Archive for December 11th, 2010

Here in the Northern hemisphere of the globe, snow is part of the Christmas season.  Decorations are also a big part of that whole social/celebration/homemaking/party thing.  Since Larisa recently called me a snowflake (thanks!), it got me thinking of snowflake decorations, and I figured I’d share my recipe for snowflake seeds.  I designed this bit of origami-like paperfolding to give a proper flat hexagonal structure for snowflake cutting, rather than the much easier but oh-so-inaccurate octagonal pattern that one sometimes sees.

…yes, I’m a purist snob in the art of cutting paper snowflakes.  I know, I’m terrible.  That said, if I could use a laser cutting table to do my snowflakes, I’d be all for it, and I *do* make crazy, arcing cuts on the “crystal spines” so I’m not really a purist…

Anyway, some step-by-step illustrations:

1. Start with a sheet of 8.5×11 paper and fold it in half the shorter way.  (This also works for most rectangular paper, say an A4 paper or a square, since the important angles come from the folds and their relationships.)

2. Fold the paper in half the other way (at a right angle to the first fold), then unfold.

Pre3 (optional). If you want some help for 3, you can make a “guidance” fold here and fold one edge in to the center from step 2, then unfold.

3. Fold one corner up from the center, making a 60 degree angle with the other side.  If you have the guidance fold from Pre3, the corner will touch the guidance fold.  I’ve taken to eyeballing this, and can usually get within a degree or three (evident when i fold step 4).  I prefer that since the guidance fold can show up in the final snowflake, but it’s really not a big deal either way.

It should look something like this:

4. Turn the paper over and fold the other corner up to match the edge of the fold from 3.  The resulting shape will leave you with a 60 degree angle pointing to the cross of the two initial folds, and should look like this.  There should be three “pockets”, one for each flap you folded and one for the center 60 degree slice in between.

5. Open the center “pocket” and flatten it along the folds made in step 2.  (One fold will be inverted.)

This should leave you with something like this:

6. Lift one of the (previously) corner pockets and flatten it, creating two new folds and aligning the old pocket’s “spine” fold with the underlying edges.

That should give you this:

Then turn the model over and do the same to the other corner pocket, which should leave you with this:

7. Fold the whole thing in half, as noted above.  This is your final Snowflake Seed, ready for cutting.

Here’s hoping that made sense.  I’m happy to answer any questions.  Apologies for posting this initially without pictures.  My internet connection has been intermittent and this slipped through the cracks.

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