Friday, December 1, 2017

Anatomy of a Snowflake...

One of my favorite projects for December/January has been my snowflakes. I love how they look on my porch, hanging on a wall, or propped on a mantel. Just like real snowflakes, each one is unique. Sometimes the wood I use is old, sometimes it is new. I have used paint, stain, or left the wood a natural color. I will show you my process, but here are some I have done in the past:

These 3 were my first attempts. How I wish I had kept them!

I love the combination of blues and browns.

This was a giant! It was about 4 1/2 feet tall, made from huge reclaimed pallets.

This one was on the smaller side, about 2 feet tall.

I prefer using reclaimed wood, but it isn't always available. I bought some 6' cedar fence boards at Home Depot for about $2 a piece. I cut 3 of the boards in half. You can cut them longer, but I like to get 2 snowflake bases from the 3 boards. I then painted them using some blue spray paint I had from another project.

I then cut some scrap trim that was already primed white to 6", using a 30 degree angle on my miter saw.

I measured and marked where I wanted the angle point to sit on each end of the 3 boards. I think these were at 7 inches. I used wood glue and 1/2" screws to attach the pieces.

I spray painted some wood lath white and cut it to 7". I tried something different and overlapped the ends at a 45 degree angle. (Really I was too lazy to keep adjusting the miter saw.)

I used wood glue to sandwich them to the boards, about 13" from each end and secured them with 3/4" screws. Since these scraps are so thin, it is important to drill a pilot hole so the wood doesn't split.

Now to put the snowflake together. This process is one that came out of trying several different ways. Sometimes I was so frustrated! I don't like the maths and I want the "lines" of the snowflake to be evenly spaced. I have a protractor that was set with the perfect angle for each board, but my loving, helpful Hubby was putting stuff away and unknowingly reset the angle. I tried to find that angle again for this tutorial, but after 15 minutes of turning one board slightly left or right, I gave up. I know there is a simple math equation to figure it out, know...maths.

Anyhoo, I measure, mark, and drill a hole in the halfway point on each board. From the back, I screw through the hole of one board, then align the screw in the hole of the second and third boards. While there is only one screw holding it together, I can easily swivel the boards to get the right spacing. Once I have the right look, I add screws at other points, making sure to get all 3 boards.

I then turn the snowflake over and reinforce the boards with more screws. Overkill...? Maybe, but as they say, better to be safe than sorry.

Ta-da! We have a snowflake! Perfect for display from December through January. And guess what...? I need to go make another one. I haven't kept any for myself...

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