Creative Solutions for Snowflakes Needed

So… my makerspace referred an artist to me to help with a project for the city. They told me 400 17" inch cardstock circles with the understanding that they would need to be folded in half. I figured I could pin them well with magnets and half-circles would be quick to cut.

What she actually wants is 500 snowflakes on 65# cardstock in 3 sizes - 10", 14" & 17" (all would need to be folded).

I haven’t seen the files yet, but I can’t imagine trying to cut one snowflake out of folded paper without little bits flying everywhere, never mind 500. I know some people have had luck with engraving paper instead of cutting, but for 500 of them, I don’t even want to imagine how long that will take.

Before I call and suggest she find someone with a bigger/faster laser or a digital cutting machine of some other sort, does anyone have any creative suggestions for making this work?


250 grade school children with scissors. :wink:


Just remember, they are snowflakes, so odds are they all need to be different.



Oh, no. The snowflakes are 10", 14", and 17", so the paper will be folded in half to cut. Sorry that wasn’t more clear.

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OMG. Can you imagine?!

If it weren’t cardstock, that would have been my reply already!


Are they going to be decorated at all? Glitter or anything?

Not by me. The paper is plain white 65# cardstock.

Huh all things considered I’d be thinking die cutting services for this, or maybe seeing if someone is selling them pre-made. Paper snowflake decorations arent exactly a new concept…


My thinking was if they were to be decorated, you could use a very light/low-tack adhesive, that would hold the paper folded in half, but could still be pulled away. And then could be sprinkled with glitter or whatever (glue would serve 2 purposes). That would cut the cutting time in half if you used a symmetric design and just performed the cut at the fold.

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That is a creative solution. I’ll ask her about it when I talk to her. As long as the design isn’t super delicate, it could work. I’m not sure the folded page saves any time, though, because the design will still take up most of the sheet.

Very true. I’m not sure I’ll say that to the artist, exactly, but I could suggest die-cut services. :wink:

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If it’s performing 2 cuts at once (layers) on a symmetric design, it should be only traveling half the distance as opposed to cutting the full design from a flat sheet, right? I’m only on second cup of coffee though.

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Well, yes, but I couldn’t cut the design on a flat sheet because the bed isn’t big enough (the paper is only going to be folded because it otherwise wouldn’t fit). I just cut out a 9" snowflake without folding to get a sense of how long it would take. Cutting out a 17" snowflake folded in half is going to take basically the same amount of time, unless it’s more intricate, in which case it’s a whole lot worse.

And I presume the artist will want this for the holiday season in a month’s time? (Having the city school kids participate will not only be the only feasible way to get it done at this late date, but it would also increase exposure…parents will bring families to see their kid’s snowflakes - particularly if they are allowed to personalize them.)

And it has the side benefit of developing a sense of community and participation and pride in the kids.

Otherwise, she/he is going to need to knock out ten snowflakes a day to allow for a couple weeks display and installation. (I don’t see it happening unless she/he is really dedicated.)

Probably should have started cutting snowflakes in June. (This is why I don’t do art.) :rofl:


What I envision from your quote, I would say the laser may not be the best use for this (and not just because of the edge char potential).
Sounds like they are looking for a Silhouette Cameo owner (or some flavor of vinyl cutter).

I understand that when you got a hammer everything is a nail, but some tools just excel at specific projects that are a struggle for other tools.


You are not the first person to say this. :wink: And I totally agree.

I do have a Silhouette. I think they might need an army of them to get it done in time, but I will also suggest that to her.

Yes, I’m all over that idea, but she’d have to be OK with a lighter weight paper AND not have any special designs in the snowflakes (like R2D2). There’s no way kids are going to be able to cut cardstock folded over several times.

And, yes. One month. :wink:

P.S. You are so an artist.

Now you have me in brainstorm mode (this is where I like having people around — I get into brainstorm mode and I start throwing ideas out and usually something good comes out of it)

What if were able to use the positive and the negative, effectively making two at once?

So you start with a design like this, which is a snowflake with a circle around it:

You have a snowflake design in the middle and a circle on the outside…

Cut it in half

Then, you have a negative and a positive… if they will let you use both, you’ll have traditional snowflakes that look like this:

And then you’ll have globe/ornament snowflakes that look like this:


I think they should order dies from Many school districts used to have Accucut or Ellison die cutters. (I have two, lol, from the days before electronic die cutting machines.)

It’s easy enough to commission dies to be made to one’s specs.

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