Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tutorial: How to fold paper to make a snowflake

These photographs were taken by a man named Wilson Bentley, who was born in 1865. He took his first photo of a snowflake in 1885 and went on to take over 5000 more before his death in 1931.

Images via Wikipedia

As you can see, real snowflakes have six points.  Making snowflakes out of paper is a great activity, but it's pretty hard to manage six points.


This is a doily, not a snowflake.


This is pretty in its way, but it's not a snowflake.


To make a six-sided flake, you have to start with a six-sided piece of paper.  Getting there is kind of tricky, so I'm going to show you the way my daddy taught me do it.


This isn't a snowflake yet, but it will be.



First, you need a square piece of paper.
  • Fold the short edge of the paper diagonally across to the long edge, forming a right triangle. 
  • Cut off the part that extends past the triangle.
  • [I do this by folding the extra part and then cutting along the line.]

Fold, fold, open and cut.



Make your hexagon.

First fold: Fold the square in half, making a rectangle.

Second fold: The second fold begins about 5/8" to the left of the center of the folded edge.


Take the upper right corner and fold it at the left-of-center mark,making sure that the corner touches the bottom edge of the paper.

 

Third fold: Take the left side of the paper, and fold it across to the other side,


so it looks like this:


Fourth fold:  Fold paper in half.




Now you have to cut off all those weird corners sticking out of the end so it will have the right shape.  Turn it over so that the folded edge is down and the point is to the left, like this:


and cut it along this line:


If you open it up, it should look like this:




Now, fold it back up and again and cut the edges to make your snowflake. Just be sure NOT to cut off the point. A real snowflake is formed around a grain of pollen or a speck of dust, so it always has a solid center.



If you cut it like this


you'll get this shape.




Cutting it like this


will make this shape,


which isn't a scientifically accurate snowflake, but it's pretty and it DOES have six points.  Also it's quick and easy.


Have fun!

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