I found myself uncharacteristically bah-humbuggy when the holidays started revving up this year. I think it all started when I went to the hardware store in October. "Christmas music. Really? Here? Among the plungers and scroll saws? Grr. Aren't there more important things in the world to focus on than inflatable Santas and light-up 3-foot candy canes?" I stomped around with this grouchy attitude for a few weeks, and then something happened... I went across town to my brother's house to babysit his little ones. When I arrived, the 3-year-old was hiding behind the couch. He made a funny noise and popped his hand up so that I could see the paper snowflake he was holding. At the same time, the 1-year-old crawled around from behind their magnificently twinkling Christmas tree, and, in a truly Susie Lou Who moment, she squealed with delight to see me. I could hear the ice cracking in my stony Grinchy heart as it grew two sizes that day, and today my home is festooned with trees and snowflakes and the air smells like freshly baked sugar cookies.
Like in the Dr. Seuss tale, holiday joy (or heck, even grumpiness!) can't be about commercialism... The holidays are about slowing down, appreciating our bounty, looking inside, feeding our spirits, and then shining our very best until it's infectious. So it's in this spirit of warmth and giving that I want to share this beaded snowflake design (just picture me hiding behind the couch, popping my hand up with a garland of these to cheer you on).
Silver size 15° seed beads
Silver size 11° seed beads
Cream size 6° baroque seed beads
Crystal AB 4mm crystal bicones
Silver ear wires
Clear 6 lb braided beading thread
Round 1: Use 2' of doubled thread to string 6 size 6° seed beads, leaving a 2" tail. Tie a knot with the working and tail thread to form a tight circle. Pass through all the beads again several times, pulling with each pass so the tail gets pulled inside the beads.
Round 2: String 1 size 11° seed bead and pass through the next size 6° seed bead; repeat five times. Step up through a size 6°.
Round 3: String 2 size 11° seed beads, 1 bicone, and 3 size 11° seed beads, then pass back through the bicone. String 1 size 11° seed bead and pass through the next size 6°, pulling tightly to form a fringe. Repeat this entire section five times for a total of 6 fringes. Exit from a size 6° seed bead.
Round 4: String 1 size 11° seed bead and pass through the next size 6° seed bead; repeat five times, taking care that the beads of this round all sit on the same side of the beadwork.
Note: If you're just making the snowflake (for an ornament, gift embellishment, or garland, etc.), you may secure the thread and trim it now. For an earring, continue on...
Loop (for an earring): Weave through beads to exit from a size 11° seed bead at the tip of a fringe added in Round 3. String 5 size 15° seed beads and pass through the last size 11° exited; repeat the thread path to reinforce. Secure the thread and trim. Add an ear wire to the loop.
Variation: This is just a basic design, but like snowflakes, there is lots of room for variation. In this more elaborate version, I made longer fringes in Round 3, then connected them with more of those pretty baroque seed beads to make a more dimensional design.
Happy holidays and happy beading!
-Jean Campbell, Senior editor, Beadwork magazine
Filed under: Crystals, bead crafts, Bead-weaving, Seed Bead Patterns, Beading Tools, Beaded Beads, Bead Making, Wire Jewelry, Earring Making, Beaded Jewelry Design, Beads, Beading Daily, How to Bead