Absolutely massive clothespins make the most perfect, 20-inch giant clothespin snowflakes that will be the glittery envy of all of your holiday guests!
Holy mother of glitter, Y’all… isn’t it just plum amazing how serendipitous life can be? Like, 5 weeks ago I was at my parents’ house and we were decking the halls for Christmas a weensy bit early. A lot of their Christmas decor, and mine too is in a gigantic railroad car my dad bought and plunked down on my sister’s acreage in Oklahoma. But we weren’t exactly sure what we had there at the house, my father having tossed some of it in the back of his pickup truck on a recent visit, and what items were still hanging out in that old railroad car.
My dad and I pulled out the artificial Christmas trees where we learned that my old Christmas tree had molded during its time in storage. And that’s a shame because it was a really, really pretty artificial tree. My parents’ old tree from when I was a kid that is literally decades older only had the slightest tinge of a funky smell. My dad and I carted both out onto his driveway where we hoped the sun would kill any smells, pulling them back into the garage when it would rain, spraying with Febreze or vinegar or any other number of things all in the hope that we could bring these suckers in the house for the holidays. Unfortunately, no amount of sun or Febreze could save my old tree, but luckily the tree my whole family gathered around when I was a kid is A-OK.
During all of this looking and searching and decorating I’d say, “hey, we need to find an old toy truck at a garage sale” and my mom would say “I’ll go get Conner’s old dump truck out of the closet”. Kaboom. And then other times we’d ask my dad if he spied any wreaths or mini Christmas trees or whatever in the attic and then he’d lug whatever it was out for my mom and me to inspect and decide if we wanted to keep it down or shove it back up in the attic.
One of the things my mom kept saying she missed with was a big old Rudolph reindeer that I remember being around for a lot of my life. It was so neat and so memorable because it was made out of gigantic clothespins. Remember the little reindeer I made out of regular-sized clothespins, like the one you can actually hang laundry up with? Yep, like that except GIGANTIC in comparison. We never did find good ol’ Rudolph and so I thought I’d look around to find some gigantic clothespins so we could make a new one this year but I didn’t find the right kind of gigantic clothespins. What I DID manage to find were GIGANTIC spring-style clothespins that were 6″ and 9″ long apiece. No freaking joke.
Within a few minutes of finding these online I bought 8 of the 9″ clothespins and 18 of the 6″ clothespins and before I knew it they were shipped and received on my doorstep. You seriously have to love Amazon Prime and that free 2-day shipping. With my big ol’ clothespins finally, in my craft room, I used them to make some gigantic clothespin snowflakes that I JUST ADORE. In talking about how amazing these were I realized that I needed to really show off their bling to Rob’s mom because words cannot describe how amazingly glittery these guys turned out.
Want to see how to make them? Want to see where to buy giant clothespins?
Let’s check out the supplies you will need to make some gigantic clothespin snowflakes:
- 8 clothespins per snowflake (see more details and links below)
- super strong wood glue
- staple gun (my electric staple gun is SO MUCH easier for me to use with my weak upper arms :)
- half inch staples
- craft paint
- glitter (I mixed up regular, fine, tinsel, flake, and jumbo for maximum bling)
- Mod Podge
The smaller of my giant snowflakes is 14 inches in diameter and uses these 6-inch clothespins that you can purchase in a 6-pack. You’re going to need 8 which means if you buy 3 packages you’ll have 18 pins and can make 2 snowflakes with 2 pins left over. Or you could purchase 4 packages and have the perfect number for 3 snowflakes. You can purchase these singly if you search around Amazon a bit, but you save a considerable amount of moolah, as of the time I’m writing this, by purchasing packages. But prices always change on Amazon so do a quick search to see which way of purchasing these giant 6-inch clothespins is currently the best deal.
The larger of my three snowflakes was made using ginormous 6-inch clothespins and these suckers really are HUGE.
Seriously… Look at that business compared to my hand. And I’ve been told I have MAN HANDS :)
Because it was the cheapest option for me, I purchased exactly 8 of these 9-inch wooden clothespins individually. Amazingly it was twice the price to purchase them in bulk packages and I would have had 4 more pins than I actually needed. As of the time I am writing this, to order these individually was a part of the add-on program, meaning you have to cross a threshold amount of money in merchandise before the items will ship for free. But for me, purchasing 8 was enough to satisfy that threshold and my pins shipped without having to wait until I had other stuff from Amazon to purchase to fulfill the minimum.
The 9-inch clothespins yield a finished snowflake that is 20 inches in diameter. Cool, right?
Now let’s actually set to crafting and make our very first giant clothespin snowflake:
Take each of your clothespins apart, removing the metal spring. Be careful as these springs are very big and could hurt very much.
Apply a healthy amount of wood glue nearer the center of the FLAT side of one piece of a clothespin.
Sandwich your fella’ with glue with the flat side the other half of the pin to form a shape like above. Squeeze together and wipe away any glue that drips out. Place all glued together pieces on a flat surface and allow to dry at least a few hours, overnight being best.
Next, we’re going to put together our pins in our snowflake shape and glue them together.
Now, I played around with different ways of doing this, but in the end, the way I like best is where 4 pins are put together to make a plus sign shape with a considerable sized gap in the middle where they all meet. The 4 other pins are placed in the gaps of the plus sign like you’re adding an X to the plus sign shape. You can easily see the shape in the pic above.
Special shout out to Rob for helping me set up and then eventually take photos for this post. And if you like his shirt, it says “don’t hassle me I’m local“, was inspired by the supremely hilarious movie What About Bob starring Bill Murray as Bob and gets regular comments down here in South Texas where every. single. winter. we get asked if we’re Winter Texas just here for the season :) In fact, it happened this very day at Target where also, as it just might happen…
…they were selling DOG PAJAMAS. Oh, my goodness. Bet you didn’t expect to see THIS PIC in a tutorial for making a giant clothespin snowflake, now were you? :) Give the pups one more quick look over and smile and let’s move on…
To make your snowflake shape permanent place your wooden clothespins prettier side down (some of mine weren’t flush on both sides, so the sides where one piece was a bit bigger than the other went on the back of the snowflake) in the orientation you prefer. My first go I didn’t make the gap in the center thinking it would hold together more sturdily, but I wasn’t as happy with the shape. As it turns out with enough Gorilla wood glue and staples that hole in the center makes absolutely no difference whatsoever.
With your snowflake face down, remove one pin at a time from the design, taking note of where that pin touches the others. Apply wood glue to that pin in the areas it connects with the others to make the snowflake shape and place it back onto the flat surface in place. Continue this until all of your pins are glued together. Allow this to sit and the glue to cure for at least 2 hours before attempting to move them or continue working on them. When you think it’s time, give one pin a little wiggle and if the whole snowflake moves with it, it’s time to move on, but if it tries to peel away from the others, give it a bit more time for the glue to give a sturdier hold.
Once your snowflake is steady use your staple gun and along the back tack the snowflake together where everywhere a pin meets with another. See above? it’s not the prettiest thing all of those staples but, guess what? It’s sturdy as all get-out! And it’s the back. Who cares about the back? :)
Here are all 3 of my snowflakes. In all honesty, the giant clothespin snowflake made from 9-inch wooden clothespins is most definitely my fave because it’s just SO BIG! Seeing all of them in their pretty wooden shapes I almost left them as is because they are really pretty natural, aren’t they? But since this was a project for the blog, and because we like to push crafts to be colorful, I went ahead and grabbed 3 colors of Martha Stewart acrylic craft paint including Peacock Feather (teal), Love Bird (red), and Granny Apple (green).
Each snowflake needs a quick coat of paint. If you’re glittering yours, as I did, you need only do a single coat, even if it doesn’t cover perfectly well. This is just a base in case we miss spots with our glitter.
Oh, and say hi to Maybe who was sneakily acting as cat craft assistant for this project :) Cats and dogs both in one post? Oh, my!
Once your paint has dried, working in one spoke of the snowflake at a time, apply a generous but not so heavy as to be dripping, coat of Mod Podge and then sprinkle liberally with glitter. Allow to sit for at least a few minutes so the glue will really stick into the Mod Podge before gently tapping the excess away.
For the top, the front side of my snowflake I made a totally blinging out of every darn kind of glitter in a single color I could find. I mixed the regular old glitter that I used on the sides with fine, chunky, flake and tinsel glitter for a significant amount of shine.
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Now isn’t that guy oh, so freaking awesome swaying to and fro? Just ignore my goofy face up there and the kind of messy house. I was PLEASED AS PUNCH with that glitz AND I actually had a bra on so it was high time to document that crazy shine!
More than likely these will be stationary unless you want to hire me to make goofy faces and twist them all around for the holidays and I just don’t see that happening :) BUT as you walk by them, they will have so much glitz that the light will hit them slightly different as you move past them making them bling out and look just like in my crazy Instagram Boomerang above :)
To get the absolute most glitter on the top, front-side of your snowflake as possible, apply Mod Podge and then heavily glitter one spoke at a time of your snowflake. Allow all of that glitter to sit on top of the snowflake for at least an hour so that every possible bit of glitter that can get stuck in the glue will get stuck in the glue for a super covered glittery front side.
If placing someplace where the backs might be seen (like in a passageway or in front of a mirror) glitter the backside, also. If you’re worried that those staples will be visible underneath the glitter, they won’t if you apply with a nice, heavy hand and allow the glitter plenty of time to set up and get stuck in the Mod Podge before blowing the excess away.
Can you seriously believe how BIG that guy is? I’m a normal sized person, I suppose and that is my bigger snowflake at 20″ across. Amazing, right? I am in LOVE WITH IT.
And in a set of 3 with colors that work well together, they’re just a gorgeous set, aren’t they? And would you guess those are wooden clothespin snowflakes? Just based on their size alone, I totally would not!