3D Snowflakes and Ornaments ~ Tutorial

My kids love to decorate for Christmas. When I shared some of their homemade projects last week, I promised a tutorial for the beautiful 3D snowflakes. These giant snowflakes have been a favorite holiday craft for the last few years.

When we began making these snowflakes we stayed with traditional white. This year we have added blue, and maybe next year we will try yellow and call them stars. We found the original pattern at Boxy Colonial. My kids have made some modifications so I’m sharing our tutorial to include everything.

3D Snowflake tutorial

(This post contains some affiliate links. See my disclosure.)

The materials we use to make these are printer paper, scissors, and a hot glue gun. Tape and a stapler could be used in lieu of the glue on the larger snowflakes. My kids prefer the hot glue gun and are all at an age for safe use.

Steps for a giant snowflake:

The snowflake is made up of six sections. Each section is made from a square sheet of paper. Using standard 8-1/2×11 printer paper, fold one corner of the sheet down to create a triangle. Cut the bottom off and set it aside.

Fold the paper in half again to form a smaller triangle.

3D Snowflake tutorial

Hold the long side of the triangle parallel to the palm of your hand with the fold toward you. Cut three vertical strips, evenly spaced, stopping about a half-inch from the end. Do not cut all the way through.

3D Snowflake tutorial

Unfold the triangle. Laying it flat, carefully curl up the two center flaps. Overlap them slightly and add a drop of hot glue. Hold for a few seconds for the glue to set.

Flip the paper over. Curl up the next two flaps and glue them together. Flip the paper over and repeat until you are out of flaps.

3D Snowflake tutorial

3D Snowflake tutorial

Repeat the steps above until you have six sections.

Line up three of the completed sections and glue them together where I’ve added yellow dots on the image.

Repeat with the other three sections.

3D Snowflake tutorial

Combine the two pieces and glue them together where I have added yellow dots on the image.

3D Snowflake tutorial

Mini Snowflake:

Hopefully, you still have the strips you cut off from the bottom of the 8-1/2×11 sheet. My daughter has started making tiny snowflakes. Fold the end of the paper to make a triangle and cut it off. Using the steps above, create six sections. Take care when gluing the flaps. Johanna has found it helpful to curl the ends around a pencil.

It is delicate work, and the outcome is a mini snowflake that is the perfect size for a Christmas tree ornament.

3D Snowflake tutorial

An alternate pattern for sections:

This year my son began cutting extra vertical strips when beginning to make a section. With some trial and error, he settled on some measurements. Once the paper is folded into a small triangle, measure about a half-inch between strip cuts. The thinner strips made the section a bit more fragile but gives it a tighter 3D look. We think they look a bit like oversized paper Christmas ornaments, so hung some from the ceiling among the snowflakes. Turning a ceiling fan on low made them spin slightly.

3D Snowflake tutorial

These snowflakes have been a wonderful project to keep my older kids enjoying holiday crafts. I hope you and your family have fun making them. They are a festive way to decorate for the holiday season.

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