- Arts and Design
Instructions for Making Paper Snowflakes
How to Make Paper Snowflakes -- A Fun Activity for Kids and Adults
Creating paper snowflakes is a fun way to inexpensively decorate your house for the winter and for the Holidays. It can be an enjoyable family activity also. Younger children can create simple snowflakes with help from an adult, and older children and adults can start to create more intricate, lacy patterns.
Snowflakes can be strung together to hang across a doorway or wall, or individual snowflakes can be hung on your Christmas tree or attached to a window for some winter cheer.
I remember making paper snowflakes as a child, learning how to carefully fold and cut a piece of paper to make a lacy six-sided snowflake pattern. My mother would then tape or glue our creations to the windows. Then when my sons were young, we also enjoyed making paper snowflakes together.
The materials and tools you need to make a paper snowflake are simple -- all you need is light-weight paper and a good pair of scissors. You'll find instructions below. Enjoy!
Snowflake folding photos are my own
Instructions for Folding and Cutting Six-Sided Paper Snowflakes
This Can Be a Fun Family Activity!
All you need to get started is paper and scissors. I use 20 lb printer paper, since I always have plenty of that around, and I use a regular pair of household scissors for my simpler snowflakes.
Follow these simple instructions to make your own beautiful paper snowflakes!
This step gives you your first fold, and also shows where to cut if you've started with a rectangular sheet of paper.
Carefully fold Corner A diagonally to B as in Photo 1, matching the edges of the paper, and cut the edge off as shown in the below.
After cutting the edge off as in Photo 2, you'll have a triangle shaped as in Photo 3. Fold in half, from Corner C to Corner D to form a smaller triangle as shown in Photo 4.
Divide your triangle into thirds as shown in Photo 4. To be precise, you can use a protractor to divide the peak of the triangle into three 30 degree segments, or you can carefully measure the bottom edge of the triangle and divide into thirds, and draw lines up to the peak. Or you can just "eye-ball" your measurements, and adjust your folds to make them even. This gets easier with practice!
From Photo 4, fold one side across, as in Photo 5, then the other side across, as in Photo 6. Adjust the folds as needed so the edges of the paper line up with each other.
Cut the bottom part off as shown in Photo 6. This will give you the basic shape to start cutting your paper snowflake, as in Photo 7!
Step 7 - Cutting the folded paper
Now make your cuts! The sharp top peak of the triangle corresponds to the center of your paper snowflake. Experiment with your cuts. You'll soon get a feel for what kinds of cuts produce certain shapes for your snowflakes.
The cuts I made in Photo 7 produced the snowflake in Photo 8. The top part of the triangle in Photo 7 is the center of the paper snowflake shown in Photo 8.
For design ideas, check out these online Paper Snowflake Templates that you can print out.
Free Printable Snowflake Pattern Templates Online
If you'd like some ideas for your snowflake patterns and designs, here are a couple of good sites with printable templates. The paper folding is the same as I've shown above.
- Snowflake Templates by First Palette This first page has three simple and beautiful snowflake designs.
- Free Printable Snowflake Pattern and Template Collection These snowflake pattern templates are a little more complex.
Flatten Your Snowflake
Your finished snowflake will have fold marks and won't lie perfectly flat. You can flatten your snowflake by pressing it between the pages of a heavy book.
Or you can lightly iron your snowflake in between two pieces of wax paper (Photo 9). Some of the wax will transfer to your snowflake and make it a little stiffer (Photo 10).
Video of Making Paper Snowflakes
This reviews the same instructions as above (although upside down from mine!). Sometimes seeing the folding in action is helpful.
The circular piece of paper in the middle is the initial unfolded shape before cutting.
Books With Paper Snowflake Templates and Cutouts
More Snowflake Patterns to Cut
This book shows 72 snowflake designs for all seasons of the year. There are patterns for traditional snowflakes, but also designs for holidays and special occasions, such as hearts for Valentine's Day, shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day, pumpkins for Halloween, trees, bells, and candles for Christmas, and many more.
You can make these snowflakes many times if you photocopy the patterns rather than cut out each page.
Get some light-weight paper, and some sharp scissors, and start making your own snowflakes from these interesting patterns.
Fun, Free Snowflake Templates
Decorate With Your Paper Snowflakes!
The simplest way to decorate with your paper snowflakes is to tape them to a window with transparent tape (like Scotch Tape), adhesive putty, or you may prefer to add a small dab of Elmer's Glue to the points of the snowflakes to adhere them to the window (easy to scrape off with a razor blade).
You can also hook them on Ornament Hangers and hang on your tree.
Another fun way to decorate is to string a few paper snowflakes together and drape them across a wall, window, or doorway (see the videos below).
Image from MarthaStewart.com, Create a Blizzard's Worth of Snowflakes.
Make a "Paper" Snowflake Online
If you'd like to avoid the fuss of folding and cutting and creating paper scraps, you might enjoy making your own "paper" snowflake online with Make-A-Flake.
The program requires Flash 6 to work. If you don't have it, there's a link to download it.
Image of my own snowflake by Make-A-Flake.
Snowflakes, Starflakes, Swirlflakes - Cutting and folding for paper snowflakes
Whimsical, cute video on how to make variations of paper snowflakes.
Do you make paper snowflakes, or do you remember making them as a child?