My Favorite time of year is Christmas!! I love the holiday cheer, giving of presents, and decorating. When I was a kid my parents use to go all out every year, and we kept adding to what we did the previous year when it came to decorations. When I look back at it, I realize we were the Griswolds of our neighborhood. Now that I have my own family, I am catching myself trying to one up what we did the year before just like my dad. This year, we are in our new house and it has been fun decorating and finding ways to add more. My first challenge was to find something fun to hang from the gables! I couldn't find anything that I felt was reasonably priced, so I designed and build this 36" snow flake that would fit in one of the three gables that we have. Now that I got this one done, I have received the go ahead from "the boss" ie my lovely wife to build more!!!
Step 1 - Buy Your Tools and Materials
You can be build this snowflake for less than $20 in material. The wood is about $5 and the lights are less than $10 (LED). I chose clear white LED's instead of a warm color. The nice thing about LED's is that they use less power and they last a really long time so you don't have to worry about a light going out after years of hanging this snowflake.
1X2 Common Board - Length 96" (8') - qty of (2)
Stain/Finish (pick your color and type)
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Step 2 - Measure your Material and Cut it to Length
Cut your Materials. If you don’t have a miter saw, don't worry, you can usually get your hardware store to cut it for you. Just download the complete plans at the bottom of these steps and you can print your material cut page.... Isn’t that easy! Or if you are tech savy, just bring your smart phone with you and zoom in and give them the dimensions.
Step 3 - Sand Splintered Edges and Any Major Defects
Sand the wood pieces before you do anything else. Mainly get the splintered ends removed. Be careful not to round the edges unless that is the look you are going for, but it is best for that to be done after you nail the snowflake together.
Step 4 - Glue, Clamp, and Nail
This part I have done multiple ways and have found it is easiest to build what I call the arrows first and then install the long pieces together. First glue the long pieces to the faces where they attach to the base. We will repeat this three times. You will also want your carpenters square so you can set the angle for the ends. I used short brad nails to help hold this together and keep is so I could progress on sooner then waiting for the glue to completely dry (mainly because I get impatient).
Step 5 - Attach the Bases!
Now we attach the bases together to make it look like a ninja star. I did it in layers by attaching two together and I glued and nailed them to make it even sturdier then just with glue. I used my drill bit to align the center hole and then I also made sure that they were at a 60 degree angle from each other.
Step 6 - Attach the Middle Part of the Snow Flake
This I built in 2 parts because of the awkwardness of putting this together. The ends of the middle boards terminate into the base and the middle overlaps are staggered because of how the bases are installed. I nailed my boards in on this one to again speed up the process, but to also to be secure because of the overlaps. This looks like a wagon wheel when done. You will notice that I didn't drill all my holes the first time I made this. I found out that it is better to do so first. The ones that I would recommend drilling after it is dry is the match drills because it is just easier to line them up.
Step 7 - Install and Glue the Lights
If you want to paint the snow flake do so before installing the lights. I chose to leave mine bare wood so this is where I had Andi help me glue the lights because it sped up the process and having more hands definitely makes the process easier (she glued while I stuffed the lights in). You will need to reverse lights or black them out as needed to make it so that only lights in the holes are lit up. One other thing that I had to do on this was to shorten a couple of strings to make the lights work out and also running the strings around snow flake and not have them stand out too much. I tried to keep all runs along the base boards only. I have the backside shown below where the light strings should be run along. After the glue is dry I attached the picture frame hook on the back and also attached the other portion to the house where I wanted it to go.
And there you go, a beautiful, easy to build, affordable decoration that will be the talk of the neighborhood! If you have any questions or comments please let us know. We are always striving to be better and supply you with the best content to make projects easy and affordable. If you have any project ideas or something you would love to build or have built and want to share please contact us and we will do what ever we can to help. Stay tuned and Lets Keep Improving! Jeff