Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Wonderful Snowflakes on our Window

Today we were decorating the window in the kitchen, one of the activities still left in our Christmas countdown activity garland. Our themes were snowflakes and transparency of colours. The structure of a snowflake is nearly completely unique, because complex shapes emerge as the flake moves through differing temperature and humidity regimes. However, most snowflakes have a hexagonal symmetry. The vagueness and wonder in snowflake patterns, combined with the fact that there are certain rules to follow, make them an ideal craft project.

Paper snowflakes, plain and rainbow-coloured

We started by folding and cutting an A4 sheet of paper to make a square. Ju loves folding paper and experimenting with cutting through several thicknesses of paper at the moment, so he was very keen to do this.
Ju folds his paper
Because we used standard printing paper, it was actually really hard to cut through the many layers of paper once we had folded it as per this tutorial. Ju helped with the folding, but I had to do the cutting. We folded a square in two to make a triangle, then in two again; then we folded the two outer corners onto the middle line, and folded this in two. Then we cut the outside to give us a wedge. I recommend you look at the tutorial linked above, it's very clearly explained.
Once we had a wedge, I just cut into it to make patterns, and then we opened up the piece of paper. What wonder awaits when the insignificant wedge reveals itself into a beautifully symmetrical and delicate snowflake! And so, we made two paper snowflakes today.

Our two paper snowflakes, before and after unfolding
One of them went up on the window.

We had a little fun laminating the other snowflake, sandwiching it together with some coloured tissue paper. We cut the laminated shape out, and made a hole with hole punch to hang it up. Ju threaded some wool into the hole and we hung it on the window too.

Snowy soft snowflakes

For this, we took some glittery Christmas drape and cut out two large six-pointed snowflake shapes. Really simple, but it looks like fresh, soft, giant snow.
Drape snowflake on the window

Hot glue snowflakes

I have to thank We Lived Happily Ever After for this idea. My hot glue gun and I set to work on the window to create some six-pointed snowflakes by drawing them free-hand, while Ju and Lilo had their lunch (cunning trick to keep them away from the hot glue). 

I put a little bit of silver glitter just before the hot glue set to make them extra sparkly. Drawing the snowflakes wasn't hard, but I found mine were a little bit messier looking than I would have liked. I expect I should get better at it with some practice. As the evening is drawing in, these are looking even prettier as their three-dimensional opacity is reflecting the street lights glowing outside. 

Please note that this is not to be attempted if the weather is very cold, as the difference in temperature between the hot glue and the freezing outside surface of the window could cause the glass to crack. Thankfully we had no such worry. And ours is also a low temperature hot glue gun.
Hot glue gunning a snowflake on the window
My three hot glue snowflakes
We added to the snowflakes a few homemade stained glass effect window ornaments, including the Sharpie marker recycled stained window ornament we made on Day 8. We can now consider our kitchen window officially decorated. It will be lovely to look at our window from the street too. I wonder if Darling Him will notice when he gets home tonight.

Snowflake decorated window
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