g seed beads, size 11/0
  • pair of earring findings 

Both projects

  • Nymo D conditioned with beeswax to match bead color or Fireline, 6 lb. test
  • beading needles, #12
  • awl or metal punch (optional)
  • floor polish (optional)
 
INSTRUCTIONS
Snowflake ball ornament f 1
Figure 1
Snowflake ball ornament f 2
Figure 2
Snowflake ball ornament f 3
Figure 3
Snowflake ball ornament f 4b
Figure 4

Ornament

1. Start with a yard (90cm) of thread and string eight 11/0 seed beads to 8 in. (20cm) from the end. Sew through the first bead again in the same direction to form a circle (FIGURE 1, a-b).

2. Pick up a cylinder bead, a bugle, a color A crystal, and three 11/0s. Sew back through the crystal, bugle, and cylinder bead (b-c).

3. Sew through the next bead on the circle (c-d) and repeat step 2. Continue around the circle for a total of eight points.

4. Sew through the points and the center circle again to reinforce them. Exit any bead on the center circle.

5. Pick up an 11/0, a color B crystal, and an 11/0. Skip four beads on the circle and sew through the next four beads, so you exit the bead where you started. Sew through the 11/0s and crystal just added and the other half of the circle (FIGURE 2). Repeat to add a crystal on the other side of the snowflake.

6. Position the working thread so it exits the bead next to the tail. Tie the tail and working thread together with a square knot. Secure both threads with a few half-hitch knots between beads on the circle and trim.

7. Make seven snowflakes.

8. Remove the metal cap from the ornament. If the cap doesn’t have a circle of holes, remove the wire loop, place the cap face down on a padded surface, and use an awl or metal punch to make seven holes in the cap (FIGURE 3). 

9. Secure a yard of thread in a snowflake and exit the center bead on a point’s tip. String nine 11/0s, a color B crystal, and twelve 11/0s and sew through a hole on the ornament’s cap.

10. String four 11/0s and sew down through the next hole on the cap. String nine 11/0s, a color B crystal, and twelve 11/0s. Sew through the center bead on another snowflake’s point and back through the beads just strung. Go through a hole on the cap, string four 11/0s, and sew down through the next hole (FIGURE 4). Attach the remaining snowflakes with the following bead counts:
3rd: 7 11/0s, crystal, 7 11/0s
4th: 8 11/0s, crystal, 7 11/0s
5th: 16 11/0s, crystal, 1 11/0
6th: 6 11/0s, crystal, 8 11/0s
7th: 12 11/0s, crystal, 11 11/0s.

11. Reinforce the beads on the top of the cap with a second thread path. Then secure the threads and trim.

12. Gently insert the snowflake dangles into the glass ornament, one at a time, and attach the cap.

Editor’s note: Use floor polish to stiffen and shape the snowflakes. For the earrings, dip the snowflakes in polish and blot the excess with a napkin. Adjust the placement of the points and lay them flat to dry. For the ornament, use a small brush to lightly apply the floor polish to each snowflake before attaching it to the cap. Don’t saturate the snowflakes; they need to bend slightly to fit inside the glass.

earrings
Earrings

1. Make a snowflake following steps 1-5 for the ornament. 

2. Position the needle so it exits the middle 11/0 on the tip of one of the snowflake’s points. 

3. String three 11/0s, the earring finding, and three 11/0s and go through the 11/0 on the snowflake again (EARRINGS FIGURE). Retrace the thread path a few times, then weave the needle back to the center circle.

4. Secure the thread ends as in step 6 for the ornament.

5. Make a second earring.

 
Snowflake ball ornament f 5b
Earrings Figure

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