Sunday, December 20, 2009

Let it snow (paper), Let it snow (paper), Let it snow! (...paper)

The East Coast has been hit by a pretty big storm, and NYC is blanketed in its first layer of the cold, white stuff. E and I had a fun morning of shoveling out the car, dealing with a disgruntled old man who was upset we got a little snow on his sidewalk, and then discovering that the car wouldn't start anyway. We're holding out hope that it'll be an easy fix, though the tow truck driver who came to rescue us guessed it was the starter and not the battery as we had suspected. I don't know anything about cars, by the way.

In honor of the snow, I wanted to finally put up the paper snowflake tutorial I'd been talking about for ages. I learned to make paper snowflakes from my eighth grade algebra teacher, and her method has been the best I've tried! I love to string paper snowflakes up in windows, and they also look pretty on garlands strung up over doorways! Really, the trick is in the folding, and don't be afraid to experiment with different shapes when you're cutting!

1. Start with your nice, clean sheet of regular old copy paper. Get out your safety scissors, and grab any children old enough not to cut their fingers off while using safety scissors.

2. Remember when you were in grade school and you made cootie catchers? You're going to use the same procedure to achieve a square of paper for your snowflake. Fold the top edge down to meet the left hand edge...

3. And cut off the bottom strip of paper! You can use this to make smaller snowflakes if you want!

4. Fold your folded triangle in half...

5. And half again, and you're ready to start hacking away with those scissors! Also check out my awesome glitter-tipped festive holiday nails!

6. If you want your snowflake to be essentially round, you want to cut off the top corner, starting on the longest side, or the hypotenuse. Make it rounded, in the general direction I've noted in this photograph. You can also just work with the shape as is, but you're going to end up with a square-ish snowflake.

7. Get to work cutting! You're going to focus on cutting into the center of the triangle from the folded edges, so everything that you cut will be mirrored. For example, above I've shown you how to cut hearts and stars into your snowflake. It's pretty self-explanatory. So just cut, cut, cut...

8. Til your snowflake is all snipped out. Remember, don't cut straight across the body of the snowflake, or... you'll just be cutting your snowflake in half. Womp, womp.

9. BIG REVEAL! Carefully unfold your snowflake (more detailed cuts can kind of get stuck on themselves, so be gentle!) and you're good to go! I like to give the paper a quick once-over with the iron so it lies flatter.  Tape it to the window! String it from the ceiling! Whether you're in California or Canada, you can have a White Christmas!

And here are some other snowflakes I've made this season, though I have yet to hang them up.

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