The symmetrical beauty of snowflakes has long captivated people of all ages, making art projects that replicate them a favourite winter pastime. Before starting one, it is helpful to check out close up photography of actual snowflakes. "The Little Book of Snowflakes" by Kenneth Libbrecht or "Snowflake Bentley" by Jacqueline Briggs Martin both contain photographs of snowflake crystals as well as scientific information about the formations. Once you've closely examined a snowflake or two, an easy craft with Popsicle sticks can be a fun way to capture their simple splendour.
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The Basic Snowflake
Paint Popsicle sticks with white, light blue or pink tempera paint. Once they have dried, arrange two in an X and glue the centres together. (White wood glue works well. Hot glue is quicker, but must be used with care as it can burn the skin.) Arrange two more sticks in a plus sign and glue their centres. When this glue has dried, glue the plus sign on top of the X. Once dry, the sticks can be decorated in a number of ways. Glitter, rhinestones, sequins, buttons, pom-poms and coloured marbles found at craft stores are just a few ways to make the snowflakes sparkle.
The basic flake can be embellished in a number of ways. Experiment with the variety of craft sticks available in craft stores to make jumbo flakes, mini-flakes or flakes with scalloped edges. Try mixing the sticks used. For example, make a flake with scalloped sticks and glue it in the centre of a flake made with jumbo sticks. Or make a flake using only three sticks. Use smaller sticks or cut a regular stick in half and use two halves to glue a "V" onto the ends of each of the six points to make a more intricate flake.
These projects extend the idea to make giant snowflake sculptures. Begin by fashioning a pentagon, hexagon or octagon from painted sticks. Now glue a stick outward from each corner. Continue building outward symmetrically to create an intricate pattern much like that of a real snowflake. If desired, cut sticks or use smaller sticks to achieve the desired effect. Once complete and dry, the giant snowflake can be decorated. Wooden cut-outs available at craft stores are especially pretty on these large snowflakes.
Popsicle stick snowflakes can be displayed in a number of ways. Glue a loop of holiday ribbon onto them to hang them as tree ornaments. Or hot glue fishing line onto the top of a flake and use a suction-cup picture hanger to attach it to a window to sparkle in the winter sun. Make a mobile by hanging and balancing snowflakes from a wire clothes hanger wrapped in ribbon or covered with holiday paper. Or hang several snowflakes onto the wall to make a mural that will last the whole season.
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