Every snowflake is different, even paper ones that are cut using the same pattern, Cindy Higham assures us. And she should know; Higham is the author of the wonderful book, Snowflakes: Creative Paper Cutouts. In addition to the basic folding instructions, the book contains patterns for 75 different snowflake designs. But the reason that no two paper snowflakes will ever come out exactly alike—even when using the same design pattern—is that just the slightest difference in the way the paper is folded or cut will result in a new and exciting snowflake. And all we can say is…vive la différence!
The publisher, Gibbs Smith, has generously given us permission to make one design available to you in this post. The design I picked is titled “Ice Skaters,” but I chose it because it looked (to me, anyway) as though it could represent a personal celebration, and since we’ve been talking about snowflakes and how they can serve as symbols for individuality, it just seemed fitting…
But enough of all that. Here’s how to do it:
Paper (no heavier than standard copy paper; gift wrapping paper will also work. The pattern is made for use with standard 8 ½ x 11” paper. If you use gift wrap, cut an 8 ½” square.)
Sharp scissors (but you won’t need the point, so blunt nose are fine)
Note: The steps below are for an 8 1/2″ square piece of paper, so if you are working with a standard 81/2 x 11” sheet, fold the top right corner down to the left side of the paper so that the top edge aligns with the left edge. Cut off the paper that extends past the bottom of the triangle. Unfold the paper, and now you have a square.
After each fold, run your fingernail along the fold to make a sharp crease. The more exactly the paper is folded, the better your snowflake will be.
- Fold corner A down to B. Next, fold corner C down to D. You should now have a triangle that looks like the shaded area on the Diagram 1.
- Fold the left side of the triangle as illustrated in Diagram 2.
- Now fold in the opposite side as illustrated in Diagram 3.
- Your paper should now look like the illustration in Diagram 4. On one side of the folded paper you will see a straight line where the dotted line is shown in the diagram. Cut off the paper along this line.
1. Cut out the pattern (here’s a printable version) and tape it to your folded paper triangle.
2. Cut out the white part of the pattern. Begin with the smaller sections and then work your way up to the larger ones. This will give you more paper to hold onto for a longer amount of time.
3. When you have finished cutting, remove the tape and carefully unfold your snowflake.
4. Flatten the creases by pressing your snowflake with a warm (not hot!) iron or putting it between the pages of a heavy book for a few days.
Use your finished snowflakes for scrapbooking, greeting cards, quilt blocks, or???
All you creative types out there are bound to have some great ideas. Please share them with us!
Want to make some more? Get a copy of Snowflakes: Creative Paper Cutouts, and you’ll have 74 more designs to play with!