Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Snowflake Ornaments and a Challenge Update.



My latest Crafty Christmas Tree ornaments are these delicate looking snowflakes made from- can you guess what...



coffee filters!

But they've been stiffened to make them more rigid and ornament like. And as an added bonus the fabric stiffening medium I used gave the filters a semi-translucent icy look.

As you probably already know I love to craft with coffee filters. (As demonstrated by this post, this post, this post, this post, and this post) Not only are they cheap but they're so versatile. And at only a dollar for pack of 200, they were definitely on my list of materials for the tree.

Now you've probably seen more than one tutorial on how to cut snowflakes from coffee filters so I'm just going to give you a brief overview of those steps.

Step One: First smooth the filter out so it's flat. Then fold in half. Fold in half again, so it's in quarters. And then fold in half one more time.


Step Two: Use a craft knife to cut the folded filter.


I made some cuts along the edges and inside the middle to get a really detailed and delicate looking flake.


After you're done cutting unfold to reveal your beautiful flake. I cut each one randomly so no two are alike- just like real flakes.


Next it's time to stiffen the filters up with fabric medium. I used Plaid's Stiffy product but I'm sure any liquid (paint on) fabric medium would work.

Step Three: Lay the snowflake on some wax paper, pour on some drops of fabric medium, and smooth the medium over the entire filter. I used my finger instead of a brush, that way I didn't bend or fold any of the delicately cut areas.


Step Four: Carefully pick up/peel up the flake and transfer it to something plastic to dry.


For my plastic surface I cut the top and two sides off of large plastic storage bag. Unfolded it and taped the edges down to be sure it stayed flat. That gave me a fairly large plastic area that held 4 snowflakes at one time.

Don't be afraid to pick up the flakes. They will feel very delicate and the arms will probably flop over and stick together- but that's ok because once it's on the plastic you can smooth it out so it's nice and flat and smooth again.

Transferring the flake this way is important for two reasons. One- If you let the flake dry on waxed paper it will be very hard to peel off (ask me how I found that out). And two- If you don't transfer the flake to another surface after spreading the fabric medium on you won't get a flake with open cutout areas. You'll get one that looks like this- see how most of the cutout areas are filled in.


Step Five- Once the flake was dry I gave it another coat of fabric medium by repeating steps three and four. This second coat helps to really make the snowflakes rigid.

Last but not least, I used some of the red embroidery floss, leftover from my last Christmas Tree project, to hang my flakes.

I can't wait to see how they look on the tree! So far I've made about 14- but I'll probably make more.


This project was pretty cheap- $1 for the coffee filters and I bought the fabric medium using a 50% off coupon. So the whole thing, including tax, came to $3.47. And I have a lot of leftover filters and fabric medium!

That leaves me with (insert drum roll sound here please)- $10.27

Now as promised I have an update on the Crafty Christmas Tree Challenge.



Located in the upper right sidebar (just under the Crafty Christmas Tree Logo) is a link list of everyone's blog who participating in the challenge. Please go and check them out- I've already seen some really cool ornament tutorials! I can't wait to see all the finished trees.

There are a few people who expressed interest but I'm not sure are participating- so if I've left your name out of the link list please either send me an email or leave a comment on the original post- here and I'll add you.

And if you'd like to join the challenge- there's still time! Leave me a comment with your blog address on this post- here or send me an email

I'll be doing periodic roundups of the participants ornaments and a reveal of the finished trees sometime after December 15th (details and date to come soon)!

26 comments:

  1. I Never would have guessed your snowflakes were originally coffee filters!

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  2. So cute and clever! These came out gorgeous. Such a neat use of coffee filters and stiffener. Well done!

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  3. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave comments ladies!

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  4. Those are so beautiful! I always have a hard time coming up with designs for the snowflakes. Yours are wonderful!

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  5. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to leave such a nice comment. Making snowflakes is always a bit of trial and error for me. The first few I made were a little more angular and didn't have as many "arms" but after a few I started to understand (a little) how the basic shape I made would translate when opened. The rest I left up to chance and experimentation. : )

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  6. Those are great! I never would have thought to use coffee filters for snowflakes and the translucency is definitely a nice touch. Can't wait to see more of what you make!

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  7. Absolutely beautiful. The shape of your snowflakes are so perfect. I would not have thought to use fabric stiffener...very cool. Nice job!

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  8. Oooooooohhhhhh! These are sooooo PRETTY! I am weak in the knees over here my friend! And I have coffee filters that you included in the crafty giveaway box last spring, and I have Stiffy, I love your snowflakes! I just have to find time to make my own.

    Brilliant! Beautiful! Wow! Thank you!

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  9. These are lovely. A lot of it is down to the artistic way you cut the patterns - maybe you should think about posting a few templates for us less arty folk.

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  10. I might just have to steal this idea for the challenge. Your came out great! Nice job!!
    Karah @ thespacebetweenblog

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  11. Wow awesome. Thanks for sharing.

    Sudha
    sudha-kalra.blogspot.com
    http://sudha-kalra.blogspot.com/p/shop.html

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  12. Thanks so much Pam, Monko, Karah, and Sudha for all your really nice comments.

    Pam- I knew you'd like these given our mutual love of snowflakes. They are a great TV watching project. But you if I know you, you are probably stacked up with all the TV watching projects you can handle... plus some.

    Monko- great suggestion for patterns! I'll have to think about how I could do that since I just cut all these out randomly.

    Karah- steal away- LOL I'd love to see these snowflakes on your driftwood tree. And in any case I might have to steal your driftwood tree idea for my bedroom.

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  13. Great idea! I love the addition of the stiffening product so they last for years.

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  14. reI LOVE these. Paper snowflakes are one of my favorite things. I would love to reblog this. In fact, I did and then read your policy and deleted the post - sorry! I couldn't get the email link to work to email you. Please let me know if it is OK to do so. I can't wait to explore your blog. Looks like lots of fantastic stuff!

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  15. To make patterns i suggest just tracing your flake just before unfolding

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  16. These look so neat! As it happens, I think we still have a packet of filters left in one of my cabinets, as well as nearly an entire bottle of fabric stiffener left after an (botched, lol) attempt to make stiffened crocheted snowflakes. I will be trying this over the weekend, definitely! :)

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  17. Mayve- I'd love it if you send me a picture or link of how your snowflakes turned out!

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  18. "Stiffy" is not fabric medium. It is fabric stiffener. Fabric medium is used to prepare a fabric surface to accept paint. They are 2 totally different products. Maybe a fabric medium would work the same way, but to call "Stiffy" a fabric medium is inaccurate.

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  19. Thanks for your comment about fabric medium/stiffener but in the description for stiffy it's referred to as a medium because you can also use it as a mixing medium.

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  20. would liquid starch work on these too?

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  21. Does anyone know if spray startch would work. Let me know

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    1. I don't know. You can always give it a try. The worst that will happen is you waste a coffee filter :)

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  22. Getting ready for Christmas early keeps us in the mood year round. smiles

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  23. Can some iridescent glitter be sprinkled over the last coat of fabric medium to give them sparkle?

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