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Step by Step Paper Snowflake Construction

Updated on December 30, 2013

Make Paper Snowflakes

Winter is here! Even if you don't have snow on the ground, you can make it snow in your home.

Paper snowflakes are not just for children - when you make them yourself, each one is unique, and your friends will be impressed when they see your holiday decorations.

In this lens, I will take you step by step through my snowflake formation process.

Paper and Scissors for Snowflake Construction
Paper and Scissors for Snowflake Construction

#1 - Get Your Supplies

You will need white paper and sharp scissors to make your paper snowflakes (things that you likely have laying around your house!)

A Diagonal Fold Creates the Square
A Diagonal Fold Creates the Square

#2 - Create a Square and Fold the Paper

Take one corner of your piece of paper and fold it so you create the largest triangle you can. If you cut off the remaining ~2 inch strip, you will have created the square that will be the basis for your snowflake.

Once you have your square, fold the paper in half on the diagonal 3 times. The natural 6-fold symmetry is difficult to accomplish when you are folding paper, so we will aim for 8-fold symmetry. The tighter you can fold it the more intricate you can get the finished product. After these three folds, you paper is divided into 8ths.

Snowflakes naturally have 6-fold symmetry, but it is easier to create 8-fold symmetry with paper and scissors.

Snowflakes naturally have 6-fold symmetry, but it is easier to create 8-fold symmetry with paper and scissors.
Snowflakes naturally have 6-fold symmetry, but it is easier to create 8-fold symmetry with paper and scissors.

#3 - Make one last fold

This next fold is not a symmetrical one. You are folding the square into 16 sections. This will allow you to create a square with 8-fold symmetry since each edge of this folded piece is repeated 8 times through your snowflake.

Outside Edge
Outside Edge

#4 - Begin Cutting

I always start by cutting the outside edge of my snowflake. In this photo, you can see that the edge I cut off of the sample snowflake remained in one piece. I like to make a U shaped cut at the edge so there will be some points to the snowflake.

When cutting, I make a lot of little triangles, or cut two parallelish lines, then snip it out of the middle. I try to have as little uncut space as possible.

Don't Open the Snowflake While You're Cutting

You won't be able to fold it back together properly. And part of the fun is seeing the reveal at the end!

#5 - Unveil the Magic

Open up your Snowflake

The magic happens as you start to open it up. I like to do this slowly so I can really appreciate the beauty of my snowflake. (Opening it slowly also allows you to avoid tearing the snowflake.) width=200>

The Snowflake Revealed!

The Snowflake Revealed!
The Snowflake Revealed!

Like Natural Snowflakes

No two snowflakes you create will be identical!

Mistakes happen: Can you see where I messed up here? (The Fix was easy!)

Mistakes happen: Can you see where I messed up here? (The Fix was easy!)
Mistakes happen: Can you see where I messed up here? (The Fix was easy!)

This opened into the introduction snowflake.

This opened into the introduction snowflake.
This opened into the introduction snowflake.

Paper Snowflake Resources

Like Snowflakes, no two comments are identical - So leave yours!

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    • Magda2012 profile image


      5 years ago

      I will make it for the next christmas day .. nice lens!

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      6 years ago from UK

      Making paper snowflakes is the perfect activity for this time of year! Blessed and submitted for the Winter Word angel quest. :)

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 

      7 years ago from California

      I love making paper snowflakes. It's interesting to see that people have different approaches to it.

    • GonnaFly profile image


      7 years ago from Australia

      These look fabulous. I can just imagine all those little snippets of paper all over the place ;-)

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      7 years ago from United States

      Really pretty snowflakes! I don't think I could duplicate it, but I appreciate the instructions. Angel blessed and added to Squid Angel Mouse Tracks in Crafts

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      7 years ago from Vermont

      Exquisite paper snowflakes! Lensrolling ... and faved.

    • carlajo73 profile image


      7 years ago

      So beautiful and this article makes it seem effortless! :)

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      7 years ago from Central Florida

      I enjoyed making these over the years. Now I've gotten hooked on making online snowflakes and even made a lens about that. I'll lensroll this one to mine.

    • BrickHouseFabrics profile image


      7 years ago

      It is snowing out, I love it outside, and bringing it in!

    • snazzy lm profile image

      snazzy lm 

      7 years ago

      They are gorgeous! I remember making them at school many years ago!

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 

      7 years ago

      those are so cool! i've never been very good at making them!!

      Oprah's Favorite Things of 2010

    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 

      7 years ago

      I love making paper snowflakes! :)

    • WildFacesGallery profile image


      7 years ago from Iowa

      Really lovely. I may have to try this. I was thinking something to go in the window of my gallery for Christmas would be nice. This might be just the ticket. And yes it's been added. :)


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