This step-by-step tutorial teaches you how to make SIX-pointed paper snowflakes. Most people do (or most master classes teach how to do) 4- or 8-point options. In nature, snowflakes always have 6 peaks (in extreme cases, three). I decided to be closer to nature, and chose the option with 6 ends. I myself learned this technique at school, and every year before the New Year I make a lot of snowflakes.
For this project, you only need paper and scissors. Some people use some kind of colored, fancy paper, but I cut out pure white snowflakes - it's easier and more natural.
Stage 1: Starting with a square
Start simply with a square white sheet. I usually make two snowflakes from each A4 sheet, so first I cut it in half, then cut a square out of each half. The size of the snowflakes turns out to be about 10 cm. If you are just learning, it is easier to start with a larger size of snowflakes by cutting out one from a whole A4 sheet.
Making a square from a rectangle is very easy. Place the sheet in front of you and attach one of the top corners of the sheet to the opposite side so that an isosceles triangle forms (such as you see in the photo). The extra piece of the sheet just needs to be cut evenly.
Stage 2: Fold in half
Fold the square diagonally to form a triangle.
Stage 3: Half Again
Fold the resulting triangle in half again to make a smaller triangle.
Stage 4: Fold in three
Imagine a triangle divided into three equal parts, and fold it in three. If you like to be precise, then you can use a protractor, every third is equal to an angle of 30 degrees.
Stage 5: fold again
Fold and fold the left third. Try to keep the folds clear and all thirds equal. This will make the snowflake as symmetrical as possible.
Stage 6: Cut from the top
Cut the top edge of the paper at an angle. Make sure you cut off all the layers of the folded paper so that the cut is the same on all the edges of the snowflake. The angled notch forms the tops of the snowflake. Over time, you will learn to cut at different angles to make more or less sharp peaks.
Stage 7: Pattern
This is where your imagination comes into play. Start cutting off the different shapes on the sides of the folded paper. It's easiest to cut out small triangles, but don't forget to experiment with different shapes.
For this snowflake, I slightly changed the top edge so that my tops are a different shape. I also cut out a couple of "thorns" on the inside. Use your imagination for an ornament!
I don't use any stencils for my snowflakes: I just cut and come up with a drawing in the process. I never get two alike. Sometimes I find some elements that I like and use them in a few snowflakes, but I have never completely copied the ornament.
Stage 8: Reversal
After the cut is complete, gently unfold the snowflake.
At first, the snowflake will not be even and flat, so I usually put the snowflake between the pages of the book for a while to align it. I also ironed them (between two sheets of paper) to make them perfectly smooth. In this case, be careful as the paper can get very hot (never use a steamer!). Therefore, before handling the snowflake, let it cool down. And of course, be aware of the flammability of paper.
Ironing will make the snowflake a little stiffer, which is very good if you plan to hang it, and not glue it to some surface.
Stage 9: Inspiration
- Use sharp scissors and keep your hands clean. Dirty hands will leave marks on the snowflakes, which is not very festive!
- Some people recommend using nail scissors to cut intricate patterns. I don't like this for two reasons. First, nail scissors are uncomfortable to hold in your hand. And is it important.Secondly, you can overdo it with the ornate pattern, too many tiny cuts and insufficient cutting along the contours can turn the snowflake into a lace napkin. The view and the idea are lost.
- Experts in snowflake carving recommend using tracing paper and an X-acto knife for finer ornaments and more perfect symmetry. But I still prefer ordinary paper and scissors - they are in every home and are safe for children, you can cut snowflakes together.
- Some people cut snowflakes from brown paper or other colorful paper. You can use any material to create the desired effect. Clean, white paper is closer to my soul, simply because I wildly like to create beauty from something simple and ordinary.
- I usually make my snowflakes while sitting on a sofa or chair with a coffee table in front of me, holding a small urn at my feet. On the table it is convenient for me to fold the paper, and then I sit back and cut out the ornament, throwing the scraps into the trash can. So I don't get littered around me in the process.
- When folding paper, steps 4-5 are the most difficult, especially dividing the triangle into three equal parts "by eye". When you fold the second side section, very often it turns out that it is not equal to the other two. Then you will have to unfold and bend the parts over a new one, and so on until you get three equal parts. The more identical parts you get, the more symmetrical the snowflake will be in the spread. Given the thickness of the paper and the number of folds, it is almost impossible to get a perfectly symmetrical snowflake. The biggest asymmetry will be in the center: look at my snowflakes. The star in the center of some of them is not perfect. Real snowflakes also have defects, so don't worry too much about this.
- Avoid what I call “voids”. This is when you cut out the snowflake in step 7 and leave a large amount of paper without any cuts. Any place on a snowflake that is more than half a centimeter can be decorated, for example, with the same “thorns” that I cut out in my snowflake. Otherwise, when you unfold the snowflake, you end up with a rough ornament instead of a patterned, detailed snowflake. Too flickering in the pattern is also not worth it, it is better to use small and large parts together.
- You need to stick a small piece of double-sided tape on each top of the snowflake and glue it to the surface to be decorated. I like to hang on windows so that they are visible both from the inside and from the outside. At night, they look beautiful in the dark.
- You can also hang snowflakes from the ceiling, but be careful as they are quite fragile. For this purpose, it will be better to cut snowflakes with thicker outlines and not too detailed ornamentation (imagine a snowflake with a wide “skeleton and small details around the main lines). White thread or fishing line is suitable for hanging.
- Snowflakes can be beautifully decorated with New Year's gifts, gifts, instead of bows. I like to just stick one snowflake on the gift box and the recipient's name card on top of the snowflake. The lace snowflake creates a beautiful signature background.
- Do not throw away the scraps of A4 sheet after cutting out the squares. Use this paper to cut out small snowflakes that hang beautifully between larger ones. This will create a nice scattering effect and fill the space between the large snowflakes. Unfortunately, this idea came to me after I took the photos below.
Stage 10: Analyze It
If you want to try to copy snowflakes seen somewhere, then you need to understand the idea of how you can repeat someone's drawing. Looking at the finished snowflake, try to visualize a repeating fragment of the ornament. This snowflake contains 12 identical fragments. This will be the section between the two lines. One line divides the top in half, going from the center. And the second line runs between the two peaks in the middle.You can imagine a snowflake in the form of a clock, and the lines we need are between 12 and 13 o'clock. See the designations in the photo.
This snippet shows which cuts need to be made on both sides in order to end up with the same snowflake. If you look at a dark background, then all the dark fragments are what you need to cut out.
Stage 11: Recreate the Real Snowflake
From time to time I try to copy real snowflakes that I find in a book or on the Internet. Of course, it is impossible to completely recreate the snow crystal, since the snowflake has a very complex structure, and it is a three-dimensional figure, not flat. Snowflakes are often multi-layered, and we are dealing with just one piece of paper … Nevertheless, you can try to get as close as possible to the shape of a real snowflake.
Real snowflakes have a lot of "gaps" in their patterns that don't look very good when transferred to paper. I flipped through the entire book with photographs of snowflakes, and in it very few copies looked like simple hexagons with simple details. If your chosen snowflake has too much "free space", use it anyway in a paper copy, complicating the pattern. Since this is not an exact copy, you can improve it without any problems!
Use the technique described in step 10. Imagine the snowflake is the cake and the repeating ornament is a piece of it. Or think of a snowflake as a watch face.
Above are examples of snowflakes that I tried to copy from real ones. I have added a photo showing the repeating fragment.
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