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Fan wheel flakes

My modification of a unique beadwork style from Ukraine resulted in this beautiful circular fan ornament with 12 overlapping points.

These ornaments are so much fun to make, you'll hope for cold weather so you can stay inside and bead.


both snowflakes

  • flexible beading wire, .010
  • beading needles, #10
  • wire cutters or scissors
  • clear monofilament or metallic thread

small snowflake (2 1/8 in./5.4 cm)

  • 24 15 mm bugle beads
  • 12 6 mm bicone crystals
  • 24 8/0 seed beads
  • 12 10/0 or 11/0 seed beads

large snowflake (3 1/2 in./8.9 cm)

  • 24 30 mm bugle beads
  • 12 6  mm biocone crystals
  • 24 6/0 seed beads
  • 12 10/0 or 11/0 seed beads

Editor's note:
As you work, the points of the snowflakes may fold up like a fan. Hold the snowflakes by the center to minimize this movement.

Figure 1


Small snowflake

1. Thread a needle on one end of 4½ ft. (1.4m) of flexible beading wire. String 12 8/0 seed beads, leaving a 5-in. (13cm) tail. Tie the beads into a ring with a square knot (FIGURE 1, a–b).


2. Pick up a 15 mm bugle bead, an 8/0, a 6 mm crystal, and an 11/0 seed bead. Skip the 11/0, sew back through the 6 mm and the 8/0, and pick up a bugle (b–c).

3. Skip the next three 8/0s in the ring, and sew back through the third and second beads skipped (c–d).

Figure 2

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 (FIGURE 2) around the ring until there are 12 points. As you work each point, make sure you place the new point on top of the previous one. This will be the front surface. When you finish the 11th and 12th points, sew into the ring from the back surface, and exit the front surface.


5. Sew through a few beads in the ring, end the beading wire, and trim. Repeat with the tail.


6. String clear monofilament or metallic thread through an 11/0 at the end of one of the points to make a hanging loop.

Figure 3

Large snowflake

1. Using 5 ft. (1.5m) of beading wire, follow step 1 of “Small snowflake,” substituting 6/0 seed beads for the 8/0s. 


2. Follow step 2 of “Small snowflake,” substituting 6/0s for the 8/0s and 30 mm bugle beads for the 15 mms (FIGURE 3, a–b).


3. Skip the next four 6/0s in the ring, and sew back through the fourth, third, and second beads skipped (b–c).


4. Follow steps 4–6 of “Small snowflake.”

Design Guidelines: 

• To change the size of the snowflake, use any size bugle beads, then choose seed beads and crystals to suit.

• Adjust the angle of the points by changing the number of seed beads you go through.

• You may need to flatten the tip of your flexible beading wire to get it to fit through your beading needle.

• You can also use snowflakes to spruce up holiday packages or napkin rings.