Monday, December 17, 2012


I've developed a serious obession over here, making paper snow flakes.  Here's my latest batch.

Fortunately for my obsessed self, several people have asked recently for snow flake making tips. Let's start at the beginning, in case grade school was the last time you preformed this craft.

I like to start with an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper.

Fold it in half. Make your folds really clean, I run my fingernail along each crease.

And then in quarters.

Then fold the side with all the edges over to the single crease side.

Now trim off the excess, you know the bit where one part of the top of the paper is longer than the other. I like to make a snow cone shape, but just cutting it off square along the shorter piece makes for interesting shapes and designs, too.

Next comes cutting.  But before you cut, you need to know that there is part you can't cut.  I've highlighted the edges that need a tiny bit preserved so that your snowflake will keep it's shape.  As long as a few tiny bits remain along the blue edges, you'll be fine.  I've been daring myself to cut more and more away, with delightful results.

Sometimes I start cutting with a plan, sometimes I just follow my fancy.  For special shapes, I find it helps to trace them in pencil first.  If I cut 1/2 of a shape on the fold line, when I open the paper the whole shape will appear.   See the 1/2 tree on the left and the 1/2 heart on the right?

Start cutting. Remeber about preserving a bit along your fold lines.

Cut out more.  I find the more paper I take away, the fancy and more intricate the finished flake looks. There is also the exciting danger factor - cutting away more and more paper without accidentally clipping the whole project in half.

Think about the point of your fold.  If you leave it un-clipped the center of the flake with be solid.  Cut off a small bit or a large chunk for very different looks.  And, if you cut at various angles diamonds or stars will appear. Again, notice the little bits of blue edge I still have showing to keep my flake together.

When you've cut off all you can bear, start unfolding. It can be a little tricky to find the opening after all that trimming and the layers can be pretty stuck together, so go carefully. Here's the first fold.

I love the anticipation of seeing what I have created. Look at this 2nd fold!

And yay!  The full unveiling! I love how delicate and intricate my busy little snippings can be.

I hope these instructions and hints are clear.  Here's to the fun and delight of a simple project!


Unknown said...

You can also use coffee filters--they are easier to cut after they have been folded several times. They are also beautiful if you drip water colors on them and let the colors spread out.

Wil said...

You might find Vihart's YouTube video on making snowflakes inspiring for even more.

(All of Vihart's videos are great.)

The Bug said...

Ooh I forgot how much fun this is. I'll work on some for my work area right now :)

Sara said...

Oh, no! I'm afraid to look at the YouTube video. Someone has to shop for groceries and cook dinner tonight. If I'm lost in snowflake land, my family may starve.

On the other hand, I *could* pick up some coffee filters and a roast chicken at the store, supplying nutrition and important snow-flaking supplies at the same time.

Thanks a bunch for your ideas!