Making cut-out paper snowflakes is a fun Christmas tradition. We love using A4 pearlescent paper to make them shine and shimmer in the light – just like real snow!
This year, the 27th of December will be ‘Make Cut-out Snowflakes Day‘ and people around the world are encouraged to make their own snowflake designs and to share their ideas for new styles.
How to make a cut-out snowflake using A4 pearlescent paper
All paper snowflakes are made by starting with a square of paper. To make a square, take a sheet of A4 pearlescent paper and lay it flat on the table. Taking the bottom left corner, fold it upwards diagonally so what was originally the left hand edge of the sheet is now parallel with the top edge.
Using scissors, carefully remove the rectangle which is created on the right hand half of the paper, leaving a perfect square behind. Some people prefer to mark this line with a ruler and pencil before cutting, but either way it creates a simple square to use for making snowflakes.
How to make an 8 pointed paper snowflake
Traditionally, a real snowflake falling outdoors will have six points to it. However, making an eight point paper snowflake is much easier to fold and can be a great starting point for beginners to the craft.
Taking the square of paper flat on the table, fold the left half over to the right to make a rectangle, then fold the bottom of this rectangle upwards to make a square one quarter of the original paper size. The creased centre corner should remain at the bottom left of the square. From here, form a triangle by simply folding the bottom right corner up to meet the top left and crease firmly. This is the base of the snowflake, into which patterns can be cut.
Top Snowflake making tips
The two important things to remember are to only cut off the folded point if a hole is desired in the centre of the snowflake and never to cut all the way across the triangle. Cut notches out of the folded sides, being sure to go through all the layers evenly. Cut a decorative pattern around the top edge too. When finished, unfold the paper and see the full snowflake design!
How to make a 6 pointed snowflake
This is the snowflake which most commonly occurs in nature, with six points on its circumference. Again, start with a square of paper but this time fold it diagonally from corner to corner, creating an isosceles triangle.
Open out, rotate 90 degrees and fold again, creating another triangle which looks the same but has a line running vertically from the centre to the point. Turn this so that the long side is facing you, with the point at the top, then fold this top point downwards to the centre and lightly crease. Now, fold this point back towards the crease that was just made, creating a small triangle at the bottom of the shape.
Make a tiny pencil mark at the left ends of this crease. Open the paper back out so that just the original fold is in place, still with the points at the top. The pencil mark helps to fold the paper into thirds evenly.
Holding the paper at the bottom, fold the right hand side inwards and crease it so that the piece connects the centre line at the bottom and the mark made at the top of the page, then fold the other side of the triangle to align with the right hand side and you will have a folded shape which is exactly one sixth of a circle, creating a perfect six point snowflake.
How to make a 5 pointed snowflake
Though the hardest to initially fold, these are the easiest to cut because there are fewer layers of paper involved. Take the basic square and again rotate it so that it is a diamond on the table in front of you.
Fold in half upwards to create a triangle with its longest side closest to you, then fold again from left to right – but instead of creasing fully along this length, crease only a small area at the centre to make a mark and allow the paper to return to its original position.
Next, take the right corner and fold it towards the top, again creasing just enough to make a mark on the right hand side and allowing it to fall open again. Fold the top point down to this mark on the right hand side, creating a creased mark which should be halfway between this mark and the point itself and allow the paper to open once more.
The basic triangle should have three creased marks on it. Take the right hand corner and fold it over to the top of these three marks, closest to the top point and crease it properly, creating a line between the bottom centre point and the top creased mark.
Now, take the left hand corner and fold this section over so that the edge is parallel with the right hand side. Finally, fold the shape in half so that the right edge is aligned with the left side. This will make a five point star when opened out.
Which snowflakes have you tried making? Why don’t you share your paper snowflakes with us!