You can make paper snowflakes all year long and save them to give family
and friends as the holidays approach. They are a great teaching
tool for your children or students too. I'll explain that as we go
along. Let's look at the easiest way I've found to make paper
snowflakes.

Start with a sheet of paper. Fold it in half top to bottom, and
then side to side. Be sure to line it up as perfectly as you can
so the edges and corners meet precisely. This will make your final
flake look better. With a bit of practice, it'll be a breeze.

We call a six sided shape a hexagon. Do you see how this fun
project is going to help you introduce some educational concepts to your
kids? Snowflakes are frozen water, or water crystals. Water
molecules are made up of an oxygen atom holding hands with two hydrogen
atoms. When the water molecules get together in a snowflake, they
form hexagonal shapes. There's an opportunity to do some research
and go over some science and chemistry with your kids. Moving on
though, let's look at how to get a hexagon out of that rectangular paper
you have now.

Hold the paper so the loose corners are at the top right, and the
center, which you've folded into a 90 degree angle, is at the bottom
left. If you have a protractor, it might help. If not,
eyeball it. You want to open it like a book, and fold the top half
back at a 30 degree angle from the left side like this:

If you're using a protractor, put the little mark at the center of the
bottom of the protractor (mine has a hole there) on the bottom left corner. Line up
the 90 degree line with the left side -the folded edge.
Fold your flap back to the 60 degree line leaving a sharp point on the
bottom left.

If you are eyeballing it, fold it back until it looks like mine, then fold the part that extends out to the left back, and line up the edges. Don't press the folds too firmly until you get them just right. It takes some tugging back and forth, but it is possible to get it folded into even thirds, and it gets a lot easier with practice.

Another way to get this fold is to download this snowflake grid pdf that I made, print it, fold it or cut it on the lines, and line your fold up with it.

Once you get it perfect, so the edges line up and the point is sharp,
cut a bit of paper or cardstock to the size of the rectangle you get
when you fold your paper in half and half again, slip it in under the
two folds you just made, and draw a line to mark where you folded it.
Perhaps another picture is in order here:

It seems like a lot of work, but once you have that little rectangle to
slip inside your next snowflake to show you where to fold it, they move
along rather fast. Here's the pile I've folded that I hope to find
time to cut and share:

After you fold the top half in even thirds, flip the paper over and do
the same thing with the bottom half.

We'll look at how to cut them on the How To Cut Paper Snowflakes page.