Learn how to make paper snowflakes in this step-by-step tutorial. Making snowflakes out of paper is a fun activity for any age and only requires basic supplies that you will have around the house. To make 3D paper snowflakes, all you need is some white paper (copy paper is ideal), scissors, tape and a stapler. And for 2D paper snowflakes, you need even less! Just white paper and some scissors.
Making paper snowflakes is a fantastic last-minute decoration that anyone can make, as the simple patterns only take a few minutes to make.
There are limitless paper snowflake patterns you can try, and it’s fun to experiment with different variations. If you want to design your own, grab a pencil and sketch out some random patterns onto your snowflake wedge (more about that below), and see what paper snowflake patterns you come up with! And because they are so quick (and cheap!) to make, once you’ve learnt how to make paper snowflakes, you can create a whole snow flurry inside your house.
As well as our step-by-step tutorial on how to make paper snowflakes, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite paper snowflake templates from around the web.
If you’re in the festive mood and want to try making more DIY Christmas decorations, how about making this giant paper star, or if you’re looking to make your own Christmas cards this year, why not check out our collection of free patterned papers? We love these free papers featuring Santa and his elves! Or, if you’re after more quick crafts for last-minute fun, have a look through our collection of 5-minute crafts with paper!
How to make snowflakes out of paper
What do you need to make paper snowflakes?
- White paper
First, start with a square of white paper. Fold in half to make a triangle.
Fold in half again to make a smaller triangle.
Using the centre point as a guide, fold one edge up. Align the top of the point so that it is roughly one-third from the top of the triangle.
Fold the other edge up so that it is roughly one-third from the top of the triangle on the other side.
To see how much paper you’re working with, flip the snowflake over and snip along the horizontal line. You don’t have to do this step, but it makes the next step easier.
Now, draw on your design! If you’re feeling bold or favour the more random approach, then go straight in with the scissors. If you would like a star in the middle of your snowflake, draw a small triangle in the very centre. Working on the vertical, draw one arm (or dendrite if you would like to use the proper word) of your snowflake. Make sure to keep at least one contact point – that is, make sure at least part of your design goes off the edge of the paper on both sides. Otherwise, your snowflake will fall apart!
Once you’re happy with your design, carefully cut out your design. If you are working with a smaller piece of paper you might like to use decoupage scissors as they are smaller and can cut intricate details. We recommend using scissors over a craft knife because you have to cut through multiple layers and only the top layer has pencil lines, so it’s easy to lose the lines when working with a craft knife.
Carefully unfold your design! Now find somewhere to display your finished snowflake. You could stick them to a window (using tape or white tac), or hang them up from the ceiling. How about making a string of snowflakes?
How to make paper snowflakes 3D
Decorate your home this holiday season with these easy 3d paper snowflakes! Use patterned paper for bright Scandi-inspired designs, or use white copy paper to add a touch of frost. Here’s a top tip, if you go for patterned paper try using double-sided paper as both sides will be visible as you begin twisting the snowflake together.
Each of the dendrites (arms) of the 3d paper snowflake are made separately, so begin by creating a template (as shown in steps 1-2). This will make it much quicker and easier to make the cuts in the squares.
You Will Need
- White or patterned paper
- Clear sticky tape or other adhesive
- Ribbon (to hang your 3d paper snowflake up)
Cut a 150mm square of white card in half diagonally. Mark two lines 10mm apart in the centre, perpendicular to the long side. Mark long side at 25mm, 50mm and 75mm from both ends and every 25mm up the centre lines.
Draw diagonal lines between the marks on the long side and corresponding marks down the centre, then cut lines only as far as the perpendicular lines to create a chevron pattern, as shown.
Score and fold six 150mm squares of double-sided patterned paper in half diagonally. Lay the template over top of each paper and cut along the lines. Be careful not to cut into the 10mm gap in the middle.
Open the squares of paper out and bring the smallest triangles together, as shown. Carefully fold back each triangle so that the tip of one overlaps the tip of the other. Stick in place using glue.
Turn the paper over and then stick the next two smallest triangles together in the same way. Repeat this for each section of the square, turning the paper over in between each layer.
Take two of the fully folded pieces and hold the larger side of one against the smaller side of the other. Staple together at one end and at centre where the two pieces meet. Repeat to add a third piece.
Join the other three pieces together in the same way. Staple the two halves together, as shown. Now gently flatten out to form the star.
Punch a hole in the point you want at the top of the star with a hole punch. Set with an eyelet and then thread with ribbon or cord so you can hang the star.
17 paper snowflake patterns
You might want to just snip randomly into your folded snowflake, and that’s absolutely fine! After all, every snowflake is different. However, if you want to know what result you’ll get before you start snipping – we’ve got you covered. Take a look at our selection of the best paper snowflake patterns.
1. First Palette
First Palette has a carefully curated selection of 10 different designs. But the nice thing about these is that the templates are printable, and they show you exactly where to fold. It’s really hard to go wrong with these paper snowflake templates, and it’s a great place to start.
2. Wonder How-To
Paper snowflakes, but make it Star Wars! To the untrained eye, these paper snowflake patterns may appear random, but look closer and you’ll see Yoda, Stormtroopers, Ewoks, Kylo Ren and even Obi-Wan among more than 60 Star Wars paper snowflake patterns.
3. Kinder Art Club
The folk over at Kinder Art live by the sea, and they have designed their paper snowflake patterns inspired by ocean animals. There is a lobster, salmon, scallop and crab. The printable PDFs show you exactly where to fold and cut, making these paper snowflake patterns brilliant for little ones.
4. One Little Project
Debbie over at One Little Project has an excellent selection of traditional paper snowflake patterns, plus step-by-step photo tutorials and instructional video. There’s even a printable guide for snowflake-making on-the-go.
5. Krystal Higgins
Are you House Baratheon, House Lannister or perhaps House Targaryen? Krystal Higgins has designed 10 incredible Game of Thrones-inspired paper snowflake patterns as free printable JPGs. There’s even one for the Night’s Watch!
6. Wonderful DIY
The team over at Wonderful DIY have put together a large selection of snowflake patterns, including traditional designs, cats, flowers and geometric patterns.
7. Oddly Crafting
Have you heard of Whoflakes? Lu at Oddly Crafting has designed 12 Doctor Who inspired paper snowflakes! The designs are intricate, but with the right pair of scissors (small, like nail scissors), a craft knife and a bit more time, these designs are sure to impress.
8. Anthony Herrera
Love Disney’s Frozen? Or know someone who does? Anthony Herrera has designed these Frozen paper snowflake patterns, including ones of Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Sven, Marshmallow, Kristoff and Hans!
9. One Dog Woof
How about medallion paper snowflakes? Medallion paper snowflakes follow the same basic principle, in that you fold your paper and cut out a design. But the key difference here, is that you fold the paper in a concertina pattern. Head over to One Dog Woof, and ChiWei shows you how!
10. Omiyage blogs
Marisa at Omiyage blogs has put together a set of super easy to follow, printable paper snowflake designs that you can make using copy paper. And if you find yourself getting into snowflake cutting, she’s even designed a collection for the whole year round, called the Kirigami Project.
Perhaps you’re looking to brighten up these long winter months and have been thinking about cutting your paper snowflakes from coloured paper? How about taking it one step further and making these psychedelic dyed paper snowflakes by Ana at Babble Dabble Do. You can even teach your kids about radial geometry and absorption at the same time.
12. Quantum Diaries
If you’re looking for a way to decorate for the holidays while also proudly declaring your love of science, symmetry has got your back. At Quantum Diaries you’ll find templates for paper snowflakes with winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics incorporated into the designs.
13. Oh Happy Day
Alison at Oh Happy Day has taken her snowflake creations one step further and supersized them! Made out of a roll of butcher paper instead of regular copy paper (you could also use one of those big office flip board pads), we think these are a brilliant way to decorate your home this winter!
14. Blog a la Cart
Show your support for the arts by using your paper snowflakes as ballerina’s skirts. Ashley has created these beautiful designs for Blog a la Cart, and if you would like to recreate them yourself, just make sure you snip a hole in the middle for the dancer’s body.
For some truly unique paper snowflake designs, head to fun.com where you’ll find 10 pop culture-inspired designs including Minecraft, the Lego movie, Jurassic World, The Hunger Games and even Mario Brothers!
16. The Papery Craftery
Because quilling naturally appears so delicate, it’s also an ideal way to make unique paper snowflakes. Meredith at The Papery Craftery shares her step-by-step tutorial for making these gorgeous quilled paper snowflakes, with free patterns too!
17. Colors Papers
Making your paper snowflakes out of coloured paper makes them into brilliant home decorations to use all year round. Fantastic for parties and quick to make, we love the pink and blue colour combo from Colors Papers, there’s even a video tutorial.
Introductory image by Kelly Sikkema