How to Cut Paper Snowflakes

paper snowflakes

Learning how to cut paper snowflakes can help you decorate your home for winter, embellish a special greeting card or Christmas card, or even teach your kids about math. On cold and snowy days, you'll love this indoor winter activity.

About Paper Snowflakes

Although they aren't considered origami in the traditional sense because they involve cutting the paper, snowflakes can be a great way to sharpen your paper-folding skills. They belong to a class of paper folding crafts called "Kirigami." This type of paper folding involves making small cuts to create beautiful designs.

It's likely that people have been creating paper snowflakes for centuries, but the craft really became popular in the Victorian era. During the late 19th century, paper was fairly affordable. Additionally, the Industrial Revolution had given people more leisure time than they had enjoyed in the past, but modern entertainment methods like radio and television had not been invented yet. This meant that Victorian ladies needed to find enjoyable ways to spend their long winter evenings. Paper snowflakes were a natural development.

Today, people create paper snowflakes in a variety of forms. Children craft simple snowflakes at school, and artists create elaborate 3D origami and Kirigami versions to display at galleries. Get in on the fun this winter by creating your own paper winter wonderland.

How to Cut Paper Snowflakes

Anyone can learn to create a basic six-pointed paper snowflake in just a few minutes. This inexpensive craft requires few supplies, but you can embellish your work to make it more eye-catching.

Things You'll Need

  • Medium-weight paper in white or silver
  • Folding surface
  • Scissors
  • String

What to Do

  1. Begin by making your paper into a square. Take a rectangular sheet of paper, and fold it on the diagonal so that two sides match up. Trim off the excess paper. Your folded sheet now resembles a triangle.
  2. Now fold the triangle in half to create an even smaller triangle. Your triangle shape will be four layers thick.
  3. With the longest edge of the triangle at the bottom, fold your triangle into thirds. There will be two longer ends sticking out of the bottom, and the sides will overlap.
  4. Use the scissors to trim off the long ends. You now have a tightly-folded, small triangle. This is the base for any six-sided snowflake.
  5. Begin snipping along the corners and sides of the triangle to create a lacy snowflake shape. Unfold the piece from time to time to see if you like the result. You can always refold it and continue cutting.
  6. When you're happy with your snowflake, use the string to hang it from the ceiling. These look great in groups. You can also tape your snowflake to the windows for a fun display.

Embellishments for Your Snowflake

If you want to take your snowflake a step further, try one of these embellishment ideas:

  • Use silver glitter to give your snowflake some sparkle. This works best if you use heavier cardstock to create the snowflake. Unfold the piece, and apply a thin layer of glue. Shake silver glitter onto the wet glue, and let it dry. After it is dry, do the other side.
  • Make your snowflake out of special paper. You can try pretty silver paper, scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, or tissue paper. Patterned snowflakes can be lovely.
  • String your snowflakes on ribbon to create a pretty garland. To do this, cut two small, parallel slits in the center of each snowflake. String a ribbon through the slits, and use a dab of glue to hold it in place.

Other Snowflake Resources

Once you've learned how to cut paper snowflakes, you can try out some of the more complex snowflake methods. The Internet has some great resources for elaborate paper snowflakes:

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How to Cut Paper Snowflakes