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Steamflake

Steamflake


3D lace has become quite a popular staple around here at Urban Threads, as has steampunk, so as the Christmas season descends, it only makes sense to combine them! Eh? I’m sure you’re nodding right now. We’ve come up with a fabulous little lace design I’m affectionately calling a steamflake, as it's a little 3D lace steampunk snowflake! There is a flat lace version for those who are looking for something extra quick, but for those who are looking for something with a little more dimension, we have a pretty spiffy 3D version. Today I’ll show you how to put it together and dress it up to its Sunday best just in time for the holidays.

Since we’ve done so much freestanding lace here, I’m going to skip the basics of stitching it out and go right to construction. Don’t worry, if you haven’t ever done lace before, just check out this neat little tutorial that will guide you through what you need to do to stitch out your lace pieces. Once you have your three lace pieces sewn out and dried, follow along with me!


So, there are all kinds of ways of dressing up your lace snowflake, but here are the materials I’m going to be using today:

  • Three lace snowflake pieces
  • A small needle nose pliers
  • A cutter
  • Some thin copper chain
  • Matching metallic thread (probably what you used to stitch out your lace)
  • Needle
  • Dangly charms (technical term)
  • Jump rings
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors (who didn’t show up in time for the group photo)


So, let's start with our lace pieces. You should have two pieces that are open halfway down that are exactly the same, and one that’s open nearly all the way down all by its lonesome. You’ll notice the one with the big gash has a distinct loop at the top. This will be the piece used for hanging.

Start by taking the two identical pieces and have them positioned so the breaks line up. Slot one snowflake into the other until they’ve both reached the center of the breaks. When properly aligned, they should be flush with one another at the top and bottom.

This is what your little steampunk snowflake will look like with just two layers. Pretty spiffy, but we’re not done yet!

With those two aligned, you can then slot the third piece over the other two, like shown. It doesn’t matter which way you add the third piece. Whichever end has the loop will become the top.

As you can see, you now have a slightly loose but pretty nifty looking three dimensional steamflake!


Now, the steamflake holds together pretty well on its own, but still not quite well enough to hang without a little help.

Grab your needle and matching metallic thread, and do a light tack stitch through the ends of the bottom pieces, stitching them all to the center.

Do the same for the top, stitching once through each side of the flake right at the top. This will keep your pieces snug and upright, and will make sure your little snowflake doesn’t slip apart while hanging out on your tree. Tie off the ends and snip off the extra.

You’re done!

Ah. Just kidding. We never leave a good steamflake unadorned. On to the bling!


I started with my dangly centerpiece, this pretty little purple and copper bead. Use your pliers to open up the hook, and hook it through the open lace at the bottom of the snowflake. Carefully use the pliers to close the loop again.

Next, I wanted to add a couple lengths of chain. Find one of the bottom corner edges of your flake, and slip a jump ring through it. Hook one end of a chain on, and close the ring. Then, decide how long you want your chain to loop, and snip it with the little cutter accordingly.

Do this on both sides. I like to let both sides dangle down because it’s really easy to tell if you have an even length on both. When you’re happy with the lengths, add two more jump rings around either side of your charm.

Attach the ends of the chains to the rings, and close them up like so. Ta da! Even more dangliness!


In this next step, it is apparently vitally important that you have a crazy digitizer coworker come in and cover you with pink sticky notes while you’re trying diligently to work.

I should note Danielle felt this step was important enough to take a picture of to share with you all.

I’ll just conclude this part by saying I’m pretty sure this step is optional, but somehow still seems compulsory around this office. I’ll also say I’m pretty sure I walked around the office for at least an hour without knowing I had an extra bright pink sticky note stuck to my back. Do with this information what you will.


Once you’ve scared away your coworkers with your resident guard bunny, you can proceed with adding even more dangly bits on one of the bottom edges of the flake that doesn’t yet have anything. I added one to each side.

Finally snip a length of ribbon, loop it through the top, and tie a knot to make your steamflake ready for hanging!


Woo! Check out the prettiness!

Bright metallics and dangly charms are perfect for bringing some holiday cheer to your lace this year. It’s pretty and elegant and I bet most people won’t notice it’s a steamflake until closer inspection. It’s a perfect way to add a little steampunky subtleness to make this year’s holiday decor your own!

Hang your 3D steampunk snowflake up on your tree with pride, and add its 2D steamflake counterpart to dress it up even more. Christmas has a new twist this year!



Trim the tree in crafty style! UT has several more ornament designs, including a pretty-yet-spooky skullflake. (Psst … lots of our specialty designs, even if they’re not intended as ornaments, could easily be made into them! Just stick a ribbon at the top.) Elsewhere on the interwebs: Over the Crescent Moon has a pattern for an adorable little airship ornament. Have an ultra-geeky Christmas with these little Katamari Cousin decorations by alittlestranger on Instructables. And show off your adorable side with a little gingerbread house ornament; instructions by Laura Howard are at SewMamaSew. Have yourself a quirky little Christmas!


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Suggested designs for this tutorial: 
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