How to Make Paper Snowflakes (Tutorial)
There's something magical about paper snowflakes.
It's not just how pretty they are, or how they will make a little moving mobile if you hang them in the window, though they are all that. But when you're cutting them, they're just these random triangles and circles cut into the edge. It doesn't seem like they'll be anything at all. And then.... then you open them, and they're beautiful. Every, single time. Amazing.
I don't think you ever get too old to be amazed and delighted by paper snowflakes. I've been making them every holiday season since I was a teenager, and I plan to keep making them from now on!
Come on down and see how I make mine.
You will need:
- Regular paper (I just grab some out of the printer, usually).
- Scissors. I usually use just plain paper scissors, but you can use fancy scissors, too. Experiment!
If you want to hang them up for a "mobile" type experience, you will also need:
- Paper Clips (to make hooks)
- Thread (I use hand-quilting thread because it's a bit stiffer and easier to handle.)
Once you have your supplies gathered, you just need to fold your paper into an "ice cream cone" shape that divides the paper into 12 equal parts. Like this:
Take a sheet of regular paper:
Fold it in half:
Fold in one end to make the beginning of a triangle. You want to get about 1/3 of the paper. If you point the corner of the edge you fold at the upper left corner of the paper, it'll be pretty close. You can also check by looking at the two triangle shapes it makes. They should be about the same width:
Now fold in the other edge to complete your "ice cream cone" shape.
You could, in theory, stop there, but if you want symmetrical "points" on your snowflake, you want to fold it in half again, as if you were making a paper airplane. So fold on the dotted line:
And then, so that your snowflake won't have odd "sticky outy bits" you need to trim off all the long papers that aren't even all the way around. So find the shortest paper in the bunch (the one that is closest to the pointy end of the ice cream cone) and cut the cone off at an angle following that line. So for this cone, you would cut on the solid line.
- The tall folded part of the ice cream cone is what makes the "arms" of the snowflake. If you cut holes on this edge, you will be adding decorative holes to the "arm" part of the snowflake.
- The short part of the cone is the part in between the arms. If you cut on this fold, you will be adding decorative holes *between* the arms.
- On either long folded edge, when you open it, you will get a mirror image of your cut on the fold (either on the arm or between the arm of the snowflake, respectively). So, if you cut half a heart shape, your snowflake will have hearts! (Or bows, or snowmen, or gingerbread men, or candycanes, or anything symmetrical).
- The pointy bit at the bottom of the snow cone is the middle of the snowflake. If you cut this off, you will be adding a decorative hole in the middle of the snowflake.
- The top angled edge of the cone is the outside edge of the snowflake. If you cut on this edge, you will be adding a a decorative edge to the rim of your snowflake.
SO you might cut one like this, for example:
At any rate, whether you want to keep that in mind or just have fun cutting, you cut some decorative bits on all the edges.
And then open it up! Magic!
If you want to, you can iron them (very lightly, and don't walk away!) to make them nice and flat before hanging them up.
For extra fun, you can hang them in the window from your curtain rod. Make a hook out of a paper clip:
Then use thread to hang them up! Instead of tying knots, I like to tie loops. I thread the loops through each other around a good spot on the snowflake, then put the loop on the hook. That way I can take the threads off for storage. Snowflakes store very well in a manilla envelope and can be used year after year!
If you hang them in the window, they act just like a mobile, and are always in motion. They're beautiful!
What about you? Do you make paper snowflakes?