Age of Youngest Crafter: 3.5
Adult Prep/Finishing: Minimal
- pipe cleaners (3 per snowflake)
- beads with wholes wide enough to fit over pipe cleaners
- OPTIONAL: wire cutters to snip off 2" pieces of pipe cleaner to finish the ends
Use 3 pipe cleaners to make each snowflake frame. First, I wrapped two pipe cleaners together at their centers to make a cross. Then I wrapped one more pipe cleaner at the center to make a 6-stem asterisk shape for the snowflake frame.
I prepared a plate of beads to be within easy access for each child.
I used Jumbo Fancy Glitter Beads and Jumbo Translucent Beads from Discount School Supply. But you could easily use Pony Beads or any other bead that would fit over your pipe cleaners. The Jumbo Translucent Beads are really big, and were too heavy for a single pipe cleaner frame to support when we were done beading and ready to display our finished products. But that is easily remedied and addressed in the 'Finishing' section. They were by far the most popular beads, however, especially with the younger kids.
Making the Craft:
Start beading! It helps to finish each stem at least an inch from the end of the pipe cleaner. When a child finished a stem, I would fold up the pipe cleaner to keep the beads from sliding off the end.
The frames are sturdy enough and the beads are big enough for most kids to be able to get started and proceed at their own pace.
If you only used lightweight beads, you can finish simply by wrapping the tail end of 5 of the pipe cleaner stems around the last bead. I wrapped the last stem into a loop for hanging.
OPTIONAL: if you like, you can cut 2" pieces of pipe cleaners to wrap around the ends of the stems to hold on the beads and make additional prongs on the snowflakes.
If you used heavier beads, simply thread additional pipe cleaners through the beads as necessary to fortify the frame. You might need to thread 2 or more additional pipe cleaners through the beads on each pair of stems. If desired, you can wrap the tail ends of the extra pipe cleaners around the last bead to hold it on, and to make additional prongs for the snowflake.
Hang and enjoy!