Sunday, November 29, 2009


Last December I made snowflakes with two groups of my students. They turned out really nice, and a few of you asked me for directions.

Well...Miss Procrastinator here has finally gotten her act together and I just spent a little bit of time making a snowflake and taking pictures so that you could see how easy it really is.

First, you need to have paper (I just used regular printer paper), a ruler, a pencil, scissors, and a glue stick (or glue...or even a stapler if that's all you have). Marina insisted on getting in the picture, and the flowers were from Patty, Tim, and Holly when my grandma passed away recently.

The next thing you need to do is make the paper square. When I did this with the kids, we used 4" x 4" squares, but for demonstration here, I cut them to 8 1/2" squares. You will need a total of six square sheets per snowflake.

Take one sheet, and fold it in half diagonally. (For those of you who are teachers, this can tie in several state math least it does here in Ohio!)

Then you will fold the triangle in half again.

Now you need to get ready to cut. It is extremely important that you cut in the right place, or it won't work out right. I put notes where each edge is supposed to be.

I also used a ruler to draw lines for the kids. The lines are parallel to the 4 edged side AND you cut from the folded side. DO NOT CUT ALL THE WAY TO THE END. You need to get fairly close. It is important that you make THREE cuts. This will all make sense in a minute.

After making the three cuts, open up the paper. It needs to look like this. If, for some reason, it doesn't, then you will need to try again, making sure that you cut from the proper edge (the fold), and parallel to the correct side (the 4 edged side).

Okay, here is where it can start to get tricky. You will take the center most pair of cuts and roll them into the center, gluing them. I use a pencil or something else round so that I don't press too hard and flatten this section. When doing this with 4" x 4" squares, a pencil fits in there just right. In this example, it's obviously too big, but at least I was able to apply pressure for a few seconds while the glue set up, without flattening the roll.

This is how it will look when you are finished:

Now, turn the paper over, so that the roll is underneath.

You will need to pull the next pair of cut sections together and glue them.

Once that second pair is glued together, turn the paper back over, so that the first curl is facing up.

Now you will glue together the third pair of cuts to make another curl.

Turn the paper over yet again, then glue the fourth and final curl together.

If you've done everything properly, this is what your paper will look like. It doesn't look much like a snowflake yet, but it will, so don't worry!

NOW....comes the fun part! Make five more.

Yes, that's right. You need a total of six of these. Remember, snowflakes have six sides!
Okay, now that you have SIX of these made, we're going to work with three at a time. It is extremely important that you line them up facing the same direction. In this photo, the one on the far right is backwards. If you look closely, you can see that the outermost curl is on the left side, whereas with the other two, the outermost curl is on the right side. (Also it may be noted that Marina vacated her position on the table and Pepina is now taking her turn at watching me.)

In this shot, I simply turned the sheet on the far right over, so that it is now facing the proper way. Now we're ready to start putting things together.

Pull the tips all together and glue them. They will look like this:

Gluing them at the bottom points will not provide enough stability, so you will also need to glue them together at their midpoint. At first it will seem as though they are pulling, but that is what makes the snowflake hold its shape.

Now you'll have half of the snowflake put together and it will look like this:

It's time to do the same thing with the other three pieces.

Now you'll have two halves.

Now you'll glue the two halves together attaching them at the mid-point of each half.

We're almost finished...

Glue the two halves together at the other end, using the midpoints again.

NOW, you'll see how the middle of the snowflake just sort of meets, and you will need to glue the two halves together at the center.

And when you're finished....this is what you'll have!

This makes a fairly large snowflake. If you're doing it at school, it would be difficult for the kids to get this home without it getting crushed.

By using the 4" x 4" pieces, the snowflakes we made last year just barely fit into a gallon size Ziploc bag. Once we got the snowflakes in, I blew into the bags so that each one was sort of like a pillow. I told the kids that they had to be very careful and they all told me the next day that their snowflakes made it home just fine.
Another thing we did with them was to spray glitter on them. I punched a hole in the top and put an opened paperclip through it. Then I put a box on its side and made a little hole in the top so that the paperclip could go up and through. That way, as I sprayed the glitter on, the mess was contained to the inside of the box.

This year I may just use either gold or silver spray paint instead of glitter. The glitter seemed to come off rather easy.

So there you have it...from start to finish with this sample, it probably took me 12-15 minutes. Of course I've had a lot of experience, and that makes a huge difference. With a group of kids it took a LOT longer, because I didn't want to go on with the next step until everyone was caught up.

If you decide to make the snowflakes, please let me know how they turn out and take pictures if you can!


HereWeGoAJen said...


Jac @ Wuzzle Makes Three said...

Those are absolutely AMAZING.

I've been trying to find cute (cheap) ways to decorate our house, and I was going to make the same old regular snowflakes, but not now. Now? I'm making these!!

Terre said...

Thanks Cindi, sorry to have been bugging you for the directions but I'm glad I did, now I can make them. I printed out the directions and showed them to Alexa. She started making one and then I hear profanity..." S#@&, I have to make FIVE more?" She learned a valuable lesson (always read all the directions before you start a project ;o) but she finished it. I'm making them today at school, thanks again. T

PERBS said...

Made mine last week -- 6 for the recreation/dining hall and two for the computer room. No glitter or spray and they still look fine.

Anonymous said...

I work in a customer service call center and we use this all the time to decorate our cubicles. thank you for the pattern!