Friday, December 2, 2011

Let it snow!...

I don't know why, but this year I've been itching to decorate my office for the holidays. Early.
BUT I made myself hold off and kept saying "wait till it at least snows!". Of course, as if on purpose, we enjoyed a warmer than usual autumn, and the average temperature in November was +10 C!!! Anyhow, we got our first real snow on November 23, which is when I busted out the scissors, and the cutting of paper began.

I always loved making snowflakes so I never thought of it as a special skill on anything, but after many oooohs and aaaahs from my coworkers and one suggestion that I should teach a class, I figured that maybe a blog post is in order :)
My office door window
(it's a pretty narrow hallway, so the photo came out a bit crooked)
Here are some of the snowflakes up close:

Now... Are you wondering how to do them? I will show you.

First of all, there are a few different ways to fold the paper. Which method I use really depends on the thinkness of the paper you chose to use. I will describe the method I normally use.

First, grab a piece of paper and scissors ~ I used the regular office paper and 2 times of scissors (see below)

FOLD it three times: half way, then half way again, then diagonally (making sure that the folded edges are on top) like so:

You should end up with this:

Here's my secret to making beautiful, dainty, sometimes lace-like snowflakes: MANICURE SCISSORS! Of course, you cannot use them when making crafts with children, but I'm sure any adult can handle this sharp tool (you can even take the snowflakes your child made and add some delicate cutouts - real teamwork right there, he-he!). You still what your craft scissors handy:

My first step of actual cutting has always been to create the out shape of the snowflake first. This is done using the craft scissors (or manicure scissors, depending on how intricate you want the shape to be). In this case, I used big scissors. Next, I cut out a shapely middle (usually using the small scissors):

Then... Grab your small scissors and let your imagination sore! Okay, wait, one important point - make sure that you leave some of the "FOLDED RIDGE" space uncut, otherwise your creation is going to fall apart:

Now cut away!!!

Here are a few tips:

* Hold the folded paper firm as you are cutting through 8 layers of paper (and it's pretty think)
* Cut on both sides and try to intertwine the cuts from the opposite sides; even a little, trust me, it'll look great
* Don't be afraid to experiment with different shapes (circles, triangles, longer strips, whatever your imagination dictates)
* Remember that any cut you make will "open up" and a mirror image - so if you want to have hearts on your snowflake, just cut out one half (on the folded ridge that is)

So... I did my cutting and here's what I got:

Let's unfold, shall we?
(If you made a lot of cuts, unfold carefully so you don't rip your snowflake)


And there you have it :)

* There is another method to fold the paper, which creates wonderful snowflakes as well. Though I love it, I find it's not suitable for all types of paper - there is more folding involved, which means it's better to use thinner paper (otherwise it's hard to cut through all that thickness).

1 comment:

  1. I used to LOVE making snowflakes when I was younger - thanks for the reminder about how pretty they can be :)

    We got our first snowfall in Chicago last night - so exciting :)