One of the activities on our advent was “make ornaments.” Together, my little guy and I made these beaded snowflake ornaments. Maybe they look more like stars, but I suppose it doesn’t really matter. It was simple enough for my little boy to do, and is pretty enough to hang on the tree. Simple, cheap, and a little bit shiny. I handled the twisting and bending of the pipe cleaners and my toddler did the beads–a great fine motor skills activity.
- White pipe cleaners (1 and a half pipe cleaners per snowflake ornament)
- Clear and/or white beads (we used clear pony beads found at the craft store.)
- Needle nose pliers
- A tray, optional, for preventing your beads from rolling away!
- Cut each pipe cleaner in half, separate into groups of three
- On one end of each pipe cleaner, bend the tip downward, parallel with the pipe
- Give the end of the bent tip a twist (about 1/2 inch down) to secure it to the rest of the pipe cleaner, leaving a small loop at the end of the pipe cleaner. this keeps the beads from falling off.
- Thread your beads onto the pipe cleaner, going slightly less than halfway. you’ll need some clearance in the middle for twisting later.
- Repeat with the other two pipe cleaners
- Take 2 beaded pipe cleaners and twist them around each other, right in the middle. Twist the remaining beaded pipe cleaner around the other two.
- You’ll now have six points to your snowflake, three of them already beaded. Continue beading the remaining points, matching the number of beads on their opposite points. Leave at least 1 inch allowance at the end of the 3 points you just beaded.
- Bend the exposed end half and inch or so, and poke it back down into the last bead. holding the now-looped end of the pipe cleaner in one hand, give the rest of the pipe cleaner a couple of twists to secure the end.
- Take the needle nose pliers and widen the end loops slightly, and press downward slightly, to sort of crimp the loop and prevent beads from falling off. You now also have loops for threading ribbon to hang your snowflake.
and now you have a nice little keepsake ornament for yourself, a gift for grandparents or playmates, or even for teachers or babysitters. $5 for beads and pipe cleaners will make about a dozen snowflakes. Or stars. Whatever. My little one is proud of his work and I like how they look on our tree.
Alternative #1: black pipe cleaners + black beads=asterisks. how fun for a typeface loving friend.
Alternative # 2: hang each snowflake from a long length of ribbon and group them together in front of a mirror or a window at varying lengths.