Decoration · folding · How-to

‘Tis the Season to Make Paper Snowflakes

How to make a six-sided snowflake/  helpful  60 degree triangle included

Addendum, 2016: This page has gotten about 35,000 views so I’ve decided to update this post with a slightly better set of directions on how-to-make-a-snowflake than the tutorial page further down in the this post. I’d be grateful to know if you’ve found these directions helpful.

This evening I tried, through two thousand miles of phone wire, to explain to my friend Cynthia how to make a six-sided (six-pointed?) snowflake using dinner napkins. I failed. So here are the directions, with visual aids.

Begin wiith regular dinner napkins. These are just about always square, folded into fourths. Perfect. Also, get a pair of scissors, and have at the ready a triangle that has at least one 60 degree angle on it. An equilateral triangle has three angles that measure 60 degrees, so this is the best one to use. And where can you get this triangle? Well, right here.

Print this out then cut it out.

Next, open up a napkin so that it is folded in half instead of fourths, From the middle of the folded edge, fold the bottom up 60 degrees. To get just the right angle, use the 60 degree triangle, placing the point of the triangle on the bottom of the middle fold on the napkin. See the picture below.


Now here’s how my snowflakes looked after I made cuts.

And here they are hanging on my front door.

If you want to attach snowflakes to a window in such a way that the tape doesn’t have to be scraped off, use Scotch Magic Tape. This is the only tape that I have found that comes off of glass when you want it to come off.

Addendum! If you want your snowflake cutting to make more sense, take a look at

13 thoughts on “‘Tis the Season to Make Paper Snowflakes

  1. hi Paula; I love your snowflakes tutorial; I’ve also got some hanging at my doorway. You will find a blog-post under paper-cuttings label in December 09 with images if you wish. I like your idea using the folder napkins too


    1. Carole M…I had a great time looking at the your posts about paper cutting. Thanks for pointing me in your direction. The added bonus was seeing your Christmas tour of Sydney. From my northern hemisphere perspective all the holiday decorations against the southern hemisphere backdrop are fun to see.


  2. Paula, yes! Your instructions and photos are flawless and inspiring guides. I think I will print them out and post them at work for folks to make snowflakes as they are standing waiting for their lunches to heat up. OX C


    1. Thanks Cynthia.
      As a geographer, you might find it interesting that the two comments on this post (yours and Carole M’s) came from nearly opposite co-ordinates: yours at 45 N 93 W and Carole’s at 33 S 151 E

      the internet is so cool….


  3. I think it is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo FUN


  4. This is brilliant! So much easier than the “fold in thirds” as shown on so many other how-to directions. Thank you for the triangle. I will be using this with my fourth graders this month.


    1. Oh! That’s great that you are doing this with 4th graders.,,and,maybe using that equilateral triangle will give them a reassuring connection with geometry? I hope you use the dinner napkins, as they are so much easier to cut than regular copy paper. Thanks so much for leaving a comment..
      good luck and have fun.(ps…if you send me a photo of your students’ snowflacks I will post it on my blog)


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