How to make 3D Paper Snowflakes (Giant Paper Snowflakes)

Are you looking for a special snowflake decoration this holiday season? Make easy, impressive 3D paper snowflakes as a fabulous way to spruce up your home for the winter or Christmas holidays.  

Look at this gorgeous 3D paper snowflake! It may look fancy, but it is simple and easy to make. Three-dimensional snowflakes are a fun DIY craft for the whole family; especially kids.

Wouldn't these snowflakes look beautiful in your home as garland hanging from a mantle or over a door, as a paper Christmas ornament, hung from the ceiling or in a window? These paper snowflakes can be made in many sizes from a 15" giant snowflake to smaller versions.

Learn Make a Giant Paper Snowflake - fb3D PAPER SNOWFLAKE TUTORIAL

Many years ago, I remember helping my son's Kindergarten class make one of these 3D paper snowflakes during a school holiday party. The kids colored plain white paper before creating the paper snowflakes. 

So, no matter what age, 3D snowflakes are a fun paper project. Younger kids would need more help with this project.

For our version of the 3D paper snowflakes, we used scrapbooking paper from one of those large books of paper found at the craft stores. These scrapbooking sheets are thicker so they work well for the paper snowflakes and hold up better. I've also seen them made from craft foam. A sparkly paper may also work, but we didn't try it ourselves.

You can make different-sized 3D paper snowflakes depending on the size of the paper. The paper snowflakes made from scrapbooking paper are giant snowflakes. 

If you are interested in making a fabric version of this 3D snowflake, head over to our Fabric Snowflake Tutorial page.

Learn how to make 3D paper snowflakes by watching this video tutorial or by reading on for photographic step-by-step instructions.

COMPLETE VIDEO TUTORIAL AVAILABLE! The video below is a preview with no audio, to watch the whole video tutorial, click the link How to make 3D Paper Snowflakes (Giant Paper Snowflakes) to watch in Youtube.

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Paper Snowflake Dark Blue

What you need For this Giant Paper Snowflake:

INSTRUCTIONS for making the 3d PAPER snowflake

Step 1: Cut Squares of Paper

To start the 3D paper snowflake, you will need to cut seven square pieces of paper. For this tutorial, we are using 6" squares so this finished three-dimensional snowflake will measure about 15" wide.  But you can make many different sizes as shown below.  Follow the size guide below to decide how big you want your snowflake.

Approximate finished sizes from squares:

  • 15" wide paper snowflake is made from 6" blocks
  • 13" wide paper snowflake is made from 5" blocks.
  • 7-1/2" wide paper snowflake is made from 3" blocks.

3D Paper Snowflake Decoration - Paper Square

Step 2: Fold and Cut the 3D paper sections

With each square of paper, fold it in half diagonally from corner to corner to make a triangle.3D Paper Snowflake Tutorial - Fold paper corner to corner

Then fold it in half again diagonally, corner to corner to make a smaller triangle.How to make paper snowflake - Paper folded twice

Hold it with the non-folded edges in your non-scissor hand with the two folds towards you. The single-fold should be up.How to make a 3D Paper Snowflake - Hold paper to cut

Cut 3 slits through all layers of the triangle from the edge with the two folds towards the edge with the single fold. Do not cut all the way through.

Stop cutting 1/4" to 1/2" inch from the single folded edge. You will be cutting 3 slits parallel to each other and you need to try to evenly space them.

3D Paper Snowflake Tutorial - cut first slit First Cut.3D Paper Snowflake Tutorial - cut second slitSecond cut.3D Paper Snowflake Tutorial - Cut third slitThird cut.

The photos below show the finished cuts for the first section of the 3D snowflake.
3D Paper Snowflake Tutorial - three slits cut Repeat the cutting with the six remaining squares of paper.

Step 3: Twist, Glue & Flip 3D Snowflake Sections

Once you have your seven pieces cut, carefully unfold one so it is flat. The paper square will look like this picture. 3D Paper Snowflake Tutorial - Paper open with slits cut

It's time to twist and flip. If you have a colored and white side of your paper, start with the color side up.

You can use glue dots or a stapler to hold the twists. We found that glue dots didn't hold the snowflake and it kept popping apart. But maybe you'll have more success with glue dots.

Twist the two points of the center cut up and overlap the points to form a tube. Put a glue dot or staple these two pieces together.3D Paper Snowflake Tutorial - First twist & glue

Next, flip the paper square over so the paper's opposite side is facing up. Take the next two sections closest to the center overlap the points and glue/staple them together. Look at the photo below for more details. 3D Paper Snowflake Tutorial - 2nd twist & glue

Flip the paper over and glue/staple the next pair (3rd pair) together. 3D Paper Snowflake Tutorial - 3rd twist & glue

Flip once more and glue/staple the last two outmost sections. This is a finished section.3D Paper Snowflake Tutorial - Finished Section

Repeat the above process with the remaining six pieces of cut paper squares.

Step 4: Joining Sections of the 3D Paper Snowflake

Start assembling the snowflake by lining all of the sections up side by side in the same direction. If your colored paper is on the right, make sure all are on the right.

Glue/staple the sections together in the middle where the sections touch. The middle is where you just glued/stapled them.

3D Paper Snowflake Tutorial - Glue in a row

After gluing/stapling it should look like the above photo.

Step 5 - Make a Snowflake Circle

Once you have the long row of paper sections attached and on the table, take the first and the last one and join them together in a circle. Glue/staple them together at the centers.3D Paper Snowflake Tutorial - Make a Circle

Step 6: Glue the Inner Section of the 3D Paper Snowflake

The last step is to glue/staple the center points together. Take three points and hold them together and staple.  Then take another three points and staple those together.

Finally, staple the two sets of three to the last one.3D Paper Snowflake Finished

Now the 3D snowflake is complete.

Step 7 - Punch a Hole to Hang

Lastly, use a hole punch to make a hole in one of the outside points.  Attach a length of string, yarn or ribbon to hang the 3D paper snowflake.  Hang the paper snowflakes from a mantle, on a tree, from the ceiling or in the window.

Your giant paper snowflake is complete.  With how easy it is to make these, you can make a whole collection of them!  Scroll down to purchase supplies for this project.

Below are two 3D paper snowflakes made with different papers.3D Paper Snowflake Finished - Alternate paperPaper Snowflake Light blue

other IDEAS FOR 3D Paper Snowflakes

Each section of the snowflake can become it's own decoration.  If you don't join the sections together into a snowflake, you can punch a hole in the top of each section, attach yarn, thread or ribbon and hang them around the house and on the tree as a twirly ornament. 3D Paper Snowflake Finished - One Section

Another project to make with snowflakes is a Patriotic Star Garland.  This project is made with fabric but could easily be made with 3D Paper Snowflakes instead. This is an awesome decoration for Memorial Day or July 4th! Patriotic Star Garland Tutorial

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and have a fun family evening together crafting some giant 3D paper snowflakes.

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Happy Crafting!
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If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.


Want more snowflake crafts?  Check out our Snowflake Craft Ideas Pinterest page.

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