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Retro snowflake ornaments

Give new life to old beads with these colorful flakes

Beaded snowflakes are not a new ornament idea, so the perennial favorite required a fresh approach. “What can we try that’s unconventional?” we asked. We found beads made of plastic, paper, and wood at thrift stores, then strung our vintage beads in unusual combinations of colors and shapes. Adding a few crystals creates a lively contrast to the other beads, making the look both retro and upscale. 


  • metal snowflake form (The Beadsmith, many different suppliers)
  • assorted beads (crystals, vintage, seed beads)
  • ribbon
  • roundnose pliers
  • scissors
  • diagonal wire cutters


Retro snowflake ornaments a
Step 1
To design a snowflake, start with a Snowflake Form from The Beadsmith. Create arrangements using beads of different colors, shapes, sizes, and finishes. On one spoke, string a 6mm or smaller bead to the center of the form. String assorted beads to the length desired, allowing at least 3⁄8 in. (1cm) to finish the end. (For smaller snowflakes, string only 2 in./5cm or so of beads.) Tape the end.
Retro snowflake ornaments b
Step 2
Repeat the same pattern on the remaining spokes or alternate patterns on adjacent spokes. Tape each end.
Retro snowflake ornaments c
Step 3
When you like the arrangement, remove the tape from one spoke and use roundnose pliers to turn a small loop. Repeat to finish the other spokes.
Retro snowflake ornaments d
Step 4
Cut a piece of ribbon approximately 7 in. (18cm) long. String it through one of the loops.
Retro snowflake ornaments e
Step 5
Bring the ends together and tie an overhand knot. Adorn a tree, window, or gift with the snowflake and enjoy the compliments on your handiwork.
If a form is bent, straighten it before stringing beads; bent spokes can cause crystals to break. Also, we recommend storing your ornaments in flat boxes.
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