An easy holiday craft for even the artistically challenged is the humble paper snowflake.
But I have to warn you before you begin, making paper snowflakes is addicting.
I’ve spent many hours happily lost in the cutting of a masterpiece, just periodically taking time out to fold more pieces for the kids to cut.
The materials are simple but the results can be amazing. The paper versions are just like the real thing: no two are exactly alike.
You can decorate your house in an evening, and for clean-up, just sweep up the scraps. Some people like to decorate them afterwards with glitter or markers, but I like mine white.
Any kind of paper will do, but thinner paper is preferable for more intricate designs. Start with regular notebook or copy paper (from the recycle bin, of course…), and when you start to get in the groove, move on to origami or tissue paper. Some of the neatest ones I’ve seen have been cut out of huge pieces of wrapping paper.
Most scissors will work fine, and I find that I prefer a larger pair over small sewing-type scissors. The thinner the paper is, the sharper your scissors need to be to cut without tearing.
You want to start with a square piece, so if you are using office paper, fold one corner over to the opposite edge and crease, then cut off the extra length. After that, it gets tricky to describe in writing, so here’s a great video guide to follow:
Once you’ve got the basics down, you can start trying to cut pictures into them, or make each one a different style. Use straight cuts and angles for one, and curving feathery shapers for others. If you want a “negative” snowflake, don’t cut off the extra length or cut into the end. Your snowflake will be in the middle of the paper, made out of the pieces you cut, instead of what you don’t cut.
Too lazy to find the scissors? A virtual snowflake is just a couple of clicks away at Make-a-Flake.
Image: ViaMoi at Flickr under Creative Commons License