How to Cut Snowflakes From Paper or Fabric

Get Ready to Cut Paper Snowflakes

A perfectly cut fabric snowflake
The Spruce / Janet Wickell

Learn how to cut six-sided snowflakes, just like the snowflakes that fall from the sky. Every snowflake that falls is unique, and you'll find that varying the number and type of cuts made into your folded paper or fabric creates a wide range of designs.

Practice Cutting Paper Snowflakes

Practice making paper snowflakes before you cut snowflakes from fabric. Regular printer paper works nicely, but newsprint and other lighter papers are easier to cut once they are folded into layers.

  • Inexpensive, unprinted tablets of newsprint are available at discount stores and stores that sell school supplies.
  • You can use old newspapers, too, if you don't mind getting your hands a bit dirty.
  • Work with an even lighter material by cutting snowflakes from tissue paper.
  • Gift wrap paper can be used to cut snowflakes, but it is not as durable.

Cut Six-Sided Fabric Snowflakes

It can be tedious to make intricate cuts through many layers of fabric, and you'll discover that fabric doesn't fold as crisply as paper. Cotton quilting fabrics work nicely but reduce stress to your hands by using sharp scissors that cut all the way to their tips.

Blunt-edged scissors are a good choice for young children who are cutting paper snowflakes.

How to Fold and Cut Six-Sided Snowflakes

How to cut snowflakes, step-by-step
The Spruce / Janet Wickell

Fold Paper and Cut the Snowflakes

Use the illustration as a guide to fold and cut paper snowflakes. Numbers on the illustration match the numbers in steps below.

  1. Start with a square of paper. One quick way to create a square is to fold a rectangular sheet of paper diagonally and then cut away the excess (see illustration).
  2. Fold the square in half once to create a rectangle.
  3. Fold the rectangle in half to create a square with four layers.
  4. Unfold the square, taking the paper back to its rectangular shape (Step 1). For Step 3, bring the paper's right and left sides inward vertically, matching edges to the center fold you created in Step 2.
  5. Open the paper to its rectangular shape again. Fold the left edge towards the right, angling it so that the bottom tip of the paper touches the fold nearest the right side of the rectangle (fold created in Step 3).
  6. Leave the new fold in place and fold the right edge of the rectangle over to match the angled edge on the left.
  7. Fold the new unit in half lengthwise, matching sides carefully as shown in Step 6.
  8. Cut away the bottom edge of the Step 6 unit, taking care to make the cut inward enough from the bottom so that all layers are included. The cut can be straight or angled.
  9. Make cuts into the sides and bottom of the folded paper. If you like, trim the top tip to create an opening in the center of the snowflake. Experimenting is the best way to learn which cuts work best. (See an illustration of the cuts used to make the fabric snowflake on the first page.)
  10. Unfold your snowflake and make another.
  11. Once you're happy with the shapes of paper snowflakes, use the same steps to cut fabric snowflakes. 

A Few Ways to Use Fabric Snowflakes

  • Glue beads, glitter or other embellishments onto the snowflakes.
  • Spritz the snowflakes with several layers of starch to stiffen the fabric. Punch a small hole in the top of snowflakes and hang as holiday decor.
  • Use spray adhesive or another method to apply snowflakes to a larger piece of cloth. Embellish in any way you like.
  • Use small snowflakes as embellishments when you make fabric postcards.
  • Applique snowflakes onto any project. Begin with shapes that aren't intricate if you plan to use needle turn applique methods. Try fusible web applique for snowflakes with more detail.