How to Make a Paper Snowflake

Completed DIY Paper Snowflake

Taking on the Snowflake Challenge

Is the young crafter in your family fascinated by snow and the holiday season? If so, then your child may enjoy delving into the snowy side of Christmas crafts. Learn how to make a paper snowflake by following these 10 easy steps. By the end, you’ll have an intricate snowflake that will bring creativity and holiday spirit into your home!

Step 1: Gather Your Paper Snowflake Materials

Materials to Make a Paper Snowflake, Scissors, Pencil, Paper, Protractor

Paper Snowflake Craft Materials

  • White paper (letter-size)
  • Scissors (safety scissors are optional)
  • Protractor or ruler (optional)
  • Pencil (optional)

(The materials listed above are enough for one large snowflake. If you want to turn your ceiling into a fantastical snowflake skyline, repeat this project with more paper sheets!)

Step 2: Create a Snow Crystal Square

Starting Piece of Paper for Snowflake
Paper Snowflake folding process

Every paper snowflake starts off in a basic square shape. Take a sheet of letter-size paper and fold a corner down to align the shorter end with the longer end. The folded part will form what’s known as an isosceles triangle. Now use scissors to trim the excess paper below the triangle shape.

(Side note: The excess paper should measure 2” x 8.5”, in case you want to make sure you’re following along correctly! It isn’t needed for this project, so you can add it to the scrap bin or recycle it.)

Step 3: Fold and Refold

Triangle folding arts & crafts process

Keep your paper folded in a triangle shape. Now fold the large triangle again in half. This will make a smaller triangle. Try your best to make clean and straight creases!

Step 4: Divide and Conquer Your Triangle!

Dividing and measuring with a ruler or protractor

Because real life snowflakes are symmetrical, we’ll need to do some careful measuring to create a symmetrical paper snowflake of our own. Symmetry is when two or more parts of a thing are identical. Think of butterfly wings, matching socks, and spiderwebs — they all have parts that match.

Now, the smaller triangle needs to be divided. The longest side of the triangle should measure 8.5″ long. Use a ruler and pencil to mark the middle of that side (at 4.5″ from each end). Use the ruler to draw a line from the apex of the triangle (the corner opposite the longest side) to the mark you made.

Step 5: To the Left

Folded paper triangle

Now it’s time to get back to folding. As mentioned, snowflakes have symmetry. Folding your triangle correctly creates a kind of symmetry, a uniformity, a balance to the shape. Take the left side and fold it so the left edge is aligned with the middle drawn line.

Step 6: Now to the Right

Paper Snowflake Triangle double-folded

Repeat this with the right side and fold it over the middle section as well. The paper should look like an arrow pointing downward.

Step 7: Flip it Forward

Once the folding is done, flip the arrow shape over to see a horizontal edge at the top. No two snowflakes are alike and you’re able to put your own unique creative spin to yours!

Step 8: Taking a Cut Above the Rest

Cutting your Paper Snowflake
Trimmed paper snowflake in a right-triangle

Take scissors and cut along the horizontal edge. After you’re done cutting, fold the triangle in half one last time. Now, the triangle is a right triangle, which means one corner of the triangle is a 90 degree angle.

Step 9: Shape it ‘Til You Make It

Craft shaping with scissors
Forming the inner edges

Make sure to keep the paper folded and begin to cut out different shapes from the edges. Beginners can start with triangles, but you can also explore squares, rectangles, or rounded shapes — get creative! 

(Tip: Never cut all the way across the triangle from end to end as it will cut your snowflake in half.)

Step 10: Unveil the Paper Snowflake Masterpiece!

Paper Snowflake Final Assembly

Now it’s time to unfold the paper. What kind of snowflake will appear? If you folded along with the steps, it’ll be a 6-pointed snowflake, but then again, half the fun is in the mystery of the reveal! Remember that every snowflake is different. Your snowflake should feature a symmetrical design, just like real life snowflakes. See how many different patterns you can create. Try adjusting the project to create bigger or smaller snowflakes to decorate and create a true winter wonderland.

Looking for the perfect present for a creative kid? Stop by our Holiday Gift Guide for a full list of STEM and art gifts for all ages!

16 Replies to “How to Make a Paper Snowflake”

  1. Step 4 says “Use a ruler and pencil to mark the middle of that side (at 4.5″ from each end). It is an 8.5 paper. 1/2 way is NOT 4.5 but 4.25! And it is easier to just fold and crease paper, than measuring.
    Also Step 10 states that result will have 6 sides (like a real snowflake). But this folding pattern results in 8 sides.
    These instructions will frustrate a child.

  2. Following your steps, you end up with an 8 point snowflake not a 6 point one as stated in the text. And your snowflake image confirms this.

    You keep folding in half. To get the 6 points, you need to make one of the folds in thirds. You can use the protractor to get the correct angle – either 60 or 30 degrees depending on when you fold. You need a fold in half and a fold in thirds to get a 6 point star. Dividing a 360 circle into 6 parts requires 60 degree pieces in the end.

  3. The instructions produce an 8-pointed snowflake and the illustration shown in step 10 has 8 points. Actual snowflakes have 6 points.

  4. Check your text. If the longest side of the triangle is 8.5 inches then the halfway point should be at 4.25 not 4.5. Then in the final unfolded snowflake, I see an 8 point snowflake not a 6 point snowflake! Really????maybe others have said this, but this is my first comment.

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