How to Make Paper Snowflakes

How to make a paper snowflake with six sides.

How to Make Six-Sided Paper Snowflakes

Oh, the joys of making paper snowflakes.  They are beautiful and fun to make, whether you're 5 or 50.  Simple or intricate, this activity is perfect for families on a snowy afternoon, or for something to do with your hands while you chat on the phone.

Real snowflakes have six sides.  While the paper version is easiest if folded into eighths, folding it in sixths is not that difficult and produces beautiful results. Here's how to make a six sided snowflake!

How to do it:

1) Fold a piece of paper so that the short edge meets the long to make a triangle.  Be sure the point is sharp.  Trim the excess.  Alternatively, you can cut a square with a ruler.

2) Mark the center point with a ruler, or by folding the points together and gently making a small pinch in just the bottom edge.

3) Fold up each corner like an ice cream cone into approximate thirds, using the center point you marked to begin your fold.  Be sure it's a soft fold since you will have to readjust.  Fold the other side up.  Do the edges meet?  If you're lucky, they'll meet on the first try, but more likely you'll have to adjust.  Wait until you get it right, then crease!

4) Cut the top off evenly through all layers, looking inside to make sure you don't have any shorter bits that are hidden.  Nothing is more annoying than creating an intricate snowflake, unfolding it, and finding amputated stumps.

5) Now's the fun part.  Make lots of little cuts all over the snowflake.  Be sure not to cut all the way through, or you will have a gaping hole. See hints for cutting below for some ideas.

6) Be nice to your spouse/roommate/mom and sweep up all the paper bits.  Don't get on the naughty list!

7) Small tape rolls or bits of double sided tape placed evenly around the perimeter make for invisible hanging.

 

Hints for cutting:

  • If you like, you can pencil in your design.  Or, you can wing it!
  • It is easiest to start with cutting the bigger shapes first, then go back in for the smaller pieces. 
  • Pinch the layers all together near where you are cutting, with with your fingers or a binder clip.  They slip easily and you will wind up with uneven cuts.
  • The easiest cuts are triangles.  You can make them shallow or sharp for different effects, or cut small triangles into the sides of larger triangles to make star like shapes.
  • If you want to do small interior cuts, you can use a craft knife on a self-healing mat.  You will probably need to cut througheach section more than once.
  • It's easy to cut too far when the paper is thick.  If your pieces don't want to come loose, try pulling just a couple of them loose first, and then cutting any stubborn bits.  If you simply cut farther in to make a whole chunk come out near a delicate section, some of the layers may cut too far.
  • Paper punches are also a fun way to add interest, but remember - you're cutting through twelve layers of paper!  You might have to do some elements of your design with the paper partially folded and repeat.

One of a Kind!

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Rachel Blackmon

Rachel Blackmon is an artist, writer, and teacher in New York City.