How to Make Q-Tip Style Snowflakes
I first heard this idea at a teacher’s convention,
and have been making Q-tip snowflakes with my elementary
classes for years. The activity was so enjoyable that
we do it at home too, and hang the intricate snowflakes
from the ceiling using fishing line. The result is incredible—transforming
hallways, windows, and entries into a winter wonderland.
When making the snowflakes with my elementary students
I always read the book Snowflake Bentley by Jacquelyn
Briggs Martin, about the first man to successfully photograph
snowflakes. The story is engaging, and it also teaches
facts that you can use to make prettier, more accurate
Elmer’s Glue, 1 small bottle per person Q-tips, 30-60
per person, or more, depending on the number and size
of snowflakes you want to make. Waxed paper, one 18
inch sheet per snowflake Glitter, optional (glitter
glue also lends a neat effect)
Spread a sheet of waxed paper on the table surface.
This will be your working space. Using Q-tips, design
a snowflake on the waxed paper. Q-tips may be bent,
broken in two, or used whole for different effects.
In general, the end with the cotton swab should create
a corner with a neighboring swab.
An interesting fact about snow crystals is that they
are made up of water molecules frozen to ice in a hexagonal
lattice formation, which accounts for their six-fold
symmetry. The best-looking, most accurate snowflakes,
therefore, are six sided, although three-sided works
well too. Experiment by arranging three or six Q-tips
in a sunburst fashion, with one end meeting in the middle.
These will be your stems. Using more Q-tip pieces, repeat
patterns between the stems. Keep in mind that every
Q-tip must be connected to the whole.
When you have finished your snowflake design, squeeze
a puddle of glue over each joint. Do not skimp! Use
lots of glue. A large puddle is needed to connect Q-tips
together. Don’t worry if the puddle spreads and loses
shape—it will harden clear and contribute to the overall
crystalline effect of the snowflake. For a sparkly effect,
shake the snowflake with glitter before the glue dries.
Set the snowflake on the waxed paper aside until the
glue dries. This will take several hours, and maybe
even overnight. Continue making more snowflakes! You
can use the photo gallery at http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/photos/photos.htm
for ideas to model your snowflakes after. Try different
sizes by using different lengths of Q-tips for the stems.
When the glue has dried completely, carefully pull
the snowflake away from the waxed paper. If an insufficient
amount of glue was used to hold the Q-tips together,
simply return the snowflake to the waxed paper and cover
with more glue. You will have to wait again for the
glue to dry. Then remove the snowflake from the waxed
paper. Use clear fishing line to hang from the ceiling.
Voila! An instant blizzard! Make some hot chocolate
About the Author:
Emma Snow is a creator at for Ornament Shop http://www.ornament-shop.net
and Craft Kits http://www.craft-kits.net
leading portals for crafts and ornaments.