Even if it never gets cold enough for a single snowflake to fall where you live, bring a wintry sparkle to your doorway with this humongous piece of snow that never melts. And don't let the delicate design fool you: Assembly (which is done shish kebab style) is a cinch.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN: Dowel lengths given here are for a door approximately 40 inches wide. If your door is a different size, subtract 6 inches from the width of your door and divide the result by 2. That's how long you can make each arm and have it fit your door. Keep this figure in mind when you're buying the dowels and foam shapes.
Don't buy the compressed, smooth kind of foam (extruded foam)--you can't get the dowels through it.
The snowflake looks best with two sets of three matching arms.
If you like, paint the dowels (we used silver paint) and let them dry.
Make the snowflake's center by stacking and gluing the 6-inch disk, a 3-inch disk and half of the ball together. (Cutting foam pieces is a parent's job.)
Glue the other 3-inch disk to the back of the 6-inch disk--this will become the hanger. For extra support, stick toothpicks through the layers from the back.
Have your child decide how he wants to arrange the shapes on the six long arms of the flake and the six smaller connecting bridge arms. Lay them out in order.
Guide each dowel through the center of each shape. Leave about 3 inches empty at the end of each dowel (this part will slide into the center disk). When you finish, make sure all the arms are the same length (they may vary depending on what you put on the ends). Trim the dowels with a wire cutter or scissors if they are uneven.
Before attaching the arms to the center disk, divide the space on each side of the disk into thirds by marking with toothpicks. Stick the toothpicks into the sides of the disk in the same places you want the arms. Make sure arms opposite each other are in one straight line. Replace the toothpicks with the arms. Insert the top and bottom arms first. Adjust alignment if necessary.
When you like the look, pull out each arm, put glue on the end of the dowel, and reinsert. Tighten the other shapes by gently pushing them down each arm, then remove the end shape, put glue on the dowel and reinsert. Let dry.
To add a bridge between each arm, lay a 7 1/2-inch-long skewer or dowel across two arms at points about 5 inches away from the snowflake center. Mark the entry points of each bridge with toothpicks. Thread three small shapes onto a skewer, put a dot of glue on the ends of the skewer and insert at the toothpick marks. Repeat between each arm.
Complete the hanger by wrapping fishing line or string around the disk at the back of the center. Knot tightly and wrap again, leaving ends long enough to tie into a long loop. Coat the string around the circle with glue. Let it dry and hang.