Easy 3-D Paper Snowflake Stars

· · ·

These 3-D paper snowflake stars look amazing and elegant with fairy lights or without, and they’re incredibly easy to make!

As you know if you’ve read our adventures, Handan has been a global nomad since she left her native Turkey as a young civil engineer in her late 20s. The first of what would become 8 countries she lived in as a Turkish expat was Romania.

Barish was only an infant when the family left Istanbul for a new beginning in Bucharest. It was her first time living in a country that celebrated Christmas, and though she and her family didn’t celebrate it at the time, she did take note of all the seasonal decor that sprung up around town and in her coworkers’ homes during the holidays.

Easy 3-D Paper Snowflake Stars

Here in America, seasonal decor is dumped upon our shores each year by massive cargo ships packed to the seams with countless tons of China’s Finest Plastic. We gobble up these carbon-copied treasures, display them for a month or two, and then most will end up in a landfill somewhere or perhaps a recycling plant where the whole cycle will begin again.

(Kudos to you, madam! The fact that you are here, reading this blog, means that you are not one of the brainless gobblers. You are an enlightened and luminous being, and I commend you on your good taste and impeccable judgment!)

But in many other countries, aggressive consumerism hasn’t zombified the population, and seasonal decor is usually hand-made. Money is often scarce, and the DIY route is always the cheaper way to do things.

Handan saw one such DIY Christmas craft hanging in a coworker’s apartment – several large 3-dimensional paper snowflake stars – and she’s carried the memory of them with her ever since.

This year, she wanted to bring that memory to life.

Easy 3-D Paper Snowflake Stars

There was just one problem…

“Hey babes, do we still have those paper bags you used for Barish’s lunch?” She was talking about some brown paper lunch bags I had bought years ago – back when I packed a lunch for Barish. I hadn’t used them in ages.

“Uhhhh, yes? Maybe?” I opened the pantry and started rifling through. I knew they used to be in there at some point in the past 6 years. How far could they have gotten?

But search as I may, I couldn’t turn up a single brown bag.

Easy 3-D Paper Snowflake Stars

I reported my failure to Handan, and she walked over to the drawer next the fridge, opened it and pulled out a stack of brown paper bags.

“What the…? Why would you ask me if we still had them if you knew exactly where they were??” The woman was infuriating!

“I didn’t know. But when you couldn’t find them in the pantry, I remembered that I put them in a drawer.” She said.

“Gah!”

Easy 3-D Paper Snowflake Stars

I asked what she wanted them for, and that’s when she told me the plan to make paper snowflake stars.

“Okay, but wouldn’t white ones look better?” I said.

She agreed. “Okay, can you go to the store and get me some white ones?”

“I don’t remember ever seeing white ones, but yeah, I’ll try.” I said.

She looked down at the brown bag in her hand. She opened it.

Easy 3-D Paper Snowflake Stars

“Ohhh.” She said.

“What?”

“Can you get bags that don’t have a flat bottom?” She said.

“Waddaya mean without a flat bottom?” What on earth was this loon yapping about? “My babes, I’ve only ever seen flat-bottomed bags.”

This then launched a comparative discussion about paper bags in America versus the rest of the world. Apparently most everywhere else, small paper bags don’t have flat bottoms, but rather the two sides of the bag are joined at the bottom like a crease.

Who knew?

Easy 3-D Paper Snowflake Stars

Anyway, once I assured her that I had a snowball’s chance in Hell finding white paper bags without flat bottoms in any brick-and-mortar store within a 100 mile radius, we took to Amazon to see what we could find.

And lemme tell you, Amazon wasn’t much better!

But Handan is nothing if not persistent. And stubborn.

Eventually she found what she was looking for – a crease-bottomed needle in a flat-bottomed haystack.

I never doubted her for a moment! πŸ˜†

We ordered two packs, gathered the rest of the supplies, and we were on our way.

Easy 3-D Paper Snowflake Stars

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY AND GET THE LATEST CREATIVE IDEAS AND DIY TUTORIALS RIGHT TO YOUR INBOX!

Now, as she often does, my babes has altered and improved upon the paper snowflake stars she saw hanging all those years ago in that small apartment in Bucharest. She figured out a way to weave fairy lights into them to make them truly magical.

But enough of my gum-flapping – let’s get on with it!

supplies on a table to make 3-d paper snowflake stars

Easy 3-D Paper Snowflake Stars

Handan told me that in Turkey, street vendors use bags like these for peanuts and chestnuts.

So…bags for nuts.

Nut bags!

Okay ladies, grab your nut bags and let’s get crafting! Better yet, grab the nutbag you’re married to, and make him do it!

But wait! This nut bag isn’t ready for prime time crafting – just look at the top! We can’t make anything with that jaggedy, uneven top!

gusseted glassine bag

First things first, madam: you’ll need to trim your nut bag.

o_0

Madam, mind out of the gutter, please. We’ve work to do.

Okay, for each star, we used 10 or 11 bags. If you’ll be adding fairy lights, you’ll want to go for 11 bags. You may even want to get a little saucy and go for an even dozen.

Who’s to stop you? The nutbag watching football in the other room?

I don’t think so, madam!

cutting the top off a paper bag

Next, fold the bag in half the long way, but only give it a crease at the very top. You’re not trying to fold the bag – you’re merely finding the middle of the bag.

folding a paper bag

If your eyes are as bad as mine, you won’t be able to see the fold you just made. Help yourself out by putting a little pencil mark on the crease. Your faltering eyes will thank you.

marking the middle of a white paper bag with a pencil

Next, pick a spot about 1/3 of the way down the bag. It doesn’t have to be exact, and you’re free to make these marks in different spots for each paper snowflake star you make. I made my marks between 1/4 – 1/2 way down the bag. It will affect the shape of your star points as you’ll see.

Okay, so you’ve picked your spot and you’ve got your ruler straight across your nut bag. Kudos to you, madam. You must have been a superstar in Kindergarten crafting!

Put a small pencil mark on either edge of the bag.

marking a paper bag for snowflake stars

Draw a line between your top mark and the two side marks. See? I told you that top mark would come in handy!

Look at those hands. Chubby. Chewed. Dirty. Arthritic.

Please try to contain your envy, madam. It’s just good genes and fastidious hygiene.

marking a paper bag for snowflake stars
marking a paper bag for snowflake stars

If your nut bag looks something like the one below, you get full marks for following directions!

white paper bag on a table

Okay, it’s time to trim your nut bag again!

Don’t worry, madam –  soon I won’t be able to call it a nut bag anymore, because it will have taken on a new form and purpose!

Oh, by the way, Handan also told me they serve hot dogs in bags like these.

I can start calling it a weiner pocket if that would make you feel more comfortable?

cutting a paper bag for 3-d snowflake stars
cutting a paper bag for 3-d snowflake stars

Now that you have your first star point, you can use it a template for all the rest. Simply lay it on a new bag, hold the two bags firmly together and cut along the edges of your trimmed bag. You may be tempted to try cutting more than one bag at a time. You may of course try whatever you like, but lemme tell you from experience, these glassine bags are slippery little buggers, and trying to cut too many at once will result in a big mess and a handful of wasted weiner pockets.

Trust me, ladiesβ€”snip ’em one at a time!

Keep trimming until you’ve got 10 or 11 just like this.

trimmed paper bags for snowflake stars

Now here’s the part that makes the magic.

I would have liked to make some snowflake stars with both snowflake punches and star punches, but our star punch didn’t arrive until long after I finished this project.

So all I had to work with were these 3 snowflake punches.

Pink snowflake punches.

I grabbed the biggest pink punch, pressed firmly and mourned the death of manhood as the first snowflake fell from my nut bag.

But hey, this isn’t about me and my big pink punch, it’s about you and yours! So grab it and start punching!

using a snowflake punch on a paper bag

For snowflake stars without lights, feel free to add as many snowflake/star punch holes as your little heart desires. The more holes you punch, the more lacy, delicate and gossamer your snowflake star will be.

using a snowflake punch on a paper bag

But if you are planning on adding fairy lights, you’ll want to keep the punching activity very light near the pointy end of your weiner pocket, as that is where you’ll be weaving the fairy lights.

using a snowflake punch on a paper bag

As you see in the pictures below, I used my big pink punch near the bottom, the middle punch in the middle, and the small punch near the top.

using a snowflake punch on a paper bag
using a snowflake punch on a paper bag

The bag below shows about the most holes you’ll want for a lighted star.

paper bag with snowflake punches

Keep going until you’ve punched all of your nut bags and weiner pockets.

Good job, madam!

Next you can gather up all the punched-out stars and snowflakes and throw them up in the air. It’s your very own ticker-tape parade! Huzzah!

Excellent! Now call the nutbag watching football on the sofa to come clean up the mess you just made.

paper bag with snowflake punches

Okay, it’s time to build your star from your punched-out nut bags. Grab your glue stick and twist.

applying glue to paper bags to make snowflake stars

Don’t be shy with the glue, and don’t worry about the purple. I can assure you it will all eventually turn clear.

Make an inverted “T” on your bag.

applying glue to paper bags to make snowflake stars
stacking cut paper bags to make 3-d snowflake stars

Grab another bag and lay it on top of the first.

Good job!

stacking cut paper bags to make 3-d snowflake stars

Press your fingers along the glue lines.

stacking cut paper bags to make 3-d snowflake stars

And repeat! It’s so simple, even a Kindergartener could do it! In fact, I’m pretty sure that the entire Kindergarten curriculum consists of crafts like this, just with more elbow macaroni and glitter.

stacking cut paper bags to make 3-d snowflake stars
stacking cut paper bags to make 3-d snowflake stars

It’s starting to take shape! (Don’t open too much at this point – the glue is not dry!)

making 3-d paper snowflake stars

Here are 3 that I made. The left one and the center one got lights, the one on the right did not. I let the glue dry for about an hour before continuing.

It’s a perfect time to boil some hot dogs or roast some chestnuts. Better yet, tell old nutbag in the other room to make you some food!

making 3-d paper snowflake stars

Okay, madam, you can stop here and go directly to finalizing your snowflake star, or we can add some fairy lights to make that star look like it fell from heaven.

Are you with me?

Good! Let’s do it!

Using a standard hole punch, punch through all the layers on the midline near the top, as shown below.

making 3-d paper snowflake stars

You’ll soon be stringing fairy lights through these holes.

making 3-d paper snowflake stars

Draw another inverted “T” with your glue stick.

making 3-d paper snowflake stars

And then carefully open your paper snowflake star and bring the two ends together.

making 3-d paper snowflake stars

Since my big ugly ham-hands had trouble fitting all the way in those narrow wiener pockets, I enlisted Handan’s help for this step. She helped open the center while old sausage fingers pulled on the outer part.

Once you get the two ends opened all the way around, press on the glue line to complete your star shape.

making 3-d paper snowflake stars

Now let’s move on to the fairly lights!

unravelling fairy string lights

Uncoil and straighten your lights.

unravelling fairy string lights

Find the end and feed the length of the fairy string through one of the holes.

weaving fairy lights through a snowflake star
weaving fairy lights through a snowflake star

Pull it through until the wire changes from copper to coated and then tuck the control unit into one of the pockets.

weaving fairy lights through a snowflake star
weaving fairy lights through a snowflake star

Next, shape the wire so it dips into the pocket and then comes back out.

weaving fairy lights through a snowflake star

Pinch the wire against the paper snowflake just under the next hole (this keeps the wire you just pushed into the pocket from moving around or coming out).

weaving fairy lights through a snowflake star

Then carefully thread the wire through the hole and again pull it all the way through.

weaving fairy lights through a snowflake star

Once again, you’ll bend the wire so it dips into the pocket and comes back out.

Keep repeating this process until you work your way around the paper snowflake star.

weaving fairy lights through a snowflake star

It’s easier if you pre-bend the wire and then insert it into the pocket.

weaving fairy lights through a paper snowflake star
weaving fairy lights through a snowflake star

If you have leftover lights after you complete the circle, just carry on around again, but don’t dip the wire into the pocket – just weave it straight through the hole and on into the next one.

See? That wasn’t too hard, was it?

lighted 3-d paper snowflake star

Okay, so maybe you don’t want to bother with those fairy lights. Hey, I get it! No problem – these snowflake stars look amazing either way!

And if you skip the lights, you can make incredibly intricate stars!

putting glue on trimmed paper bag
making a 3-d paper snowflake star
completed 3-d paper snowflake star

Pick a petal to punch for the string. If it’s a lighted star, make sure the control unit is up top.

punching a hole for a hanging string

Tie it off, and you’re done!

tying a string to hang a 3-d paper snowflake star

Madam, you’ve achieved greatness today! Now go hang your paper snowflake stars and show them off to the world!

Easy 3-D Paper Snowflake Stars
Easy 3-D Paper Snowflake Stars
Easy 3-D Paper Snowflake Stars
Easy 3-D Paper Snowflake Stars
Easy 3-D Paper Snowflake Stars
Easy 3-D Paper Snowflake Stars
Easy 3-D Paper Snowflake Stars
Easy 3-D Paper Snowflake Stars

We love it when you share our posts on Facebook and Pinterest!

TNP Related Posts




visit our

shop

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

54 Comments

  1. Oh my that says winter wonderland and Christmas to me. Beautiful and I can make them. Nothing needed but wiener bags, punches,lights and glue — and Greg’s direction–of course.
    Happy DIY time! Thank you, Handan for your wonderful creative mind and Greg for your patience to carry it out. What a great team! Blessings. Dorothy

      1. Thank you so much for the speedy response! I found bamboo dreamcatcher hoops that I can wrap fairy lights around for cost effectiveness and to suite our farmhouse πŸ™‚

  2. Oooh pretty lights! So cool and easy too.

    “Madam, mind out of the gutter, please. We’ve work to do.” But what if my mind likes being in the gutter? It’s fun there.

    Thanks for any other fun read and great craft idea. I love this blog.

  3. So beautiful, and perfectly winter. We used to make these when I was young, but had forgotten all about them. Not only is this a fantastic craft project, but a nice walk down memory lane. Thanks for the wonderful memory!

    1. We have large plastic storage boxes for all of our holiday stuff. We will be laying these on the very top layer inside one or two of those boxes with enough room so the lid won’t crush them.

  4. As usual, another fabulous project! I taught high school geometry a number of years ago, and my standard last day of school before Christmas break project was snowflakes cut from white copier paper. I wish I’d had this project back then! The kids would have been so impressed!

  5. Very pretty and so simple. I won’t be making them however as when I priced the bags on Amazon UK they were Β£18.99 (24.55 dollars) for exactly the same!!! I won’t tell you how much the lights were, just whew! Amazon.com will not send to Guernsey. C.I. Bah Humbug.

  6. Funny you say Kindergarten Crafts because I’m know I’ve made littler versions of these stars with the kids before the Christmas holidays. I always think they look great, even in bright colors and made by little clumsy hands. The kids always love making them, plus I think it’s still a fun project for adults!

    I think I’m a fan of the ones without fairy lights because it looks like expensive lacework. These would look wonderful in different sizes hanging from the ceiling in an entryway or dining room (like Hogwarts!)

  7. These are beautiful! I especially love the ones in the lighted rings! I will be visiting two of my granddaughters at Christmas (3 and 5) I think this would be a fun project to do with them. Thanks!

    1. Love these gorgeous snowflakes! They look truly magical, with or without the fairy lights. Just love reading your witty posts and seeing what you and the Mrs. come up with next!

    2. Hi I am making my snowflakes right now! I have a question…how did you get the Snowflake punches to match up on each Snowflake? For the 1st one I made measurements but I was wondering if there is a quicker method? Thanks for the ideas!!

  8. These are so pretty! I look forward to trying my own hand at them. Was thinking about how to keep them for future Christmases…. Instead of gluing the 2 ends together, is there some method using fasteners that wouldn’t show and yet would do the trick so they can be refolded to store flat?

    1. Perhaps white paperclips? Or, if you’re really careful, scotch tape…you’d need to use a sharp paring knife or exacto knife to cut the tape each time you want to close them. The other thing I’ve seen on the sturdier cardstock variety is punching a hole at the bottom of the bag, the area that becomes the center of the snowflake when opened up. Thread some ribbon through the hole of each bag. When you open them up, pull the ribbon tight and tie off…if you make the ribbon long enough, you could use it to hang the snowflake with.

  9. You can find the glassine bags at webstaurantstore.com. Sorry, I misspelled it in the reply I sent to you on this e-mail.

  10. Stunning snowflake decoration, your imagination for craft is wonderful. Can’t wait to have a go at this. First go buy the Snowflake punches, and the rest of the materials required. Many thanks for your inspirations, long may you come up with these clever ideas, much appreciated …

  11. i found the bags on Etsy by searching for glassine bags. The ones in your link on Amazon were sold out. They were about $10 for 100 bags. The places that others listed above only sold much larger amounts–I really don’t need 1000 bags no matter how pretty I think these snowflakes are!

  12. Look at those hands – strong, capable, loving. And I’m sure your beautiful wife would agree. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the great idea, maybe I’ll be able to try this for my January decor. Probably not going to happen for Christmas, hello that’s like a blink and a snooze away!

    Keep doing good.

  13. Best combination of a cracking sense of humour and a fabulously done tutorial! Thanks for both the laugh and the inspiration.

  14. These are gorgeous! Going to keep these in mind for next Christmas. In the meantime I’ll keep an eye out for the needed supplies (aka “nut bags”). You two are the absolute best!!!

  15. Hi! Can you ease tell me where you got the beautiful led lit ring that you placed one of your stars in instead of stringing fairy lights inside of it? I LOVE it!