How to Make Snowflakes With Pipe Cleaners and Paper Towel Rolls

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Repurpose your empty paper towel rolls as snowflakes.
Repurpose your empty paper towel rolls as snowflakes.

Cutting snowflakes from thin paper leads to paper cuts and frustration. Instead, save your nerves and use sturdier cardboard for your winter wonderland decorations. Salvage cardboard tubes from empty paper towel rolls to create geometric snowflakes suitable for years of use. As you design each snowflake, consider that no two snowflakes are ever the same and craft accordingly. Hang the finished white snowflakes on your Christmas tree during the holidays. If you yearn for a white winter, attach these faux snowflakes to your window using glue dots for an impromptu snowfall.

Things You'll Need

  • Hardbound book
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
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Instructions

    • 1

      Place one empty paper towel cardboard tube on a hard surface. Press a hardbound book over the top of the cardboard tube to flatten it. Cut the tube into one-quarter-inch-wide rings; one tube will make approximately 40 rings. You will be able to make approximately three snowflakes from one paper towel roll tube.

    • 2

      Position one end of a white pipe cleaner across the inside of a cardboard oval. Wrap the pipe cleaner around the cardboard until you have covered the entire oval; you may need an additional pipe cleaner to cover the oval. Maintain a single layer with the pipe cleaner, and don't leave any gaps between the pipe cleaner as you wrap it around each time.

    • 3

      Secure the loose end of the pipe cleaner to the inside of the oval using hot glue. Wrap the remaining cardboard ovals with white pipe cleaners as you did in the previous step.

    • 4

      Place one of the white ovals on a flat surface. Add five ovals evenly spaced around the center oval with the tip end of each oval touching the sides of the center oval. Cut one white pipe cleaner into five equal lengths. Attach the outer ovals to the center one using the five pieces of pipe cleaner as twisting ties.

    • 5

      Arrange five additional ovals around the perimeter of the attached ovals. Place each of these ovals so one end points in between the spaces of the first five ovals. Cut a white pipe cleaner into five equal lengths and use them to attach the rings as you did in the previous step.

    • 6

      Cut an additional white pipe cleaner into 1-inch sections. Use the pieces to attach any loose ovals to make the snowflake more secure, if needed.

    • 7

      Twist the end of a whole white pipe cleaner around the outer side of one of the outermost rings. Use the free end of the pipe cleaner to attach the snowflake to another object or for hanging from the ceiling.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can use glitter-covered pipe cleaners or pipe cleaners of different colors to add pizzazz to your snowflakes.

  • Don't cut the cardboard rings unevenly, or any thinner than one-quarter-inch wide. If you do, as you cover the rings the pipe cleaners will be uneven or the rings will break apart.

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  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images

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