• Wed. Jun 12th, 2024

3D Snowflakes

Dec 1, 2006

How to Make a 3D Paper Snowflake

Finished snowflake


Finished snowflake

This is a little more complicated than a two-dimensional paper snowflake but it looks excellent and is a suitable craft for children adept with scissors and who have patience in making crafts. It will produce a 6-armed three-dimensional snowflake decoration that makes a perfect tree decoration or window-hanger.


  1. Paper, scissors, stapler, & tape


    Paper, scissors, stapler, & tape

    Assemble the materials.

  2. Fold each of the 6 pieces of paper in half, diagonally. If the paper you’re using doesn’t make a perfect square, cut off the edge that sticks out (rectangular edge) and make it align perfectly.
  3. Parallel cuts


    Parallel cuts

    Cut 3 lines each side of the triangle from the folded edge (as per illustration), making sure not to cut through the unfolded paper edges. The cut lines should be parallel to one another each side and come close to meeting in the middle but not touch; leave a small space between them.

  4. Unfolded paper


    Unfolded paper

    Unfold your paper and turn it so that the diamond shape is facing you for working with.

  5. First roll


    First roll

    Still keeping your paper diamond side-up, roll the first two innermost paper lines together to form a tube. Tape these two pieces together. You should see triangle shapes on each side of the roll.

  6. Next join


    Next join

    Turn the diamond over to the other side. Take the next two paper lines and pull them together on the opposite side of the tube and tape together as before. This will be a more rounded shape and wider than the first tube.

  7. Once all lines are joined


    Once all lines are joined

    Keep turning the paper and joining the paper lines together on opposite side until all paper lines have been joined.

  8. Repeat this process (steps 3 – 7) with the remaining 5 pieces of paper.
  9. Joining 3 rolled pieces together


    Joining 3 rolled pieces together

    Join 3 of the completed rolled pieces together at one end (draw together with your fingertips) and staple together using the other hand. Do the other 3 pieces the same way. Now you will have 2 pieces consisting of 3 strands or “arms” each.

  10. Joining the 2 pieces to form a snowflake


    Joining the 2 pieces to form a snowflake

    Staple the two new pieces together in the middle. You will almost have the snowflake shape by now.

  11. Staple where the arms meet


    Staple where the arms meet

    Staple where each of the 6 arms meet. This ensures that the snowflake shape is pulled into place. See illustration at top for the finished snowflake.

  12. Decorate further if desired (see “Tips” for suggestions). This is optional but might be suitable if you are creating a Christmas theme of some sort.
  13. Select shiny threads from your thread collection


    Select shiny threads from your thread collection

    Choose one point to be at the top of your snowflake and attach a piece of metallic yarn or cotton for hanging. (This is best tied on the decoration, as a staple might not hold the thread well.) Pierce a tiny hole with a needle and thread through the metallic thread and tie with a small knot, twice. Do this very gently to avoid tearing the paper.

  14. Hang your new decoration on the tree or in a window space. Make several snowflakes and hang them at different lengths against a window for an effective display. They appear especially beautiful against a backdrop of a dark night sky.


  • Larger snowflakes: If you want larger snowflakes, use larger paper. You will probably need to cut more lines though; work it out from how large your piece of paper is. Don’t try enlarging your snowflakes until you are comfortable with the method of making them with the suggested paper size first.
  • Paper color variations: You could vary the paper color if you want to match a Christmas color theme – red or green for instance.
  • Decoration ideas: If you want to “jazz up” your snowflakes, put liquid glitter on the snowflake along various parts of the paper lines. Silver, gold, red or green are probably the most suitable colors to use. Or you could think of other additions; the author tried tiny buttons and stick-on costume gems one year and they looked exquisite. Just remember though, that these do not store very well (easily crushed) and you might be throwing them out. Of course, you can always pull off the additional decorated pieces and keep for another time or craft.
  • Be patient. This is not a craft to be rushed but it is easy to make if you proceed slowly and carefully.
  • 2-Dimensional alternatives: See Related Links and External Links below for 2-dimensional snowflake patterns suitable for younger kids (and the impatient!).


  • Take care when using scissors as to not cut yourself.
  • Be patient when cutting the parallel lines, so that you don’t overcut to the other edges or accidentally cut into the line on the opposite side; if this happens, start again with a new piece of paper.
  • Don’t leave these until the last minute to make; you might get very frustrated!

Things You’ll Need

  • 6 evenly sized pieces of paper – preferably white, for the color of snowflakes; printer paper is fine, or try drawing pad paper. The size of your paper square, in the end, can vary from 4″ to 10″ (10cm – 25cm). The paper should be of a good strength to hold up the snowflake structure. You might want to look for “patty paper”, the kind used in food service, if there is a restaurant supply store near you.
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Stapler

External Links


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