December 18, 2013

How to make a perfect paper snowflake


My godsister showed us how to make a perfect snowflake over twenty years ago. Below are easy steps to fold and cut a beautiful snowflake, and tips on making it intricate.

Supplies you’ll need:

  • Light-weight white unlined, acid-free paper* (I’ve been using old paper from school)
  • Good, sharp scissors that are comfortable to hold
  • Weights such as a couple heavy books
  • White putty to hang snowflakes
  • Your imagination!

* Paper that’s not acid-free will yellow over time. You don’t want that!

Make sure your folding is as accurate as possible on edges, and press down your folded edges.

Fold paper

Start with a piece of square paper, or fold and cut a letter-size sheet. If it has holes, fold as shown so you don’t include those.

Cut to size

Cut off the excess. You can use this for making tiny snowflakes!


Your square sheet, creased and ready for folding.

Fold paper

Fold once…

Fold paper


Fold paper

And a third time, making sure you’ve got a solid folded edge along one side.

Fold paper

Fold this solid edge over to make an ice cream cone shape.

Start cutting

Cut off the ice cream. (Sorry.) This is the critical snip that will give you a round snowflake.

Keep cutting

It’ll look like this: open on two edges and closed on one.

Keep cutting

Now cut carefully. Do not cut across the entire piece except at the top and bottom (edge and centre). Be creative with your shapes and remember you’re cutting half a shape, e.g. cut half a heart if you’d like a heart shape. Try to remove as much paper as possible and vary the sizes of your shapes.

Before unfolding 1st

First snowflake example after finishing the cuts.


Unfold gently.

First snowflake result

Unfolded snowflake, ready for pressing.

Flatten under weights

Gently lay weights on top of your snowflakes. (You can stack the snowflakes on top of each other, but be mindful they may get tangled when you uncover them.) Press overnight.

Snowflake in the window

When they’re nice and flat, hang them up on a window with a few tiny pieces of white putty.

Happy holidays and a merry winter season!