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Wood Snowflakes! A Crafty Journey.
Submitted by Pam on Tue, 01/14/2014 - 03:01
A Wooden Snowflake if you will!!
And a perfect way to open a week of posts devoted to snowflakes! Actually - truth be told - they are more like posts about journeys on the way to making snowflakes!
I loved how it turned out, but was disappointed by the end of the season to see it sagging and mis-shapened under it's own weight. So, I started my brain working on a more sturdy version.
Happily I remembered ordering a sample kit of BARC Paper from Arc Crafts last April after seeing this fabulous and beautiful snowflake by Suzonne on her blog Urban Comfort. Don't read another word without linking over - you do NOT want to miss her stunning snowflake chandelier!
I love her design and her idea of applying paint to the paper side of the wood veneer, but most of all I am intrigued by the idea of using BARC Paper to create three dimensional constructions.
So, I pulled out my sample kit, selected the wood veneer on 2 MIL backing (the most playable) and cut a few very thin strips to play with possibilities!
Although there are many options available at ARC Crafts for Wood Veneer Paper, I found that the 2MIL was best for this project. You can order single 12 x 12 sheets right here.
After several failed attempts at removing the backing, the first thing I learned is that I had NOT ordered the adhesive backed version!! So the glitter I had intended to simply sprinkle onto the exposed adhesive would have to be applied using glue. OH DARN!
However, on the plus side of the equation - the material turned out to be very plyable and was easy to wind into a very tight curl.
The thought occurred that I might be able to glue two strips back to back - wood on both sides! But the glued strip proved to be quite sturdy and not bendable. Not an option.
So, it seemed clear that the Barc Paper could potentially be used to construct curled "wood" snowflake. The only change in plan - I would have to use glue to apply glitter to the paper side!
Note: This is not intended to be a step by step tutorial. I am only offering suggestions here that apply to making the snowflake using BARC Paper. You will need to also refer to Maya's tutorial during construction.
First I cut 8 - 3"x3" squares from a 12"x12" sheet of Barc Paper - 6 for the snowflake and 2 for practice!!
The material cuts very easily with a craft knife and I found a self healing mat, a craft knife and a straight edge worked great to get the perfect squares needed.
The final snowflake is 8" across - bigger than I had initially wanted. However, I would not recommend smaller squares when attempting to make a snowflake using BARC Paper.
On the back of each little square (paper side), I used a pencil to mark two diagonal lines as shown. And then on one diagonal line, beginning at the center, I marked three points 1 centimeter apart toward one corner and then three more toward the opposite corner.
Once these are in place, it is very simple to line up your cut lines using a clear quilting ruler and cut using the craft knife. Really no further measuring or line drawing necessary.
Notice that just like Maya's tutorial here, the cuts stop just short of the other diagonal.
Once all the cuts are completed, erase all the guide lines and marks made on the paper side.
So far so good! At this point I was a happy crafter off on a new adventure!
The first curl takes a bit of practice because it really is quite small (that is a #9 knitting needle - pencils are way too large at this diminished size).
Tape is absolutely the ONLY choice for holding this first curl.
Once the first curl has been made and secured, apply glitter! Had I ordered the adhesive backed Barc Paper, I could just remove the backing, sprinkle glitter on and be on my way! (at least that is the theory - thus far it is untested!)
But, since I ordered paper backed Barc Paper, I brushed on Elmer's Glue-All (new stronger, fast drying formula), sprinkled with glitter, and waited for it to dry.
And I left some squares plain - just because I could not make up my mind from looking at my tests which I would ultimately prefer - glitter or no glitter!
Note: When applying glitter, be sure to leave a small square at the tips (as shown in the image above) free of glitter. This can be achieved by avoiding this area when brushing on the glue, masking it off, or scraping it clean after applying glitter - before the glue dries. (Glitter will interfere with the glue bond.)
Once the glitter covered glue is mostly dry, begin making curls just as is shown in the tutorials.
BUT BEWARE! The second curl is a big ole pain in the 'you know what' to make and then secure with glue. I nearly tossed the whole project in the trash at this point convinced I had fallen into a crafty rabbit hole from which there was no escape. Eventually, with perseverance (certainly not patience) I managed to get the second curl glued and secured with a pin. (Tape would be easier than glue, but would show and doesn't stick well to the wood surface.)
The good news - the third and forth curls are a piece of cake! So while you are fussing with curl number 2, repeat to your self often 'three and four are easy'!
More good news - things get easier with every section you make!
Small hair pins like those shown are just perfect for holding the tips together while they dry. Hair clips with a tight tension will work well also.
Make six sections - snowflakes have six sides after all - letting them dry overnight. Do NOT rush it. And use Elmer's new formula Glue-All because it holds amazingly well and dries much faster than the old formula. I really don't recommend hot glue for this project for many reasons - potential for burned fingers is number one!
Rather than placing all six sections in the same configuration as is usually done - make them appear more snowflake like by arranging them as I have in the photo above - wood to wood and paper to paper.
Last step is a little strategic glueing! And let me tell you, this is where I really came to appreciate Elmer's new formula.
It takes a bit of patience, but carefully arrange your six sections in such a way that all center points meet and there is a contact point where all the sections meet at their widest parts.
Carefully, apply a drop of glue at each contact point making sure that both sides of each section are in contact with the glue drop. Then place a generous drop of glue right onto the center where all six sections meet.
While wet, the white glue will show. But that is OK because once dried overnight, the glue will disappear and ... create a nice firm bond.
And all those curled sections are now one - a snowflake that will never sag!!! And will last for years!
Isn't it beautiful?
Thank you Maya! Thank you Suzonne!