How to Make Paper Snowflakes for a DIY White Christmas

Turn your home into a winter wonderland with a few simple snips.

young blonde girl sitting rug floor folding giant paper snowflakes
Photo: Adam Albright
Project Overview
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Skill Level: Kid-friendly
  • Estimated Cost: $5

Whether you're looking for a kid-friendly winter craft or an easy addition to your holiday decor, consider making paper snowflakes. This age-old tradition is easy enough for all skill levels, and you can display the finished snowflakes around the house to create your very own winter wonderland.

Below you'll find step-by-step instructions for how to make paper snowflakes using things you already have around the house—you only need paper and scissors. You can always use regular printer paper, but other materials like wrapping paper, coffee filters, cupcake liners, or even newspaper also work well and will create shapes of different sizes. Any old pair of scissors will work for this project, but small, sharp scissors will allow for the most precise cuts.

When you're done snipping, hang the paper snowflakes inside for some wintery Christmas wall or window decor, turn them into a garland you string from the mantel or a doorway, or decorate your staircase with a flurry of flakes.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Scissors


  • Paper
  • String or tape for hanging
  • Glue
  • Glitter


Step-by-Step Directions for Making Six-Sided Snowflakes

You won't need much more than paper and some sharp scissors to create beautiful paper snowflakes at home. Whether it's a spur-of-the-moment snow day activity or you're planning ahead for a winter window display, use an array of materials and different cuts to make paper snowflakes as unique and awe-inspiring as the real thing.

  1. Gather Materials

    Before you begin, decide what materials you'd like to use. Typically thinner papers work well: Printer paper will be better than cardstock because the creases from the folds are less prominent and the paper is easier to cut. Round coffee filters, tin foil, wrapping paper, and cupcake liners all work well too.

    Create a whole flurry of snowflakes from the same material, or mix and match different materials for a more intricate look. To make your display even more magical, finish your paper snowflakes with glue and clear glitter for a subtle glistening effect.

  2. Start Folding

    If you're using rectangular paper, the first thing you'll need to do is fold it into a perfect square. Do that by folding the paper on a diagonal and cutting off the extra flap that isn't part of the fold. Then fold the paper in half so it makes a smaller triangle. Take this smaller triangle and fold it into thirds, folding each side toward the middle; you'll know you've done this correctly when the two points overlap forming a heart shape with sharp edges. Then cut the top off (the two points) and you'll be left with a triangle which becomes the base of your snowflake.

    If you're using a round shape like a cupcake liner or coffee filter, simply fold it in half three times so you're left with a small triangle (shaped like a slice of pizza) with a pointy tip and rounded edge.

  3. Make Small Cuts

    Once you have your paper folded into the small triangle shape, experiment with how different cuts make paper snowflakes of different shapes. For example, cutting the flat top at an angle creates a solid snowflake with six distinct points and no cut-outs inside. Cutting the bottom tip off the triangle will create a cut in the center of the paper snowflake. Cutting a wavy shape into the right side creates an identical curve pattern in each of the six folds and the center, and cutting both sides makes two different patterns in the snowflake. Cutting all three sides creates three distinct shapes that repeat on each fold.

    If you started with a round piece of paper, cut shapes into all three sides taking special care not to cut the pointy tip that keeps the snowflake as one piece.

    For the most realistic looking snowflakes, cut both V-shapes and curvy shapes into the paper, which will create that unique snowflake look.

  4. Decorate Your Snowflake

    Once you've made a paper snowflake you're happy with, you can leave it as is or add a little extra sparkle. Brush the paper with a white glue that dries clear to give the snowflake an icy sheen, or use glitter glue for a sparkly finish that looks beautiful when it catches the sunlight.

    You could also set out markers or colored pencils and have each family member decorate their own cut snowflakes for a truly unique look.

  5. Display Your Snowflake

    Once you're done cutting and snipping, find a creative way to display your paper snowflakes. The best part about this craft is that you can recreate the magic of a fresh snowfall without the freezing temperatures or the mess. Use clear tape to show them off as part of a holiday window display. Or, use fishing wire to hang them from the ceiling, staircase, or festive Christmas mantel.

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