Picture of How to Make 6-Pointed Paper Snowflakes
This step by step guide will teach you how to make SIX pointed paper snowflakes. Most people make (and most how-tos teach) snowflakes with four or eight points. Real snowflakes in nature form with six points (or occasionally three if they formed weird) so I choose to make my own with six points. I taught myself this technique in high school and have been making paper snowflakes around Christmas time ever since.

All you will need for this is paper and scissors. Some people like to use fancy paper, but I use plain white copy paper because somehow the simplicity of white is more beautiful to me.

If you want to view a gallery of my snowflakes, see me on Flickr: Paper Snowflake Gallery.

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Step 1: Step 1

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First, begin with a square piece of copy paper. I usually make two snowflakes for every 8.5"x11" piece of paper, so I first cut the paper in half, and then make a square from each half. This makes a snowflake about 5" across. If you're just learning to make snowflakes, using a full piece of paper for each snowflake may be easier to practice with.

You can make a square from a rectangular piece of paper simply by folding one corner down to form an isosceles triangle (like the one in the next step) and trimming off the excess paper.

Step 2: Step 2

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Fold the square of paper diagonally to make a triangle.

Step 3: Step 3

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Fold this larger triangle in half to make a smaller triangle.

Step 4: Step 4

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Step 4-5.jpg
Imagine the triangle in thirds, and fold the right third over, as shown. If you want to be precise and have a protractor, each "third" in this step is a 30 degree angle.

See the explanation above, from a worksheet I made up, which should help to explain folding in thirds a little better.

Step 5: Step 5

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Fold the left third over. Try to get all of the folds to line up as close as possible for the most symmetrical snowflake.
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dcms412 months ago
This was very cool and provided some great tips. But I would have really liked to see the folded cut out version of all of the designs you showed. Technique is great, but actually making something beautiful takes talent. Not all of us are talented, but most of us can follow directions. :)
ReadsInTrees (author)  dcms412 months ago
Hi, thanks for visiting my page!

I don't provide templates because I believe this stifles creativity. Part of the technique is figuring out which sort of cuts are going to make which sorts of designs. If you're only copying someone else's design, you're not learning. There are plenty of tutorials out there that will just tell someone how to make some basic designs while including some templates to copy....I wanted my tutorial to be different, to actually teach the technique itself instead of coddling. Steps 10 and 11 delve into how to look at a snowflake you like and envision the "template" for that snowflake....Trust me, many of the snowflakes don't look like anything when they're folded up...just a little squiggly piece of paper scrap. Only when it's unfolded can you see the overall design, and by analyzing the snowflake, as in step 10, you can see how the "template" relates to the overall design.

Happy scissoring!
wow 1.6 million views in about 11 days, good for you!! Great instructable, I learned how to make these in 6th grade and forgot over the years, nice to have a refresher, Thank you :).
ReadsInTrees (author)  Matt2 Silver1 year ago
Oh goodness, no, it's been more than 11 days. This was posted in 2009.
Oh well color me embarrassed. In any case it's still a really good instructable thank you for sharing it.
Mielameri1 year ago
These are simply fabulous! Thank you!
ReadsInTrees (author)  Mielameri1 year ago
Thank you! Glad you enjoy them!
entropy8881 year ago
excellent instructable
ReadsInTrees (author)  entropy8881 year ago
Thank you!
Annabeth doesn't get confused. Just saying. ;)
how do you imagine a triangle in thirds i am very confused.
I have added a second picture to hopefully make this step easier to understand.
Thank you so much for posting and sharing this!! We are making these as a Girl Scout project to send to the children at Sandy Hook Elementary school.
ReadsInTrees (author)  tphillips141 year ago
I also hosted a paper snowflake workshop at my local library to make snowflakes to send to Sandy Hook. It was very last minute, but we still had over 50 people show up (lots of kids), we made 160 snowflakes, and I think a few people left with a new skill up their sleeve.
Great instructions and beautiful scissor work!! Spent Christmas eve making these with nieces and nephews. Thank you, my windows now look spectacular at almost no cost, and we had so much fun. : )
ReadsInTrees (author)  Throckmorzog1 year ago
Glad that everyone had fun! I'd love to see pictures of your windows!
sturner181 year ago
Thanks so much for this, just putting finishing touches on a Santa Sack and wanted to add snowflakes, couldnt quite remember how to do this. Worked Fab, great instructions and used White Fabric filling to give a a realistic feel. Thanks Again.
yongeeks1 year ago
Thank you. I really enjoyed making these!
mhudson111 year ago
Awesome! Thank you!
PaganRaven1 year ago
I have to tell you that your snowflakes are gorgeous! I've tried all my life to do this and they never look quite as good. I know you posted this a year ago, and I'm a late starter on Instructables (totally addicted now) but I hope at some point you do read this. Merry Yule and a warm winter Solstice!!
ReadsInTrees (author)  PaganRaven1 year ago
Thank you! I hope my instructions and tips help you make beautiful snowflakes of your own! Happy Solstice!
reganbella2 years ago
I think I folded mine wrong. Instead of turning out circular, like a snowflake would be, mine turned out rectangular. Yours are great though!!! They look so intricate!
karmar223 years ago
I must be really stupid because mine turned out completely hollow and looked nothing like a snowflake!
karmar22 - I did exactly the same thing. I found out I was cutting the wrong piece. I thought I was supposed to cut the top part, because that's what it looks like in the picture, but if you cut the bottom plain triangle that is cut off, it comes out really nice.
Dr.Bill2 years ago
Thank You Thank You My Wife Loves Me Again !
Mele Kalikimaka and Houoli Maka Hiki Hou !
Aloha !
Good job on the directions! I teach art and include both this method (which my mom shared when I was five or six years old) and one that uses a circle. I love sharing the patterns with kids and letting them feel superior that their flakes are *correct* multiples of three.
Imjetta2 years ago
Ohhhhh dreamy! These are so much prettier than Martha Stewarts! Thank you!
ReadsInTrees (author)  Imjetta2 years ago
Haha, thanks! You know it does irk me a little that when you Google "How To Make Paper Snowflakes" my how-to shows up at #3 and HERS is at #2. Argh.
dangjena2 years ago
This was amazing! Super instructions and beautiful work. Well done, friend.
jbrecken2 years ago
I decorated my cubicle one year with Post-It notes transformed into snowflakes using more or less this technique. The only difference is that with the smaller paper there wasn't room for too many cuts.
maggieelrod2 years ago
just wanted to thank you for your time to go into such detail to explain how to do this. Merry Christmas!
Maggie Elrod
ReadsInTrees (author)  maggieelrod2 years ago
You're welcome! I hope you're having fun making snowflakes!
designteach2 years ago
Excellent instructions! Enjoyed making these in class today!
picklet4 years ago
I just wonder, have you found any kind of scissors that cut well for fine work like this? Can you sharpen scissors? -
Thanks for the lovely instructable! The generosity of people like you sharing on this site helps to put things in perspective. Bless.
ReadsInTrees (author)  picklet4 years ago
I use regular scissors like you'd get at any office supply store. If you scroll further down in the comments here, I wrote a long explanation about which scissors I've used. I think it's a matter of experimenting to find what works for you.

As for sharpening scissors....I've never actually sharpened a pair, but I've heard that you can sharpen them easily by scissoring through several layers of aluminum foil. I just tried this, but it didn't seem to make a huge difference...maybe I needed to do it for longer. I believe there are scissor sharpening devices that you can purchase in craft stores.
Hi. I was told cutting foil blunts your scissors! You can have them sharpened at some hardware stores tho sometimes the cost of doing so isnt really economic when scissors can be bought so cheaply. love the snowflakes and shall be making a window load tonight :) thank you
Much appreciated, Ms ReadsIntTees. May you have wonderful trees and inspiring reading material!  :)
LaBeasy picklet4 years ago
if you want to be extremely accurate, i would suggest using an exacto knife, if its brand new, itll be razor sharp and super precise.
I love this - so does my 9 year-old. Our window is well on it's way to a winter wonderland! Thank you for taking the time to instruct!
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