Today we are going to learn how to make 3D paper snowflakes. These snowflakes make beautiful Christmas decorations but are also festive throughout the winter season. This snowflake craft will provide fun for the whole family.
Each snowflake pattern is available as an SVG, DXF, EPS, PNG, and PDF file. As a general size guide, when using a 12 X 12-inch square piece of paper, the diameter of the larger snowflake is approximately 11.5 inches wide and three inches thick. While it’s not a giant snowflake, once it’s assembled it is large in size. When creating the smaller size snowflakes, they can be used as Christmas Tree ornaments for the holiday season.
To keep this craft easy, I’ve created six different 3D snowflake templates and step-by-step instructions for you. These templates are designed to be cut on an electronic cutting machine like a Cricut or Silhouette Cameo. However, the PDF patterns can also be printed on a home printer and cut by hand with a pair of scissors and a craft knife.
If cutting them by hand, use 8 ½ X 11-inch white copy paper in your printer. A smaller size sheet of paper will produce smaller snowflakes, approximately 8 inches in diameter. Square pieces of paper are best for using up the entire paper, but after printing, you can trim them down to square sheets. If using white paper cardstock, refer to your printer’s manual to confirm it can handle heavier paper.
HOW TO ACCESS THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY
Do you love paper crafts? There are many more projects like this one in my free resource library. To gain access to the library (of over 60 files) and receive my latest craft projects via email, just subscribe on the top right sidebar or at the bottom of this post. You can subscribe by entering your name and an email address in the subscribe box.
Once you subscribe, you’ll receive an email confirmation. Just confirm your subscription and you will be sent a (Welcome Email) with the password and instructions for using the free library. Then, click on the Library tab on the top menu bar and enter the password in the empty box at the bottom of the library page. Once you are in the library, please watch the video to learn how to download the files to your computer. Most of the files are available as SVG, DXF, EPS, PNG, and PDF.
HOW TO RECEIVE THE SNOWFLAKE TEMPLATES
There is one snowflake template available to you in the free library. If you’d like to purchase all six templates and have them delivered directly to your email box, you can do that here.
These 3D Paper Snowflakes can be created using a Cricut or Silhouette Cameo cutting machine. The files (6 Snowflake Designs) are available for purchase as a digital download. If you have any questions about your purchase, you can email me at email@example.com. Visit the SVG Shop to see other fun 3D Paper Projects.
Video Tutorial: 3D Paper Snowflakes
I’ve broken these video tutorials into three parts, to keep them short. All of the videos are step-by-step tutorials to show you how to bring these files into your cutting machine’s software, prepare them to cut, along with the necessary cut settings.
This video is a step-by-step tutorial for assembling the snowflakes. It includes the supplies you will need to create the three-dimensional snowflakes and the assembly process.
This video is a tech tutorial for preparing the files to cut in Cricut Design Space.
This video is a tech tutorial for preparing the files to cut in Silhouette Studio.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure statement here.
Supplies For The 3D Paper Snowflakes
- Free SVG Snowflake or Purchase All Six SVG Snowflake Designs
- Cricut or Silhouette Cameo
- Light Grip Cricut Mat or Light Grip Silhouette Mat
- Cricut Scoring Tool (If Using a Cricut)
- Weeding Tools
- Scraper Tool
- 65 lb. Card-stock
- Tacky Glue
Cricut Design Space: Instructions For Cutting The 3D Paper Snowflakes
How To Open The Snowflake Patterns In Cricut Design Space
Open Cricut Design Space and start on a blank canvas. Working on the left side menu at the bottom, choose Upload. Then choose Upload Image. Select browse and choose the SVG version of the 3D Snowflake Patterns. These patterns will be in the location that you downloaded them to on your computer. If you’re unsure of where you saved them to, check your Downloads folder.
Once you’ve selected the 3D snowflake file, choose open. Ensure there is a green box around it and choose Upload (lower right corner). Your most recent uploads will show on the far left side. Click on the image until the green box forms around it and then click the Add To Canvas button (bottom right).
Now that the snowflake panels are on your canvas, you’ll need to make the canvas smaller to see all six panels. You can do this by clicking on the (-100%+) button in the lower-left corner. Choose the minus key until you are zoomed out enough to see all of the snowflakes. The (50%) size is usually good for viewing everything.
How To Change The Cut Lines to Score Lines In Cricut Design Space
The panels will be grouped together when they are brought into Cricut Design Space. The first step is to ungroup them. Click on the UnGroup button at the top of the Layers panel on the right. Now you can access each individual snowflake.
At this point, we need to change all of the black lines to scorelines. Working in the layers panel, hold your Command Key (Mac) or Control Key (PC) down and then select all of the black lines. With all of your black lines selected, choose the Operation dropdown menu (located in the top-left menu). Now change the Basic Cut setting to Score. You can see that all of the solid black lines turned into dashed lines.
To connect the score lines to the snowflake panels, we need to attach the score lines and the snowflakes together. To do this, click and drag your mouse over each snowflake, so the snowflake and the score lines are both selected. Then choose Attach at the bottom of the Layers panel. Repeat this process for each of the six snowflakes.
Cutting The 3D Paper Snowflakes In Cricut Design Space
There are three smaller snowflakes and three larger ones. Working from left to right, the second, third, and sixth snowflakes are the larger ones. We will need to cut four panels for each of the larger snowflakes. The first, fourth, and fifth panels are the smaller snowflakes. You’ll need to cut three panels for the smaller snowflakes.
To do this, I suggest hiding the larger snowflakes before choosing to Make It. Select the larger snowflakes in the layers panel and hide them. You can hide them by clicking on the eye in the layers panel with your mouse. Select the eye that is next to the panel you would like to hide. At this point a line will show through the eye and the panel will disappear from your Canvas. Hide all three of the larger snowflakes. Then choose to Make It.
Now you will see the three smaller snowflakes each on their own canvas under the Prepare menu. Since we need three panels for each of the smaller snowflakes, choose 3 under the Project Copies at the top and then choose Apply. Now there will be nine mats total in the prepare menu (3 for each of the snowflakes). If everything looks correct, choose Continue (lower right corner).
Make sure your Cricut Machine is turned on and connected to your computer. Now load a sheet of 12 X 12-inch 65 lb. card-stock on a light-grip Cricut mat and load it into your machine. Then insert the scoring wheel in the tool carriage on your machine. Under materials choose Cardstock (for intricate cuts). If you can’t find this material setting, you can go to browse all materials and type cardstock. Then click search and you see Cardstock (for intricate cuts) as an option. Select it and click done. The next important step is to increase your pressure to more.
When you press the Go button on your machine it will begin with the scoring wheel. Once it is completed, load your Fine Point Blade and press Go on your machine again. Do not unload your mat in between scoring and cutting. Wait until both steps are complete before you unload it. Once you have cut three panels for each of the smaller snowflakes, click Finish and go back to your canvas.
Now unhide each of the larger snowflakes and hide the smaller snowflakes (the one you just cut). Then click Make It again. Each of the larger panels will need to be cut 4 times. So choose 4 under Project Copies and select Apply. Now you will have a total of 12 mats in the Prepare menu. If everything looks correct, choose Continue. Now repeat the process of scoring and cutting your card-stock panels. Once all of your panels are scored and cut, scroll down to the Assembling The Snowflakes section below.
Silhouette Studio: Instructions For Cutting The 3D Paper Snowflakes
SILHOUETTE STUDIO: OPENING THE FILES
Open Silhouette Studio on your computer. I am working with the business edition of the software in case you’re wondering why my screen looks a little different. Let me show you how to bring the 3D Paper Snowflakes files into Silhouette Studio and prepare them to score and cut.
Begin at the top menu bar and click on File and then we’re going to choose Open. Now select the file that you downloaded from the Library earlier. If you are working in the basic version (free version) of Silhouette Studio, you will need to open the DXF file. It will look a little different, but you should be able to figure it out by following along. If you are working in the Designer or Business Edition of Silhouette Studio, you can choose the free SVG file version and it will look just like the one I am using.
SILHOUETTE STUDIO: PREPARING THE 3D PAPER SNOWFLAKES TO CUT
Once the file is on your canvas, you may need to zoom out to view all of it. For reference, I am using a light grip mat and 65 lb. card stock to create this project. All of the settings I reference are for 65 lb card stock. If you are using a heavier or lighter card stock you will need to adjust your cut settings.
To begin, let’s set our line colors so we can cut by color. Start by clicking on one of the blue snowflake panels, so the bounding box shows around it. Then move your mouse to the color selection area. It’s in the upper left corner. There’s a Fill Drop-down Menu and a Line Drop-Down menu. We are focusing on the Line Drop-down Menu. Select the dropdown arrow next to the line color and the color palette box will appear. Select the dropper tool and then click on the blue color in the snowflake panel. This will change your line color from red to blue to match the fill color.
Repeat this process for every object in the project. You can bulk select, by left-clicking, holding, and dragging your mouse over multiple items that are the same color. However, you will need to then deselect the black lines, so that the score lines remain black. The end goal is to have all of the line colors for the snowflakes be blue and the line color for the score lines be black.
Now, make sure that the snowflake panel you want to cut first is moved on your canvas. Then click on the send panel in the upper right corner of your screen. There are four menus under the Send Panel. They are Simple, Line, Fill, and Layer. Click on the Line Menu. In this menu, you should see the colors that are represented in your cut file. For this project, it will just be blue and black.
Now we can cut by the color of the object. The color that has a checkmark next to it will be the color you are cutting. Deselect colors you are not cutting. Now working under the material column, click on the downward arrow to open the materials menu. Scroll down to select the material you are working with (i.e. cardstock). At this point, you can see the cut settings at the bottom of the Send Menu for cardstock. But, you will need to set your score settings for the color black. I’ll show you that in the next section below (Custom Cut Settings).
SILHOUETTE STUDIO: HOW TO SET UP CUSTOM CUT SETTINGS
For a long time, I would just guess at my cut settings for the materials I was using. After much frustration, I decided to go the extra mile and set up custom settings for the materials I use regularly. This was a game-changer for me and saved me so much time in the long run. Let me show you how to do this.
We are working under the Send menu. There are a few ways to do this, but for this tutorial, we will work in the Line Menu (located under the Send tab). Click on the Line menu. Next click on the drop-down menu under Material. At the bottom of this menu is a blue button that says Add New Material Type. Click on that blue button. Now you will see a User-Defined area shows up at the very bottom of your Materials panel. If you click on the dark grey bar that says New Material, you can name your material. I’m calling my material (65 lb Card-stock Score Setting).
Once you have named the material setting, you can change the Force, Speed, Passes, etc., and then Save your settings. There is a Legacy column for older machines and a Carriage 1 column for the Cameo 4 and Portrait 3. In my software, if I save the Carriage 1 settings, it automatically asks if I want to update the Legacy settings. I always say yes. If you’re using different machines, you will need to consider if this works for you.
Silhouette Cameo settings to score or create a kiss cut on card stock:
Score Settings (Kiss Cut) For A Cameo 4 Using 65 lb. Card-stock
Force=1, Speed=5, Passes=1, Blade Depth=1
Now let’s create a custom setting for cutting 65 lb. card stock. Working in the User Defined area under materials, click on the plus button in the bottom right corner. Now name your material. I called mine, 65 lb. Card-stock Cut Settings. Then change the settings as follows:
Silhouette Cameo settings to cut 65 lb. Card-stock:
Force=25, Speed=5, Passes-1, Blade Depth=6, Line Segment Overcut turned on and set to .50 for the Start and End
Don’t forget to save your settings before you close the panel.
Once you have saved your custom settings, close the Materials box. If you have an Auto blade on a Cameo 4, your machine will adjust your blade depth for you when you send the cut job. If you are working on an older machine, you will need to manually adjust the blade depth before you send the project.
Change the Material for both the blue and black colors. Using the score settings for black lines and the cut settings for blue lines. Send your Score (kiss-cut) to the machine first. When it’s done scoring deselect the black line color and select the blue line color. Then send the blue cut lines to your machine.
You’ll need to cut out three of each of the smaller snowflakes and four of each of the larger snowflakes. Under the Design Tab, looking at your canvas, (left to right) the smaller snowflakes are the 1st, 4th, and 5th. The larger snowflake pieces are the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th ones.
Assembling The Snowflakes: 3D Paper Snowflake Tutorial
When using a light grip mat and the right material settings on your cutting machine, the extra card stock should peel off easily. Then when you take up your panel, all of the excess paper will be left behind. You can see why using the right cut settings is so important. Now just use the scraper tool to remove the extra pieces off of the mat.
Now let’s make the first snowflake. To begin, I’m going to show you how to fold the smaller, three-paneled snowflakes. Then the four-panel snowflakes. We are going to fold all of the score lines in the same direction. Since the fold lines were created on the front (upward-facing) side of the paper, it will be easier to fold them upward. Fold all six score lines.
Then flip the panel over on the paper’s opposite side. Now go back and fold the middle scoreline in the opposite direction. There’s one on the left side and one on the right side. The goal is to create an accordion fold.
Now close the snowflake up and add a line of glue along the edge of the paper to close the open sides. For this project, I’m using Scotch Tacky Glue. It’s a quick-drying glue that bonds well to the paper with a little bit of pressure. You could use a glue stick, but it won’t dry as fast as the tacky glue.
After three of these panels are completed, we’re going to start assembling the snowflakes. Start by folding the panel in half to create the center fold lines. Then position panels in the direction you will assemble them. For the smaller snowflakes, we have a left, center, and right panel. Combining these panels together will give the snowflake its 3D shape.
Starting with the center panel, add glue lines down the middle and then across the center of the snowflake. Now line up the right panel with the center panel and press them together, using a little bit of pressure. Ensure the center folded edge lines up at the middle point. Then flip it over and apply another line of glue down the other side and across the center. Now line up the left panel and press it into place, so all three panels are attached.
At this point apply glue along the very center and up the middle of one side of the panel. I’m using rulers to close the snowflake, but you can use your hands as well. Pivot the outer edges of the snowflake in towards each other. The rulers are in the outermost edges of the panels. Now close the snowflake, ensuring the panels are lined up nicely. Then apply a little bit of pressure. Hold the snowflake for a few seconds, especially in the center of the snowflake to allow the tacky glue to set up.
The last step is to flip it over and repeat the process on the other side of the snowflake. This completes the 3D snowflake shape.
The slightly larger, four-panel snowflakes are created the exact same way. They just need an extra panel to close properly.
I’d let these dry for a good 20 minutes and then add a string to hang them up. There are so many creative ways to use these 3-dimensional snowflakes. They look beautiful on a fireplace mantel, patio doors, windows, or extended from the ceiling. In my home, I created a snowflake garland and placed it along the top of my board and batten.
FOLLOW ALONG ON PINTEREST
If you like budget-friendly decor and papercrafts, follow me on PINTEREST. Did you know that you can hover over any of the images below, click on the red Pinterest button and save it for later? Add these Pins to your Winter or Holiday Crafts board. It’s helpful to Pin It now and save it for later when you’re ready to start your project.
Do you like papercrafts? Do you have questions about this project? Let me know in the comments down below. I hope you enjoyed this 3D Paper Snowflake craft!