Making snowflake flowers (or flower snowflakes)

A lily-flowered tulip was my first model for a snowflower

If you need cheap, cheerful fun for a chilly day, there’s nothing easier than making paper snowflakes. Few crafts are so inexpensive – or so sure of success. All you need is a sheet of paper, sharp scissors and your imagination – which can get added inspiration from the garden.

When it comes to snowflakes, I am what our dad would have called a dab hand. Usually, I go for intricate ice patterns. Once, I made a King Tut flake on request. Here, I’ve tried organic floral shapes. But, you can’t go wrong with a snowflake.

Guidelines for making a flurry of snowflowers:

These work for making any kind of snowflake. The key secrets: Sharp scissors; sharp creases.

IMAGE ONE: Top left: Take a sheet of bond paper (scrap paper is fine) and sharp scissors. Sharp scissors make the most accurate cuts. Top right: Fold the bottom edge up to meet one of the long sides. Align edges closely, and fold as closely to the tip of the corner as you can. When everything is lined up, make a sharp crease. Bottom left: Cut off the excess strip. (Save it to make three tiny snowflakes. No waste!) Bottom right: You’ll have a triangle, with a fold on the long edge. Now, fold it in half, neatly matching fold to fold and open side to open side. Make a sharp crease.


IMAGE TWO: Top left: As the folds make things thicker, I find it helps to score the corner that will be folded first with a fingernail. Then fold the triangle in half, again matching folded side to folded side. For this fold and the next one, the open edges will be at the top. Top right: Scissor handles are useful for  sharpening the crease. Run the handle along the folded edge on a flat surface. Bottom left: Score the corner for the final fold, then again fold so that the folded edges meet. Bottom right: Cut off the excess triangle, using the cut edge as a guide. (Or, you can leave this corner on for a different effect.)


IMAGE THREE: Now you can begin cutting out snowflakes – or snowflowers. The more paper you cut out,  the airier your snowflake or snowflower will be. For this one, I tried using a shamrock shape. As you can see, I rather botched the taller version of the leaf, and my cuts are a bit messy. But so what? As you open your snowflower, fairy dust magically transforms it into something you didn’t quite expect. Don’t worry about being exact.


IMAGE FOUR: Here you see what happens using a different strategy – leaving more paper on the form, and cutting your patterns into alternate sides. Cutting a pattern into the folded point gives you a corolla in the centre of the flower. See the fringed effect of making many, tiny wedge cuts into the top edge? Now, go on, experiment and have fun. After you’re done with them, they can all go into recycling. Snowflakes are meant to be ephemeral, aren’t they?


  1. Wonderful! Such detailed instructions, almost makes me want to give it a try, it would make a nice change from the heavy concrete work I've been doing. I love that second one, although the inside circle is a bit scary, looking like a very toothy mouth.

  2. Thanks, everyone. I hope you give it a try. It's innocent fun.

    Alison, those toothy bits were meant to be stamens! The human eye is programmed to see faces in everything, I guess.

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