Introduction: Better Paper Snowflakes

Picture of Better Paper Snowflakes

For more than ten years now I've had the holiday tradition of making paper snowflakes as gifts for friends and family. They have quickly become favorites this time of year. I wrote up the instructions here on instructables in 2008 and was warmly recieved (200,000+ views?!?). But, there was a problem . . .

See, in real life snowflakes have six sides, not eight. Thus, I present a new instructable for six sided snowflakes!

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools


-Good Scissors (Yes, I said good scissors. Spend $10. It'll be worth it)

Step 2: Step 1: Fold

Picture of Step 1: Fold
Note: Folding is hard to describe, but I'll do my best here. Be sure to check out the photos, they should answer any questions you have. If you still have questions or need clarification hit me up in comments.

The hardest part of making a six sided snowflake is folding the paper in thirds. Lot's of web sites tell you to do this, but I will tell you how to do it. It's not even that hard. Get your paper and lets get started. 

  1. Start with the paper on the table in front of you, as though you were going to write a letter.
  2. Fold the bottom edge up to the top edge, classic hamburger style, to fold the paper in half.
  3. Get your ruler out (this is the only time you'll need it) and make a small mark in the top left corner of the paper
  4. Flip the paper over horizontally. The creased edge should still be down towards you and the pencil mark you made should now be on the back, top, right corner.
  5. Fold a small (1/2") refence crease by bringing the two bottom corners together. Open the paper back up.
  6. Fold a diagonal crease from the bottom of your reference crease to the pecil mark by bringing the bottom right corner up and across. (see photo)
  7. Flip the paper horizontally and repeat the last fold bringing the bottom edge up angainst the diagonal crease you made in step six. (see photo for the finished fold) I think it kind of looks like a reindeer head.
  8. With the point pointing to you, fold the 'reindeer head' in half horizontally.

And you're done! . . . well, with folding at least. Didn't even need a protractor.

Step 3: Step 2- Design

Picture of Step 2- Design
For a lot of people this is the most difficult part. After all, what kind of a snowflake do you want to make? I have found that just about anything makes a good subject. Start with simple designs and move on to more complex ones. Don't be frustrated if they don't come out at first. In the ten plus years I've done this I have thrown quite a few accidents away.

The first thing I suggest you do is cut off the excess paper that cannot be used in your design. You don't have to, but it'll make this a bit easier. From our last fold flip the paper over horizontally. You will see an edge running diagonal up and to the right about a third of the way from the top of the paper. Cut everything above it off. (See photo)

Now draw your design. For this snowflake I'll make a robot. When drawing your design follow these rules and suggestions:
  1. The design must touch both sides of the paper and must be continuous from top to bottom. If these two must's are not kept you will get pieces, not a snowflake.
  2. Anything on the folded edges will be mirrored. If you draw half of something here the other half will magically appear later.
  3. Straight lines are easier to cut than curves.

Got it? Great! Now get a good grip on your scissors . . .

Step 4: Step 3- Cut

Picture of Step 3- Cut
Alright, the moment of truth has come. Go slow and be careful. I've ruined too many flakes accidentally cutting to far, amputating a part of the snowflake.

Helpful cutting hints:
  • Cut out the tricky parts first. Make a bit of a mental plan how you're going to go about it. You may find it helpful to number each part in the order you will cut them out. (See photo)
  • Leave parts attached to hold on to. The cutting gets harder as you go along because you have less and less to hold on to as you cut bits off. Doing all the cuts but a cut in from the edge will leave you sometihng to hold on to but also be easy to finish. (See the photo with notes on the robo crotch)
  • Go slow and be careful. Yeah, I already said that, but it's worth repeating.

Carefully unfold and enjoy! You are done. I bet you ended up with a pretty sweet snowflake! Feel free to post it up on flickr or Google+.

Have a wonderful Christmas!


Aeretes (author)2016-11-29

Love your method! much easier to cut and very sensible folding. :-) I actually Like doing them now!

ssachs1 (author)2014-01-07

Ok, so I don't think I'm really stupid, but don't you think you should mention, in step 3, where you get the ruler out, that the mark is 1-1/16 from the edge of the top left edge, as per the image. Nowhere did you mention that and I got so confused I didn't even make it to the 'reindeer' head! I threw in the towel.

teaguesmomma07 (author)2011-12-22

Well, I thought I'd never get that reindeer right, but I think I got 'er now. Just a note maybe say, "flip the paper over and horizontally" I was a little confused there and "bring the left side of your paper up to the right side." I had trouble on last step getting the half reindeer when I went the other way, folding right to left, so don't do that people. I also had trouble on step 6, I had to adjust my folding from the pencil mark or I had a flap on the right side of my reindeer. Just a few suggestions. Maybe others are not as clueless as me though, LOL. I know directions are hard especially when you have done them over and over and now your trying to write them down for someone else. Ok, think I got on to the next step, BTW, thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas.

It's funny how different people think differently. Reading your directions is as confusing to me as I imagine mine were to you. They both make perfect sense to the one who wrote them though, eh? Hopefully anyone I've confused will read your comment and become unconfused. :)

teaguesmomma07 (author)2011-12-22

Yippee, I did it. My mother loves it.

What kind of snowflake did you make?

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2011-12-15

That is very awesome! I love that robot!

Thanks! I'm excited to see what you make.

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm just another person out there trying to get the most out of life. I love to expole the world around me and try ... More »
More by CYNICALifornia:Radio Go Box (Ham, MURS, GMRS and FRS) How To Enjoy A Prickly PearHead-rest Speaker Mount (for ham, CB, or scanner radios)
Add instructable to: