Introduction: 3D Super Size Paper Snowflakes

With three boys ages ten through nearly fifteen in the house, craft time is, well, becoming a thing of the past (understandably). However, there is one craft that still gets them all, hubby included, to the table to join in: paper snowflakes. We’ve been making these little gems since the kids were toddlers. It’s a downright cheap craft with potentially spectacular results. I simply adore my wintertime windows bedecked with these handmade beauties.

Last year while shopping I encountered paper snowflakes like I had never seen before. These gigantic creations, roughly three feet high, were three dimensional and looked so intricate and complex that it left me stunned. How in the world were those made? Each time I entered that store, I admired their beauty but never gave a thought to investigating how to make them myself.

A few weeks ago as I was planning for a project for my co-op’s art class, those snowflakes came to mind. With a few spare minutes I hit Pinterest. I did a quick search for “3D Snowflakes”, and, voila!; there they were! After doing a bit of reading, what had initially seemed like an impossible task, now seemed doable. My art class is comprised of children ages eight through ten; I was confident that they would be able to complete this project with a little assistance. That evening I made one for myself. I was amazed at how easy it was. In the morning, when my ten year old came downstairs and took a look at the snowflake, he asked, “This is not the art project for today, is it? We’ll never be able to do that!” I assured him that it appeared much more difficult than it actually was. I kept reassuring him that he and his class could indeed do this!

My art class gasped when they saw the project of the day. They too, like my son, thought that I had gone off the deep end and presented them with an impossible task. I assured them that as long as they listened and followed instructions they would create this spectacular masterpiece with their own two hands. Listen and follow instructions they did. By the end of class, there was a flurry of gigantic snowflakes and great big smiles! Success.

Step 1:

What you’ll need:

6 pieces of sturdy, white craft paper, each cut into an 8″ square

a stapler

clear tape

Step 2:

Begin by folding one of the paper squares in half diagonally, creating a triangle. Run your finger along the seam to secure

Step 3:

Fold the same triangle in half again, forming a smaller triangle. Again run your finger along the seams to secure.

Step 4:

Repeat these steps with the remaining pieces of square paper. You should then have six identical, folded triangles.
Position one triangle in front of you with the single, folded seam in front of you horizontally ( as pictured below).

Starting at the bottom, left corner of the triangle, measure off four, one inch segments, marking each with a dot.

Step 5:

Beginning with the outermost marking on the right side, draw a 5 1/2″ diagonal line. The line should run parallel to the edge of the paper. (I used a dark pencil for demonstration purposes. I suggest lightly drawing your lines with pencil.)

Moving to the next mark, draw a 4″ line, again running parallel to the paper and the previous line drawn.

Next, draw a 2 1/2″ diagonal line from the next mark.

Finally, from the last mark, draw a 1″ line. All of the lines that you just drew should run parallel to one another, as well as parallel to the outer, right edge of the triangle.

Step 6:

Beginning at the bottom seam, gently cut along each line, being sure to stop at the end and going no further.
Repeat this same process in steps 5-10 with the remaining five folded triangles.

Gently unfold and flatten one of the cut triangles. Have the paper positioned with the tips of the paper facing up and down, in a diamond shape.

Step 7:

Have a small 1″ piece of tape ready.

Working from the inside, bring the two center pieces together, tips overlapping a bit, forming a tube. Secure the pieces together with tape.

Step 8:

Flip the paper over. Have another piece of tape ready. With the next two center pieces, bring them together, tips overlapping by about 1/4″-1/2″, forming a slightly larger tube than the last. Secure with tape.

Step 9:

Flip the paper over again and have another piece of tape ready. Bring the tips of the next two pieces toward one another, and tape together.

Step 10:

Flip and repeat this process twice more. You will find that as you move outward and work with the larger sections of paper, the space needed to overlap becomes greater.

Upon completion, you will have joined all corners together into a series of alternating tubes.

Repeat steps 12-18 with the remaining five cut triangles.

Step 11:

Take three of your completed pieces and join the bottom tips together.

Staple together. Repeat this with the remaining three pieces. This will leave you with 2 stapled sections.

Step 12:

Bring the stapled portions together, overlapping by at least 1″. Staple the two sections together to form one unit.

Step 13:

Using a stapler or a bit of tape, work to secure the upper portion of each individual section to each other to prevent “flopping”.

Step 14:

NOTES: To create a smaller snowflake, you can simply begin with smaller size squares of 6″, 5″, or 4″. Regardless of what size you decide on, remember that all six squares need to be identical in size. Just keep in mind that the smaller in size that you go, the finer the work needs to be with your fingers.

First Time Authors Contest 2016

Participated in the
First Time Authors Contest 2016