Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ways to finish snowflake ornaments

I was making some snowflake ornaments and realized that my hands hurt from making all the loops to finish them. The spokes are so stiff (like memory wire) that I had to use roundnose pliers to start each loop and chainnose pliers to close it. Loops are fine if I’m making one or two ornaments, but in November I’ll be teaching a class, so I needed to figure out a less painful way to finish the ends. Options:

• Attach a crimp bead on the end of each spoke. And possibly a crimp cover over it, to make it look pretty. This is a good solution, but still requires me to do most of it — as opposed to being something that kids can do themselves.

• Attach a rubber ear nut on each end. Not quite as pretty, but it works well. Also, it’s handy to string the ear nuts to hold the beads in place while you decide on a pattern (then you don’t need tape).

I like the ear nut idea, but I wanted to make the finish extra-secure by gluing each one. So, which glue? I visited This to That, a web site that helps you figure out what glue you need. But then I remembered that Michaels has a brochure that lists their different glues. So I bought some Amazing Goop, a stinky glue that requires time to set before you put the pieces together.

When I finished the snowflake design, I slid the ear nuts out, applied glue to the spoke, waited a few minutes, and then slid the ear nut back down, on top of the glue. Then I trimmed one of the spokes to 3/8 in. (1cm) and made a loop. I trimmed the rest of the spokes flush with the ear nuts and attached a wire hanger to the loop.

One last thing: make sure the holes in the ear nuts are small. I buy mine from Fire Mountain. Just type in "rubber ear nut" and you'll get lots of options.

1 comment:

Candi (Jean Yates) reviews! said...

one of the first things I ever did was make snowflakes. I figured I could give them as teacher's gifts. I had NO idea what I was doing, but Beadshop had the snowflake forms at the time, and organza ribbon. I spent about a billion dollars on Swarovskis and listened carefully to the online girl's advice and ended up with 3 snowflakes, which I never gave away, as they cost me around fifty dollars to make!!!