Introduction: Dictionary Paper Snowflake

About: ...after 30 years of becoming corporately numb, my dreams of not working (for pay) and instead creating with my hands has become a reality. Life is grand!

For the year-end book club meeting, I wanted to give my reading buddies an inexpensive ornament to represent our love of the written word.

This instructable will show how to make one 3-dimensional ornament, measuring approximately 7"x7". Because the steps require drying time, you may find it easier to produce several at once - - expecially while listening to Christmas music on a snowy day.

Lets get started...

Step 1: Gather Supplies

*a page from a dictionary/book/atlas

*scissors (or a paper cutter which is VERY helpful!)

*white glue

*paperclips or mini clothespins

Step 2: Cut-n-fold

*For each ornament, cut 16 lengths of paper that are at least 8" long and approximately 3/4" wide.

*Fold the strips down the center/lengthwise.

Step 3: Form a Cross

*Find the approximate center of a folded strip and line up another folded strip perpendicular to it, creating a cross.

*Place a dot of glue at the center point and secure the two lengths with a paperclip or clothespin. Let dry.

*Repeat this step for the other side of the snowflake.

Step 4: Create a Basket Weave

*Once the cross is dry, it will represent the center of the basket weave. (If necessary flip the cross so the horizontal strip is on top of the vertical strip.)

*Place a folded strip on either side of the vertical portion of the cross, secure with clothespin/paperclip and place a dot of glue under each strip. These three strips represent the middle of the basket weave.

*Raise the center vertical strip and slip a folded strip both above and below the center horizontal strip, as shown in the 2nd and 3rd photos. Place a dot of glue and secure all corners in place. The basket weave now measures 3 strips by 3 strips. Allow glue to dry.

*Repeat this step for the other side of the snowflake.

Step 5: Trim the Basketweave Pattern

*To create a 7" x 7" star (from tip to tip), mark the basket weave strip 4" from center.

*Place both halves together and cut the marked lines.

*Each piece will now measure 8" x 8"

Step 6: Most CRITICAL Step of ALL!

*In the first photo, I have noted the top left corner with TOP and the bottom side of the counterclockwise strip as UNDER.

*After placing a dot of glue on the edge marked TOP, rotate the bottom side of the counterclockwise strip so UNDER faces up. Similarly, rotate TOP toward the back so that TOP is placed over the the strip markedUNDER. Secure in place with a paperclip/clothespin and repeat at each corner.

*Make sure the glued corners resemble the mirrored twist as shown in the second photo above or the snowflake will not appear symmetrical.

* side is completed. Now do the same for the other side.

Step 7: Assemble and Trim

*Place one snowflake on a flat surface with the loops facing upward.

*Flip the other snowflake so the loops are facing downward and rotate by 45 degrees. Eight loops are now visible and every other loop is in curved differently.

*Weave the straight center strip of one snowflake on to the loop of the other snowflake, extending 1/2"- 3/4" beyond the corner of the loop. This part can be a little awkward so use a clothespin/paperclip to temporarily hold in place. Repeat on all 8 corners.

*Check corners for symmetry. Once satisfied, place a dot of glue between the straight strip and the loop and re-secure until glue has dried.

*Remove clothespins/paperclips and trim excess by following the corner of the loop.

*Finally, punch a hole and tie a ribbon to hang on the tree or on a present, and pat yourself on the back!

Step 8: A Few Extras to Consider...

*The length of the paper strip will determine the final size of the snowflake. As suggested in step 5, the size of the trimmed basket weave will determine the size of the snowflake from tip to tip.

*While experimenting I made a 5" snowflake by trimming the basket weave to 6"x 6". The snowflake was pretty, but appeared more delicate by folding the strip lengthwise a second time, using a narrower strip.

*I also made a larger one using the full length (12") of a dictionary page. Unfortunately the pages were thinner than newsprint, so the paper had to be cut wider (1.5") and the strips required an additional lengthwise fold in order to provide the necessary strength.

*Using dictionary pages was ideal for this book club ornament, also consider using...

*sheet music for the music student

*pages from the Sunday comics for a creative type

*stock market page for the business guy

*road atlas pages for a traveler

To make the ornament even more special, note the year it was presented,

Book It! Contest

Runner Up in the
Book It! Contest

Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2015