How to Make Paper Snowflakes
Try one of our printable templates, then invent your own. With a little practice, you'll have a flurry.
Photography: Aaron Dyer
Source: Martha Stewart Kids, Volume 6 2002
A few quick snips with the tips of your scissors is all it takes to make a paper snowflake. Start with a square piece of paper—then follow our step-by-step tutorial on how to fold, cut, and create a six-pointed snowflake. Kids can happily occupy themselves by cutting snowflakes out by the dozens. Then adults can step in to help decorate the Christmas tree, gifts, windows, and walls. Together, you can watch your family's own gentle blizzard materialize.
To make a paper snowflake, you need two essential craft supplies: paper and a pair of scissors. When choosing paper, remember: lightweight paper—wrapping paper, tissue paper, or crepe paper—is lighter and easy to cut but more fragile for decorating. Medium to heavy weight paper—butcher paper, card stock, or text-weight poster paper—is harder to cut but is more sturdy for decorating.
Start with a square piece of paper. (Tip: To cut a perfect square from a standard 8-by-11-inch sheet of paper, fold paper into a right-angled triangle; trim off excess.)
Fold paper in half diagonally to make a triangle.
Fold paper triangle in half so that the pointed corners meet.
Fold paper triangle in thirds, overlapping the lefthand pointed corner over the triangle.
Overlap the righthand pointed corner over the triangle. (Note: You may need to adjust these folds a little to get the sides to match up, so don't crease the paper until the folds are just right.)
Trim the pointed ends so the paper triangle looks as shown.
Cut your folded paper with variations of cutouts. (Tip: The ones with straight lines are easier to make than the ones with curvy lines.) Optional: If using one of our downloadable templates: scale to your paper size, print, and cut out. Staple template to folded paper in areas to be cut out and use craft scissors to cut off uncovered portion and along all solid lines.
Unfold it gently. Don't worry if your snowflake isn't exact: No two snowflakes are ever alike. (Tip: To smooth out any creases from folding, lightly iron one paper snowflake at a time on a low setting. You can also spritz a little spray starch to stiffen and flatten out the snowflakes.)