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How to Create Beautiful 6-Branch Snowflake Glass Bead Ornaments

Snowflake ornaments built on lataperle (wired center beads) are some of our most favorite ornaments.  With only a few different bead styles you can create a stunning and unique design in just a handful of minutes.  The only tool needed is a pair of rosary pliers for cutting and bending wire ends to secure beads on the lataperle branches.  Below we illustrate the simple technique for building 6-branch snowflakes as well as highlight 12 variations with links to specific beads used.  Finished styles measure approximately 4" to 5" across.  Let's begin!


Supplies:

6-branch Lataperle

Hooks

Spacer Beads

Glass Beads (fancy, round, drop, faceted, etc.)

Rosary Pliers (needle nose pliers with a wire cutter)


Step 1: Straighten the 4 fixed branches of the lataperle.  String on desired beads in chosen order plus a spacer bead.

Step 2: Leaving about 3/8" of wire above the spacer bead, use the rosary pliers to trim away any excess wire.  Use the rosary pliers to gently form a loop with the 3/8" of wire to secure the beads onto the wire.

Step 3: Continue adding beads, trimming excess wire and forming end loops for the remaining five fixed branches.

Step 4: Straighten the long piece of wire that will form branch 5 and 6 of the snowflake.

Step 5: Use the rosary pliers to form a loop at one end of the straightened wire.

Step 6: String beads on in the reverse order to form the bottom snowflake branch.

Step 7: Guide the wire through the center hole of the lataperle.  Next string the remaining beads onto the wire in the appropriate order.

Step 8: Make sure wire is positioned well.  Using rosary pliers, trim away excess wire leaving about 3/8" and form a loop as before.

Step 9: Use the rosary pliers to open the looped end of a hook, place it in the loop formed in Step 8, and close it to secure.

Variations: The snowflakes below feature just 4 or 5 bead styles per branch.  Color and bead shape set the tone for each design: blues and silvers give an icy effect while reds, golds and pinks lend a warm and sometimes floral effect. 

Below left: Bold and beautiful red tones give this snowflake an almost poinsettia-like look.  Use 6 amber spacer beads + 6 pink 6mm round + 6 burgundy 8mm round + 6 red GB004 + 6 gold 6mm round + gold lataperle + gold hook.

Below center left: Blues and aqua and at once both icy and brilliant.  Use 6 clear spacer beads + 6 blue 6mm round + 6 pearl blue 8mm round + 6 aqua GB004 + 6 blue 6mm round + silver lataperle + silver hook.

Below center right: A classic snowflake shape is achieved with flower shaped beads as the focus.  Use 6 amber spacer beads + 6 pearl blue 6mm faceted + 6 light purple 8mm round + 6 gold GB013 + 6 pearl blue 10mm round + gold lataperle + gold hook.

Below right: Alternating central beads in pearl teal and light green add depth and interest to this design.  Use 6 clear spacer beads + 6 aqua 6mm faceted + 6 light green 8mm round + 6 matte palest yellow GB013 + 6 (3 light green, 3 pearl teal) 10mm round + silver lataperle + silver hook.


Below left: Deep blue tones add drama and depth to this beauty.  Use 6 clear spacer beads + 6 light green 6mm round + 6 blue GB050 + 6 pearl teal 10mm round + silver lataperle + silver hook.

Below center left: Changing colors creates a completely different look to its left hand neighbor.  Use 6 amber spacer beads + 6 burgundy 6mm round + 6 gold GB050 + 6 pink 10mm round + gold lataperle + gold hook.

Below center right: One of our favorites ~ an icy toned deco style featuring smooth and faceted beads.  Use 6 clear spacer beads + 6 aqua faceted 6mm + 6 silver GB284 faceted drops + 6 pearl blue GB036 + 6 light green 10mm round + silver lataperle + silver hook.

Below right: Once again, changing colors creates a different look.  Use 6 amber spacer beads + 6 gold faceted 6mm + 6 silver GB284 faceted drops + 6 pearl fuchsia GB036 + 6 pearl rose pink 10mm round + gold lataperle + gold hook.

Below left: A classic mix of gold, silver, pink and teal give this style a beautiful retro look.  Use 6 amber spacer beads + 6 pearl blue 6mm round + 6 pearl teal GB226 drops + 6 + 6 (3 gold, 3 pearl fuchsia) 8mm round + gold lataperle + gold hook.

Below center left: Muted tones give an icy look to this snowflake.  Use 6 clear spacer beads + 6 light green 6mm round + 6 pearl blue GB226 drops + 6 gold GB075 + 6 silver 8mm round + silver lataperle + silver hook.

Below center right: Bright and bold tones give this snowflake a completely different look.  Use 6 amber spacer beads + 6 burgundy 6mm round + 6 hot pink GB226 drops + 6 red GB075 + 6 burgundy 8mm round + gold lataperle + gold hook.

Below right: A mix of all smooth round beads in complimentary tones create a gorgeous design.  Use 6 amber spacer beads + 6 brown 6mm round + 6 gold 14mm round + 6 pearl rose pink 18mm round + 6 gold 8mm round + gold lataperle + gold hook.



Tips and Notes:
-- Always use spacer beads at the tips of the wires where the loop is formed.  The thin walls of the blown glass beads are not suitable as end beads alone.
-- Be sure to attach the hanging hook to the long wire from Step 9.  This long wire best supports the weight of the entire ornament.  Using any of the fixed wires could result in a fixed wire pulling out from the center bead.
-- Ornaments built on lateperle are enchanting! Recreate our designs above, create versions in you own colorways, or create completely custom designs.  Let you imagination guide you!



30 Blue Round Glass Beads 6 mm ~ Czech Republic

30 Blue Round Glass Beads 6 mm ~ Czech Republic

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30 Brown Round Glass Beads 6 mm ~ Czech Republic

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30 Burgundy Round Glass Beads 6 mm ~ Czech Republic

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30 Gold Round Glass Beads 6 mm ~ Czech Republic

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30 Light Green Round Glass Beads 6 mm ~ Czech Republic

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30 Pink Round Glass Beads 6 mm ~ Czech Republic

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6-Branch Lataperle Wired Beads for Making Ornaments ~ Gold ~ Czech Republic

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10 Matte Palest Yellow Faceted Drop Glass Beads 14mm ~ Czech Republic

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