The art of folding and cutting / making paper snowflakes was taught to me, in the fifth grade, by a lovely Nun named Sister Mary Charles (nee Catherine Lily). Sister Charles was a very artistic lady who cut the most beautiful silhouettes of people, and encouraged my artistic interests.
From those days in the 1960’s to the present, I have cut hundreds of snowflakes for myself, taught friends and coworkers, and today I am going to teach you this wonderful Winter craft.
The only supplies you will need are 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of white printer paper (or larger, if you want to cut a really big snowflake) and a good pair of regular scissors. No cuticle or special kind of scissors needed.
FOLDING YOUR SNOWFLAKE…
Step 1 ..Take your 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper 1A and fold it in half, taking the bottom edge and bringing it to the top line 1B. Make a Sharp Crease on the center line.
Step 2 ..Take the left edge of your once folded piece of paper, and bring it to the right edge, and crease it sharp. You have now folded your paper into fours (see illustration 2).
Step 3 ..Put the twice folded paper in front of you so the center of that paper is positioned at the bottom left, and the closed side of the paper is also on the left. The paper’s outside open edges should be on the top and right side (see illustration 3).
Step 4 ..From the point of the exact center of that folded paper (bottom left), take the bottom right edge and fold it half way back, on where I drew the dotted line 4A. You have now made 1/2 of a cone 4B.
Step 5 ..Turn over the paper 5A, and take the inside edge (which is now on the right) #1 and fold it up to the left edge of that piece of paper #2. This will complete your cone 5B.
Step 6 ..Flip over your folded cone, so your highest side, which has the most folds of paper is on the right, and your lowest side is on the left 6A. Everything above the high right has no value, so cut it off 6B.
CUTTING YOUR SNOWFLAKE ..Step 7 ..From the high right side, cut downward toward the low left. The deeper a cut downward you make the more scalloped the edge of your snowflake will be. The closer to the dotted line, of the high right to low left you cut, the more rounded your snowflake will be (see illustration 7.)
CUTTING out the CENTER of your SNOWFLAKE ..There are no real bad snowflakes, but to make a really great one, the secret, your objective is to take out as much paper as possible, only leaving a thin paper skeleton to hold your snowflake together.
Look at illustration 8. I started eliminating paper at the top right, numbers 1, 2 and 3, then I started cutting from the opposite side of the cone shape #4, then back again to the opposite side #5, then back to the opposite side again #6, cutting back and forth, from side to side until I got down to the bottom of the cone. I then snipped off the end #9. The number one thing you don’t want to do is cut directly across your folded paper, that will make your snowflake fall apart.
Now look at a few different snowflake folds that I have cut. #1, when opened, is the first snowflake you saw when you came across this post. Numbers 2 and 3 are the next two snowflakes you will see. (post continued past snowflakes 2 and 3). Snowflake #2 was embellished with a marker for Snowman’s face and body. So there you have it, Snowflake making the Fred Gonsowski Garden Home way, taught to me by Sister Charles.
The nice thing about making and displaying snowflakes is they are not exactly a Christmas symbol. You can make and display them if you celebrate Christmas or not. You can leave them up as Winter decorations until the end of February or into March, if you like. I tape mine to the garage door windows, but a sliding glass patio door, windows in the kid’s rooms, or the storm window on the front or side door would also be great places to decorate with snowflakes. You can also tie a bit of thread to the snowflakes, and hang them from the ceiling. An inside snowstorm of sorts! SO Happy Snowflake Cutting!
Companion Posts …
Turn your Paper Snowflakes into a Snowflake Snowman 12-14-2011,
Make some Animals from Cut Paper Snowflakes 12-19-2011,
A paper craft project for kids.. Making a Christmas Tree out of Your Name 11-18-2011,
Putting Lights on a Christmas Tree..The EASY WAY 11-3-2011,
Christmas Tree Decorating..Step-by-Step, Like a Pro 11-13-2011,
How to Decorate a Christmas Tree with Tulle 10-20-2012,
Making an Easy NO TIE Bow for your Christmas Wreath 12-8-2011,
How to make a Pine Cone Christmas Wreath 10-29-2015,
Some Outdoor Christmas Decorations that you can leave up ALL Winter 11-26-2011
(some unrelated, popular, posts you might like reading)
Arranging Living Room Furniture, so Sofas talk to Chairs, Like the Pros do 9-7-2012,
Arranging Furniture TWELVE different ways in the Same Room 9-15-2012,
Arranging Furniture around a Fireplace in the Corner of a Room 9-29-2012,
The Right way to hang Curtains and Drapes 5-3-2011,
The Right Height of Table Lamp for your End Table 5-19-2011
This, my 52 post marks the one year anniversary of Fred Gonsowski Garden Home. I am having a lot of fun bringing it to you. Even though you are a quiet bunch, I hope I have inspired the thousands of people who have read this blog. The premise of FGGH is to give, what I hope are easy to follow instructions on Gardening and Interior Decorating topics, so a person can fearlessly tackle the projects and be successful.
If my posts are helpful / inspirational to you, and my advice worked, Please come back and give a report. The readership and I would like to hopefully hear your success story.
OMG, Fred…I have a great project for my family to do while they’re all home for Thanksgiving…I LOVE the snowman snowflake!
Hi Fred. I live north of Detroit, Michigan, and I found your site while looking for window treatment info. I am VERY glad I did. I followed some of the links, and what a diverse and interesting site! I have added it to my favorites, as I plan to bring paper and scissors to the Thanksgiving bash this year so I can teach my daughter, sisters and nieces how to make paper snowflakes. I really like the snowman variation…what fun! Thank you for putting this out there. I look forward to future posts.
Hi Sandy…Thank you for your nice words. Here at FGGH i am trying to make interior decorating and gardening easy, for people new to, or interested in the topics. I hope to empower my readers, so they feel confident doing projects.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family…When making the snow flakes, the more you make, the better and braver you get. I look forward to you coming back, and hopefully you will tell some friends ;-}
beautiful…I love snow.
I live on an island with no tradition of making paper snowflakes … learn everything the internet, seeking people who would like to exchange diagrams, designs, cards, atc using paper snowflakes.
here we have no books or magazines that deal with the issue but would like to exchange with you about anything.
check out my sites:
Dear Fred, I pinned your snowman snowflake with props to you along with your
Have you ever thought about doing a book?
Hi there Mrs. K, I would love doing an interior decorating book, but I want a real publishing company, that has distribution to get in touch with me. If you know of one, or have a friend in the business, just type me a note here (I can see their e-mail address on this side) and I will look them up and maybe reply back.
Katherine, It was soo nice to be called a Genius on your Pinterest page, that’s a great early Christmas present. It’s much appreciated ;-}
I think Writer’s House would be a good place for you.
Hi there Mrs. K, thank you for the possible place to send stuff, but at this point in time I am not looking to find/search for a publisher or agent to do a book with. I am a busy person, and just writing the articles and making the drawings takes up a good amount of time. (this is a hobby) I would prefer/wish for someone from the literary world finding this blog and getting in touch with me. I don’t know it that would ever happen, but putting together a book is a lot of work on my part, and I only want to put myself through all of that if I have a good lead. I do want to have some kind of life, you know, and not be working 24/7 on something that could turn into nothing. Again, thank you for being so kind with your suggestion;-}
Thank you for all of your tips on how to decorate a Christmas Tree… I have been procrastinating for days… stressing out about how to put the lights on right… you are the best!!! I’m actually excited to get started now! I’m going to use wax paper for my snowflakes, my windows sometimes have condensation and I think it will hold up better than paper and maybe add a translucent quality. I love your snowflake designs. Thanks for the help and inspiration Fred!!!
Hi Tracie, what a great idea to cut the snowflakes from waxed paper. I would say, take an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper and use it as a template and cut our your sheets first, then fold them. I have paper snowflakes in my garage windows, and they freeze, thaw, sweat, etc a bit, but the snowflakes still stay in place. l use small pieces of clear tape to keep them on the glass. When I take them down, in late February or early March I take a razor blade knife and/or a scotch bright scouring pad to the glass to get off any left over tape. It really helps. I stack the snowflakes one on top of the other, and save them in a folder in the cellar, and reuse them year to year. Some of my snow flakes are 3 or 4 years old. I did make about eight new ones this year. Happy Holidays and the best to you in 2013.
Grandsons and I are having so much fun making snowflakes. I will come back and delve further into your interesting site.
Hi there Jerri, glad you are having a fun time making snowflakes. I have made some every year since I’ve been in the fifth grade. Now THOUSANDS of people who read the snowflake post are becoming snowflake making pros. Happy 2013 to you and your family ;-}
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Stumbled across your brilliant blog and wanted to say thank you for all the wonderful ideas – will be teaching my kids how to make these fab snowflakes in the next week or so ready for decorating for Christmas. Especially love the snowman one! Nice to think that Sister Mary Charles’ teaching passes on from generation to generation, spreading out worldwide via the web. I am looking forward to popping back for more inspiration. Thanks, Karen
Karen, Happiest of Christmas and 2016 to you and your family ;-}
Best snowflake I ever made… at 67 years old! And what you said about “easy to follow instructions”… that’s what motivated me. You did not lie!! Thank you.
Happy Christmas and 2016 to you Grammy, I’ve made snowflakes every year since the 5th grade, and soon I will be turning 60 ;-}
Hi Fred! I, too, happened to find your snowflakes on pintrest. They are beautiful indeed! My mom (she passed away in November of 2010) and I had been making snowflakes for 20 years using coffee filters! They are the perfect medium because they aren’t heavy yet they’re very durable. We would just let the scissors guide us…they are magnificent! We then used double faced tape on one side to adhere to the window glass. I actually won a neighborhood contest for xmas decorations because of them. We have 16 windows on the front of our house and each one was so full you could barely see out! I also put electric window candles in to illuminate them. Then, as you do, I leave them in the window til the first of March. I then gently remove them and store them between wax paper for the next year. Thanks for sharing!
Hi there Bunny, you do know that Bunny is a name that artistic and talented women share. Google search Bunny Williams and Bunny Mellon, to famous taste makers. The pinners on Pinterest have been soo great for me, as they have helped a lot (
tensno hundreds of thousands) of people to find my site. If you have a minute, look at my quick tour of the Christmas Decorations here at Whimsey Hill House. You will see some of the snowflakes that are in most/a lot of the windows here. Happy Christmas and 2016 to you. Thanks for your comment, it is really appreciated!
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I loved making your snowman! The instructions were clearly understandable 😋
Wow, the instructions for cutting out that snowman was easy! I had lots of fun making them! Thank you 😊
Hi there Elizabeth, I hope your winter is a snowy one, as long as you make the snow flakes yourself ;-} Happy Holidays!
WOW WOW & WOW
Hi there Paula, Have fun cutting Snow flakes, make a “storm” of them for your home. Happy Holidays!