Friday, November 15, 2013

Holiday Pregaming, Ornament-style: Clothespin Snowflakes

I generally wait until it is at least December before I get into the holiday spirit, but for the sake of a crafty blog post (which, by the way, you've already had three of this month!), and the Pintester's latest Ornament-themed Pintester Movement, it is Christmas in November!
obligatory artsy window shot
pre-snow - which has been gracing us over the past few days
here in the MRV
I'm a sucker for snowflakes, so of course I was inclined to find a snowflake-inspired ornament, and I tend towards the recycled variety, as well. Lucky for me I had a two-for-one that I'd pinned a while ago: the Clothespin Snowflake.

Now, I'm all for recycled crafts, but some of the "recycled" crafts out there basically have you using items that are pretty much new, and still have a useful purpose already, like clothes pins. At least, they're useful to me, since I do use them for their intended purpose 98% of the time - i.e. pinning clothes to the clothes line (the other 2% of the time is used pinning other things - like chip bags, curtains, and the end of my finger when I'm zoning out. . . you know you've done it, too. . .). However, not all clothes pins are created equal - some have pathetically weak springs - so in this case, I felt okay sacrificing them for the sake of ornament-crafting.

The directions in the tutorial call for 8 clothespins per snowflake and hot glue to hold the ornament together. Being the sciencey person that I am, I know that snowflakes actually have six points (because of mother nature's magic, of course), so I ended up deviating from her guidelines ever so slightly.
Friday night snowflake crafting, with hulu and a beer.
current hulu obsession: "Sea Patrol" . . . drama on the Australian high seas!
(mostly I'm digging the Aussie accent) 
First up: removing the springs, then gluing the pairs together, back-to-back - the "back" being the flat side.
removing the springs.
no action shot of hot gluing. . . I'm only so talented with the camera.
Next up: arranging & gluing the pairs into a snowflake. I glued three pairs together at the wider ends, then added three more, wide-end in, at the intersections of the first three.
three pairs.
note the near-perfect angles (~120* for all you math nerds out there)
then six pairs.
this one was relatively evenly-spaced.
not so much with a few of the others.
It was a bit challenging to keep the first three pairs of pins evenly spaced whilst hot-gluing (there was some cursing), but by the third and fourth, I had it down. For last few snowflakes I played around with the direction of the pins, since they are narrower on one end.
alternating-point snowflake
All-in-all, they came out nicely and were fairly quick to construct. They're a bit big for any tree I expect to have, but frankly, ornaments aren't just for decorating trees. I'll probably add some string through the narrow slits that are located near the ends so I can hang them in the window (although they might make excellent Christmas gifts for certain people I know who are also fans of snowflakes). I left them natural, mainly because I like the look, but also because I didn't have suitable paint. Although now that I think about it, I have plenty of trim paint that I could use to paint them a creamy white, which is appropriately called "Woodland Snow."
six snowflakes!
another obligatory artsy photo.
day-light makes for a much better photo.
Alas, no good hot-glue requiring craft would be complete without a mess of glue blobs (how DO you keep a hot glue gun from leaking!?!) and a hot glue burn.
blobs and strings.
a mere surface wound. everyone lived to tell about it.
The question now is, what the heck am I supposed to do with 36 springs??

Update!
I did manage to get to the PO today to drop one of these beauties in the mail to Jodee, over at Cheeseblarg, who is the reason the Pintester got this movement started. . . it's a tree-trimming extravaganza for Jodee's first real Christmas tree. Check out her post for more of the story, and check out the Pintester's post for more of the ornaments that were created. Caution: there is a lot of glitter, and what amounts to a herd of dinosaurs. You've been warned.

20 comments:

  1. There must be a clothespin spring craft somewhere on Pinterest. No? Oh well, your snowflakes came out great!

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    1. Thanks! I hadn't thought to look for something to do with the springs, but I am sure you are right - Pinterest seems to have a solution for nearly every thing. . .

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  2. I love the 3D snowflakes. Great job.

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    1. Thanks, Beth - they were super easy to do!

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  3. They're very pretty in their natural state. And I am awful because my mind's first answer to "What do I do with 36 springs?" was 'throw them at people.' I don't condone violence, but apparently my subconscious does.

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    1. Ha ha ha, nice - that's one solution considering the springs seem pretty useless not attached to the clothes pin wood pieces! Oh, and I'll try and make another one to send to you - I found some more clothespins when I was unpacking stuff the other day!

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  4. These are really pretty! I agree that there is probably someone else out there who has made a craft from the springs ;)

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    1. I guess it's time to get surfing the pinterest boards for clothes pin spring crafts!

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  5. I made these too...but painted white and added glitter! Love them!

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    1. Ooooooh, I'll have to check them out!

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  6. Replies
    1. I am partial to sparkles, maybe I can find some clear glitter spray - then I can have the natural wood AND sparkles :)

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  7. I'm glad I'm not the only person who crafts while drinking beer. I also very much appreciate the 6-pointed science nerd aspect. I think these turned out really pretty and feel the need to try them myself. I even have some fairly useless clothespins somewhere in my craft room.

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    1. Um, beer is kind of an essential crafting ingredient :) You definitely should make some - it really didn't take much time at all! What took time was pretending I cared about the angles whilst trying to glue the dang thing together. Also, you may want to work on some wax paper, or other non-paper surface. . . and try not to burn yourself. . .

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  8. Replies
    1. Thanks! And thanks for another excuse to be crafty!

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  9. I need to make these! Six-pointed, of course!! :)

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  10. Here's a great easy project for the springs...
    http://www.michlinla.com/2013/03/turn-clothespins-into-wirework-jewelry.html

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    1. No way! That's awesome - thanks for sharing :)

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