How to Make 3D Snowflakes


Seattle has really been slacking in the snow department--we've only had one snow day this year, and it was all melted by mid-afternoon! So for Christmas, I made some 3D snowflakes so we could still have a "white Christmas" of sorts. I learned how to make these from a girl at my work, so maybe everyone already knows about them...but they were new to me! I think they're pretty cool and a little more special than the flat cut-out snowflakes that I'm used to. Plus, I love DIY projects like this, where you already have all the supplies at home. Snowflakes make great decor all winter long (and technically, winter just began a week ago...isn't that weird?). I think some big versions of these would be really cool for a photobooth backdrop at a winter wedding, or--hey--a New Year's party!

How to make 3D snowflakes

You will need:
white printer paper (or whatever color you'd like to make your snowflakes)
scissors or a paper cutter
glue (I used this eco-friendly craft paste made 100% from recycled styrofoam)
a stapler
a hole punch
string, ribbon, or something to hang the snowflakes with
mini clothespins (optional)

Supplies for making 3D snowflakes

Cut six equal sized squares out of the paper. If you have a paper cutter, you can measure and cut a stack all at once--or if you just have good old fashioned scissors, the easiest way is to fold your paper in half diagonally and cut off the excess at the bottom. This works perfect since you'll be folding them that way anyways. Each square will be one arm of your snowflake, so using one sheet of printer paper per square will yield a pretty big snowflake! For the snowflake over my mirror, I did two squares per sheet of paper (I cut the paper in half “hamburger style" first), and for the smaller snowflakes in the garland, I was able to get six squares per sheet of paper.

Step by step instructions to make 3D snowflakes

Fold each square in half diagonally once, then in half diagonally again. Hold the folded triangle so that the longest side is facing to your left and the two folded flaps are at the bottom. Cut three lines parallel to the left edge, not quite cutting through to the top. Try to keep an equal distance between each cut. I just eye-balled this step but you can also measure if you prefer.

Making 3D snowflakes

Unfold your triangle. It should look like the photo below--if not, you've cut on the wrong side. Cut the rest of the triangles in the same way.

How to make 3D snowflakes

Roll the two innermost flaps together to form a tube, put a dot of glue on one side, and press together. The Glu6 craft paste that I used was pretty thick and strong, which worked great--but if your glue is runnier and you're impatient, you could use mini clothespins to hold the two flaps together while the glue dries. Glue dots also work well, or you could use clear tape too.

How to make 3D snowflakes

Once the first two flaps are glued together, flip the square over and roll the next two flaps together, gluing them in place. Alternate sides until all the flaps are rolled together and secured with glue (see above). This forms one arm of your snowflake. Repeat with the rest of the squares.

Making a 3D snowflake | At Home in Love

Once all six arms are made, you're ready to assemble your first 3D snowflake! Gather three of them in one hand and staple them together at the bottom. You'll notice that one side of each arm is smaller than the other, so alternate small sides with big sides so it looks pretty even. Do the same thing with the other three and staple together at the bottom.

How to make a 3D snowflake

Take your two sides and hold them together, so the bottom flaps are overlapping. Staple one more time. Your snowflake is almost complete! The last step is to secure the arms to each other. Just put a dot of glue where each of the arms meet and pinch them together. Voila! You're done!! If you want to make a garland or hang more than one of these, repeat these steps to make as many snowflakes as you want.

3D snowflake garland: step by step DIY instructions

For the garland, simply punch holes at the top of each snowflake and thread your string through the holes. Easy peasy (and super cheap) winter decor!

3D snowflake garland - DIY instructions

I know that seems like a lot of steps, but I promise once you get the hang of it, you can make a bunch of these really fast. I made this entire garland during half a movie.

Living room with a 3D snowflake garland

You can also see my new rug in the photo above. It finally came…and the living room is much cozier now!

Have you ever made 3D snowflakes? This would be a great project to do with kids, especially if theyre home and getting bored on winter break. And you won't even have to leave your house to gather the materials!

This post was written in partnership with Nine Lives Products.

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  1. Posted by Debbie on Monday, December 30th, 2013

    LOVE THESE! We had snowflakes every year...on the first day of snow we had a snowflake "party", making them for our window. I have never seen these 3D flakes. Perfect! They look so lovely on your mantle. Your rug is also perfect! :)
    • Posted by Aileen on Monday, December 30th, 2013

      Thank you, Debbie! A snowflake party sounds like a blast. I'm glad you like the rug too!
  2. Posted by Hannah on Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

    Cute Aileen! I think we need some of those. I'll put Leah right on it! : )
    • Posted by Aileen on Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

      Let me know if you make them!! (or if Leah does)
  3. Posted by Nancy on Monday, November 10th, 2014

    These would be really pretty hung over the Christmas tree from the ceiling on fishing line. That way you don't see the string.
    • Posted by Aileen on Thursday, November 13th, 2014

      True! That's a great idea.
  4. Posted by Mary F. on Monday, November 10th, 2014

    Beautiful craft project. Can't wait to try it!
  5. Posted by Tilena Aldridge on Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

    This is perfect to make snowflakes for my 5 year old daughters room. We are doing it in Frozen and I just know that she will like this. They look simple and easy to make.
    • Posted by Aileen on Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

      Aww, yes! They will be perfect for a Frozen themed room!!
  6. Posted by Elaine C. on Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

    Thank You so much for showing me how to make the 3-D ornament. I loved these from the first time I saw one but with all my searching have never found one that explains the How To so nicely.
    Thank you for sharing your talent with others, you have made my day.
    • Posted by Aileen on Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

      Aww, thank you Elaine! I’m so glad you found the instructions easy to follow. Enjoy your ornaments!
  7. Posted by Vendula on Sunday, December 6th, 2015

    Wonderful tutorial, thank you very much! :-)
    • Posted by Aileen on Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

      Aww thank you, Vendula! I'm glad you found it useful.
  8. Posted by EVve on Saturday, December 12th, 2015

    I can not wait to make more. This was fun. My teacher had made some and then she had sowed use kids how to make it if we woned to leran how to.
    • Posted by Aileen on Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

      Aww, so glad to hear that Evve!! xo
  9. Posted by Anishka Vallabh on Friday, December 16th, 2016

    This was awesome
  10. Posted by Joan Murphy on Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

    These are great
    • Posted by Aileen on Monday, December 26th, 2016

      Aww, I'm glad you enjoyed making them!