How to Block Crochet Snowflakes
Free Crochet Snowflake Designs and a How-To for Creatively Blocking Them
I love homemade Christmas ornaments and decorations. As a child I spent countless hours with my grandma and aunts learning the fine arts of needlework and sewing. Looking at all my various crocheted snowflakes and ornaments now brings back so many fond memories.
We often hang these ornaments on our tree or dangle them from garlands. But we also hang them in windows, on mirrors, in doorways, and virtually any place we think that will a fun place to display them. We have hundreds of these charming ornaments hung throughout the house
As winter has arrived again, I decided to create a resource page where all sorts of sites offering free patterns and help. Crocheting, much like so many of the needle arts, is disappearing, and creating and gifting these delightful ornaments means that you are giving the gift of a future treasured heirloom.
Additionally, I have included a section detailing the steps for blocking your finished ornaments. The wonderful thing about this is that you can create many variations of the snowflake shape simply by changing how you block out the design. So even if you only create one or two designs can create a plethora of unique shapes simply by recreating the design while stretching and blocking.
In this article, you'll find:
- Links to free patterns
- Ways to enhance your finished ornament
- Tips for blocking your finished snowflakes
Using a slightly thicker crochet yarn and needle is best for beginners, and more experienced crocheters can use smaller.
- Size 10 Crochet cotton
- Use size 5 to 8 hooks
For More Advanced
- Size 20 or 30 cotton threads
- Use size 13 or 14 crochet hooks.
Your snowflake will be out of shape and floppy. You must block it and starch/glue it to make it take and hold it's shape.
Items Needed To Block Your Finished Ornament Are:
- wax paper
- spray starch or white glue
More Info About the Supplies
- Spray Starch or Glue: If you choose to use spray starch, use a heavy type for maximum stiffness. You can also use a watered-down white glue, a very light coating of undiluted white glue, or a spray glue. I've not tried any kind of spray glues with this project because my experience has been that they have always remained just a little tacky. But perhaps I used the wrong type. I would think a finishing glue like one with glitter is designed to dry completely.
- Push Pins or Straight Pins: You want push pins that are easy to grasp and use—not to mention ones that are easy to find when they fall on the floor. However, if you're using anything other than starch, straight pins are best for blocking your snowflake. Also, straight pins allow for more pins in a smaller space, which is good for very complex crochet snowflake designs.
- Wax Paper: The only function of the wax paper when it comes to blocking your project is to keep the snowflake from sticking to your blocking board. Virtually any kind will do.
You'll find these abbreviations in the pattern instructions. These abbreviations are really common in the crocheting world; you'll likely have them memorized by the time you're done!
sc = single crochet
dc= double crochet
sl st = slip stitch
ch = chain
rnd = round
tr = triple treble crochet
p = picot
6 Point Crochet Snowflake Pattern
Difficulty: moderately easy
Six Point Snow Flake - ch 8 for ring
Rnd 1 - ch3, 2 dc in ring;ch 10, 2 dc in ring; ch10 (6 - ch 10 loops)
Rnd 2 - sl st to middle dc of 3 dc group, ch 8; tr in loop (ch 6, sl st in top of tr for a picot) ch8, sc in middle dc of next dc group
A 6-Point Pattern Variant
Six Point Snowflake Ch 3 for ring.
Rnd 1 Ch6, dc in ring, ch 3, dc in ring (make 6 spaces)
Rnd 2 At dc make 2 ps (ch 3 for p), ch 14 for long point: ch5 for p:ch 14: 2 ps in top of dc.
Rnd 1 ch 5 for ring.
In ring, make 8 groups of 2 dc with ch 3 between groups.
Rnd 2 Make clusters of 4 trs in ch3 spaces below, ch 6, p of ch 3, ch1, p, ch1, p (picots are ch3) ch 6, make a 4tr cluster in the next ch 3 spaces - around.
Blocking Your Snowflake
Your snowflake will be out of shape and floppy. You must block it and starch it to make it take and hold its shape.
Items Needed to Block Your Finished Ornaments Are:
- push pins or straight pins
- wax paper
- spray starch or white glue
The process of blocking your ornaments is really quite easy.
Blocking Your Finished Ornament
- Cut a cardboard square about 3 times the size of your ornament
- Cut a piece of wax paper to go over your cardboard square. This helps prevent the snowflake from sticking to the cardboard when starching.
- Draw concentric circles or squares.onto the cardboard
- Center your ornament.
- Begin pulling, pinning the ornament using the squares or circle drawing to keep your ornament balanced.
- When complete, spray with starch or brush on watered-down white glue.
See below for more detail!
Step One: Create a Grid for Blocking Your Ornament
- Cut a Piece of cardboard or foam-core board approximately three times the size of your ornament. In this instance, my square is 8 1/4 inches in square.
- Cover cardboard or foam-board square with wax paper. This prevents your ornament from getting starched or glued onto your blocking board.
- Draw a concentric square to form a grid. I generally mark them at every half inch. The outermost line is at 2 inches. Then a square is drawn at 2 1/2 inches, 3 inches, 3 1/2 inches, and finally 4. You can set them up at more intervals or less. Be sure to use a non-bleed instrument for marking out the grid (like a Sharpie). You want to make sure that when you wet your ornament with starch or glue that no color gets lifted up from the marker or pen that you used.
- Accuracy isn't incredibly important here. You simply need a balanced shape so you can get your ornament evenly stretched and blocked.
Note: Your blocking square can be reused multiple times.
Step Two: Pinning and Creating a Shape
- Start by pinning the center of the ornament in the center of the grid. You can use either straight pins or push pins, whichever is easier for you work with. The pattern you chose will determine whether you'll use one or multiple pins to secure the center.
- Pull one point taught, and pin it. I usually start with a point that will line up nicely with a squaring line. In this case, I did the top point, followed by the bottom point, and then the sides. This provides a well distributed tension along the ornament.
- Begin to open up the design and pin to the desired look and shape. The final shape will depend on how you pin it here.
- Using starch or glue, apply a stiffening agent to the finished ornament. Watered-down glue or starch will stiffen up your star. By don't over apply the glue, as it will pool and make for a lumpy looking thread.
- Wait until dry, and then remove pens.
How to Create Different Looking Snowflake Designs From One Pattern
You can create very different looks using the same pattern by simply adjusting how you pin it for blocking. This is a great way to add diversity while using only a couple of patterns.
See the illustration on the left: You can see with this photo that, depending on how I pin the ornament, I will create two very different looking designs. With further placement using more pins, I have actually created as many as four unique ornament looks from this one pattern.
Ideas for Making Your Ornaments Unique
- Use colored threads, like light blue, silver, red, or green
- Use a little food coloring to dye your threads
- Add glitter for a little extra sparkle.
After you have spray starched or freshly glued your ornaments (important to do while the it is still wet), sprinkle on just a little glitter.
I use a cookie tray or small tub. The extra fine glitter is perfect for the delicate threads. Be sure to do this where cleanup is easiest, as glitter tends to get rather messy.
Not Just for Christmas Trees
You can use these delightful creations for many things other than decorating your Christmas tree. You might also use them to:
- String on garland for a festive feel
- Hang in windows or on mirrors
- Make unique gift tags
- Create lovely stocking stuffers
- Insert into Christmas cards