christmas · crochet

Snowflake Christmas Decorations..Continued…How to Stiffen Crochet

In my previous post,

A Crocheted Christmas.. Snowflakes.. The Basics.

I talked you through making some really sweet Snowflakes. Now I wanna just run through how to make them into Christmas decorations! Quick and Easy.

If you leave your snowflake just the way it is, it is more likely to look like a flower than snowflake so you really need to stiffen it up, especially if your planning to hang them as christmas decorations like me!

Firstly you need to get a shoebox or something similar that you can stick pins into easily. cover the base of the shoebox with cellophane or cellotape anything that the stiffener won’t make your snowflake stick to, so paper and anything coloured is a no go!  Pin your snowflake on to the box with sewing pins, every bit you want to be pointy needs pinning in place. As shown in the picture below.

IMG_0989

Now you have a few options when it comes to which stiffening agent you wanna use. I’m gonna run through them.

  • Sugar, water solution.
  • Starch, either spray or powder.
  • PVA glue, water solution.

I tried all three, with varying results.

The sugar water solution,

This stiffener is very simple to make, it calls for a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water, I soaked my snowflake in the solution rather than painting it on to try and get the best results. It certainly did start the stiffened process, but it didn’t stiffen it the snowflake enough for my liking.

For me this is only good for a temporary solution, remember it is sugar and water, so unwashable, or wearable as could even attract bugs, flies etc.. and be ruined if it got wet.

PVA Glue Water Solution,

I then tried the PVA glue/water mixture and had better results. I used watered down PVA glue, if I had to guess I’d say 1:1 ration of glue and water  until it was a milky consistency and got them really nice and wet. I did worry about it sticking to the surface of my box so I painted the solution on rather than soaking my snowflake in it.

IMG_0990

I applied the glue with paintbrush, waited until it was pretty dry and then turned it over carefully and reapplied glue to the other side. When it was still wet I added some glitter because I decided my snowflakes needed glamming up a bit!

This solution did work reasonably well, although depending on the snowflake I had to apply the solution a couple of times to really get the stiffness I wanted, and even then for one of my snowflakes, this solution just wasn’t strong enough.

Cornflour Water Solution, 

The final solution I tried was a mixture of cornflour or cornstarch if your american and water, cooked up and then cooled down. You 1:1 ration of cornflour and cold water to start with, mix that up and then add 3 parts boiling water to that mixture, simmer for at least 5 minutes until it has thickened up (it gets really thick, so you need to be constantly stirring, Do not leave this unattended!).

IMG_1035

Transfer it to a bowl and let it cool down enough to handle easily. It’s easier to use warm as it will continue to thicken as it cools. I added extra boiling water until I was sure it wasn’t going to set as I like to keep it on hand. I now have some in a jar ready for when I need it.

Paint on the solution or dip and squeeze off excess, your choice. I painted it on. Then you just have to wait until it dries!

This stiffener worked well for me and I even liked the dried solution around my snowflakes, giving them an even more christmasy feel. As shown here.

IMG_1037_Fotor.jpg

 

If you wanna hurry up the drying process you could maybe put it in your oven on your lowest setting, I actually have a defrosting setting on my oven, which is great for this sort of thing, as the fan blows warm air around and really dries things out quickly without them getting hot.  If you do go for this option please pay attention, you don’t want your snowflake to heat up just dry off.

Once you have your snowflakes nice and stiff and glittery, your ready to finish them off.

For a simple Christmas Decoration just tie on some glittery thread or wire and Hang. If you want to do a Mobile, you have a few options, I used an old embroidery hoop I had lying around and attached my snowflakes with varying lengths of silver thread. It’s that simple!

Here are my some of my snowflakes hanging up ready for christmas,

These would also make a great christmas mobile, especially if you did them in different sizes like this!!

The smaller snowflakes on the Mobile are made with crochet cotton No. 20 and a 1.25 crochet hook. A bit fiddly but they stiffen really well and look great. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, as much as I enjoyed making decorations!

A bientôt,

Bisous!

 

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3 thoughts on “Snowflake Christmas Decorations..Continued…How to Stiffen Crochet

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