How to Make a Hexagonal (6-Sided) Snowflake

How to Make a Hexagonal (6-Sided) Snowflake
You need: paper, scissors, pencil (optional), and a trash or recycle container!
Fold up the corner of a rectangular
sheet of paper diagonally so the side
edges match up.
Printer paper works fine, but thinner
paper such as rice paper can be
easier to cut.
Cut off the extra rectangle.
Make your cuts over a table or desk
so that it is easy to wipe the small
pieces into a trash or recycle
Now what remains is a square folded
in half diagonally. To make it
hexagonal, it will have to be folded so
that the corners can be cut off and 6
sides created.
Turn the paper so that the fold is at
the top.
Fold the left corner over to meet the
right corner and carefully crease just
the top of the fold. Do not crease the
entire fold!
Unfold the triangle. You should now
see the crease at the top, mid-way
between the two corners.
Take one of the top corners and fold
it over (do not crease yet) only as far
as the crease at the top.
Fold over the other corner in the
same way. Do not crease yet.
The two folded flaps need to be
adjusted now so that they meet at a
point at the top where the crease is,
and so they are both the same size –
all the edges match up on the left
and right sides.
Once step 8 is achieved, then you
crease the folds of the two flaps.
Turn the paper so that the crease is
at the bottom and the shape points to
the left.
Fold the shape in half by folding the
bottom seam edge up to the top
Crease the new seam.
Your paper should look like this now.
For the purposes of this explanation,
position the seam at the bottom.
Now cut off the “ears” as shown.
This cuts off the four corners of the
square. Since the paper is folded into
sixths (12ths, actually), it also
creates the six sections.
Now you are ready to start cutting
the snowflake design. For intricate
designs, it can be helpful to sketch
the design on one side of the paper
very lightly with pencil. Shade the
parts to be cut out.
Anything cut out of the point is really
being cut from the center of the
A design cut along the top edge (the
open side) will be along the outer
edges of the 6 “spokes”.
Caution: Do not cut off the entire top
edge, or the snowflake will come
apart in 6 pieces.
Holes cut out of the seam edge come
out of the middle of the six spokes.
Caution: Do not cut off the entire
seam edge!
When you are finished cutting, very
carefully unfold the snowflake.
It is difficult to refold a snowflake to
make more cuts, but after the first
unfolding (at left) you get a good
idea what each of the 6 sections will
look like, and can easily fold it back
in half to continue cutting if needed.
Finished! Remember, the center cutout came from the point of the
triangle, and the cut-outs inside each
spoke came from the seam cuts. The
outer design of the spokes – really
determining the outer shape of the
snowflake – is from the cuts along
the open edge of the triangle.
The creases can be flattened by
carefully putting the snowflake
between pages of a large heavy book
for a day or two.
Here is another style of cutting.
Since the top open edge is still intact
at the upper right corner, the
snowflake will not have such definite
It turns out more dish-shaped – as
some real snowflakes are.
Another way to cut is to take off the
upper-right and lower-right corners.
Instead of making 6 spokes, this
makes 12 – at least on the outside!
(When you make the first unfolding,
you see that you have two points
side-by-side instead of one in the
center along the crease.)
Notice the 12 points around the edge.
The “hearts” were a coincidence, but
it is possible to create many different
intentional shapes by cutting half of
the desired shape. (Notice the halfheart on the bottom edge in the
previous photo.)
You can even cut out letters, but it is
much easier if you draw them lightly
with pencil before you start cutting.
You can also shade the cut-out parts
to help you keep track while you cut.
Further ideas:
Use the leftover rectangle from your
first cut to make more “baby”
Paint or draw on the sheet of paper
(and let it dry) before folding and
cutting the snowflake. It is difficult
to do so after they are cut. These
look especially nice in a window with
the sun shining through – “stainedglass snowflakes.”
Snowflakes may be glued onto a
greeting card.
Scan or photograph your snowflake
(with a contrasting background). In
Photoshop, delete the background
and paint or try filters or textures on
the snowflake. (See image at left.)
It is then easy to make different color
and size variations on the same
paper snowflake.
Animate a small snowflake in
ImageReady or Flash!