Insect and Spider Paper Snowflakes

Hello everyone!

I have not posted anything here for ages, but I wanted to share something online and this seemed like a good place to do it! Like everyone else, I have been doing a lot of virtual meetings over the last year and a half and I find I am much more engaged in those meetings if I have something to occupy my hands. A few days ago I had 5 Zoom meetings in one day, so I made paper snowflakes from some random doodles I did:

Arthropod themed paper snowflakes!

I shared them on my personal Facebook page and got multiple requests for templates, so I’m sharing them here for anyone who wants them!

Snowflakes are 6 sided, so let me start by showing you how to fold the paper to make a 6 sided snowflake. My templates were created for letter sized paper.

Fold one bottom corner diagonally so that the bottom edge lines up with the side edge as exactly as possible. You want a sharp point at the bottom and an even fold:

Fold the other bottom corner up diagonally so that the top and side edges meet as exactly as possible. Press down firmly on all the folded edges to make sharp creases:

Cut the top away with the scissors and recycle. You should now have a square piece of paper that is folded into a 4 layer triangle:

This is the trickiest part: you need to fold this triangle into thirds! Fold 1/3 of the triangle diagonally over, making sure that the point at the bottom is as sharp as possible. It should look like this:

The right edge of the folded section should cross the upper edge just a hair over 3 inches from the point on the right, though you may need to adjust a bit once you fold the other side over and flip your triangle over:

You want the three sections to be as even as possible and have a sharp point at the bottom, so you may need to fuss with the exact location of the folds a bit. Press down on all of the folds to make sharp creases once you have all three sections even. If you plan to make more than one snowflake, it’s worth folding a second one right away and using your first to show you where your folds should be. Lop the top off with scissors as it will not be a part of your snowflake:

Now you’re ready to make your snowflake! Choose a template that you’d like to try. Note that these are loosely based on insects and do not represent any specific type:

Use a pencil to draw the pattern onto your triangle. You can also print out the templates from the PDF and cut along the lines, then trace the pattern onto your triangle. I chose an easy one to demonstrate with:

Cut along all the lines. Sharp, high quality scissors really make a difference here – you will cut through 12 layers of paper!

Carefully unfold your snowflake. I like to fold each crease the opposite direction as I unfold it to make the final snowflake flatter.

Voila! Insect-themed paper snowflake! You can iron these on a mid-heat setting to make them even flatter, laminate them to use them year after year, or stick them as is anywhere you want to add a little buggy winter decor.

Insects are bilaterally symmetrical, which means that they are the same on the left and the right side. This makes it fairly easy to make your own patterns by drawing half an insect along one of the long edges of the triangle. If you’d like to make your own designs, I’ve included a blank page of templates in the template PDF linked above so that you can try making some of your own. Just a few things to keep in mind as you make your own patterns:

–> The long edges are connected together, so the thicker any joints along the long edges the better. Cutting through all 12 layers of paper is hard and your paper will slide around a bit as you cut if you do not have amazing scissors, so you are likely to lose any really narrow joints.
–> The short edge (the top in my photos) forms the outer shape of your snowflake. It’s worth thinking about what shape you want that edge to be.
–> Interior pieces are hard to remove without small, very sharp scissors.
–> Patterns where you draw half an insect along an edge will repeat 6 times. If you draw the whole insect in the triangle, it will repeat 12 times.
–> Think of this like pumpkin carving – you need all pieces that you want to remain visible in the snowflake to attach to some other part of your design. You will lose any pieces in the center of a piece that is entirely removed.

I think these are fun and pretty easy to make, so I encourage you to try making some snowflakes, either mine or your own! If you do, please consider sharing a pic by tagging me on Instagram (@bug_lover) or Facebook (@dragonflywoman). You may also leave a comment below with a link to a picture. Would love to see what you come up with!

(I *may* start blogging again! I have endless ideas for posts, but never seem to find the time… In the meantime, you’re welcome to follow me on Instagram (I have not posted very regularly lately) or you can read about nature more generally on the Facebook page I manage for work, @prairieridge. I’m still around, even if I’m not here much at all anymore!)


14 thoughts on “Insect and Spider Paper Snowflakes

  1. Thank you. I live in Virginia and we have not received any snow yet. But I plan to take some pictures of beautiful snowflakes. I bought a magnifier for my iPad and I can’t wait to get some pictures. Wish me luck



    • I have never really tried snowflake photography, but it always looks fun! Hope you get some great shots – and some cooler weather to make it possible. I was hot at the office Christmas party we had at our fire pit today in Raleigh…

  2. Hi! I am SO excited you posted again! Glad you are well. I forwarded this to one of my neighbors,  who is an artist and works with kids in the community,  and am going to forward it to the local library as well. Great ideas for the kid and teen (and grown-up) clubs there.  All the best-Kelly (Feels like several lifetimes ago I was enveloped by a dragonfly swarm and contacted you and I’ve followed you since).🙂Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device

    • Yay for dragonfly swarms! I’ve seen a bunch more at this point because I work in a place that is perfect for seeing the behavior now, but I still love it every time. Hope the snowflakes go well!

  3. Thank you for sharing this! While snow is not part of my midsummer celebrations in Australia, i will give these a go for our midwinter, and they may be a catalyst for some XR t shirt designs. I love that they are based on insects and since I have a box of interesting papers I will have a play to see what eventuates. Blessings 🐞

  4. Awesome!

    On Thu, Dec 16, 2021 at 7:48 PM The Dragonfly Woman wrote:

    > dragonflywoman posted: ” Hello everyone! I have not posted anything here > for ages, but I wanted to share something online and this seemed like a > good place to do it! Like everyone else, I have been doing a lot of virtual > meetings over the last year and a half and I find I am” >

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