The holiday season is all about the little touches that you put into your décor to really make this time of year special. We created these paper snowflake bauble ornaments to add to our tree! This is the best kind of snow storm to let into your living room and onto your garland or Christmas tree.
We know how many of our Silhouette makers love paper crafting. We love it too! Cardstock is fairly inexpensive and a great beginner-friendly material for new crafters. However, paper might not be the first thing you reach for when creating long-lasting projects like ornaments. That’s why we placed the snowflakes into these plastic balls. This helps keep the ornaments festive and in tact for many years to come.
While these intricate snowflakes might intimidate some crafters, the Silhouette machine cuts out all of the small details for you. Plus, we’ll go over all of the tips and tricks you need to know to assemble the snowflakes and put them into the ornaments. Let’s get started!
- Silhouette Cameo® 4 or Portrait® 3
- Silhouette Studio® – Basic Edition or higher
- Silhouette Cameo Cutting Mat – Standard Tack
- Cardstock in two colors – we used white and red
- Plastic bauble ornaments – be sure that you can open them fully down the middle
- Glue stick
- Glitter (optional)
- Ribbon (optional)
- Hot glue (optional)
- Design ID #105049 by Jamie Lane Designs
Step One: Create and Adjust Cut File
Begin by purchasing the 3D Snowflake design we’ll be using for this project from the Silhouette Design Store. Then, open Silhouette Studio and set up your document in the Page Setup Panel. We’re using the following settings:
- Machine: Cameo
- Cutting Mat: Cameo
- Media Size: Letter
Note: We’re using the Cameo 4 for this project, but you can also create these snowflakes with the Portrait 3!
Now, open your Library, find the snowflake file, and double-click it to open it in your document. There are twelve pieces included in the file: six blue background snowflakes and six smaller white snowflakes. We’re going to cut these out of white and red cardstock respectively—if it helps you to keep track of each color, you can use the Fill Panel to recolor the elements to match your paper.
Each snowflake is just over four inches tall and wide in the original design, but we need to resize them to fit inside of our ornaments. The plastic baubles we’re using are three inches in diameter, so we need to scale our snowflakes down so they’ll fit inside. With all of the pieces grouped together, click one of the corners and drag it inward to make all of the pieces smaller. It’s important to scale all of the snowflakes at the same time so they’ll match up when you assemble them. We made our snowflakes 2.9 in. tall to fit snugly inside of our ornaments.
We’re able to fit six snowflakes perfectly onto our letter-sized cardstock. Move one set of six onto the cutting area and drag the other set to the side of the virtual cutting mat. From here, you can remove the small circles at the top of the pieces by releasing the compound path and deleting them. These are used if you want to thread string through the snowflakes, but we don’t need them for this project.
Step Two: Cut the Pieces
Cutting out these pieces might seem difficult because of all of the small pieces and sharp angles. But don’t worry—your cutting machine has got this! With a few tips, you’ll be able to cut these snowflakes out without any issues.
One of our best tips for getting clean cuts in paper is to use a new, clean mat. When your mat gets older, stray fibers and dust can gather on the adhesive and make it less sticky. Using a new mat keeps your paper from sliding and catching. We also recommend performing a test cut on your material and adjusting your blade depth if needed. Newer blades are sharper than older blades that have dulled down over time, but you may still need to tweak your settings. You don’t want to make your depth settings too high or you’ll risk cutting directly into your cutting mat, but increasing the depth by a level or two can help you get a clean cut.
When you’re ready to cut, place your first color of cardstock onto your cutting mat and load it into the machine. Go to the Send tab, select the material settings for your cardstock, and test the cut settings to make sure they’re right for your paper. Then, hit the Send button to send the cut job to the machine.
Once the machine has finished cutting, unload your mat from the machine. We need to remove the snowflakes from the mat without curling them. Rather than pulling up your cardstock, flip the mat upside down and slowly pull the mat away from the paper. This should remove all of the excess cardstock from the mat, leaving only your snowflakes. Then, use a spatula tool to pop your snowflakes off of the mat. The pieces inside of the snowflake should stay on the mat, but if they don’t, use the tip of your spatula to gently pop them out of your main snowflake.
Repeat these steps with your second color of cardstock, being sure to place the right snowflake design onto your virtual cutting mat in Silhouette Studio before sending the cut job to the machine. You’ll be able to make one ornament each set of twelve snowflakes (six of each color), so cut out as many as you need to fill your baubles.
Step Three: Assemble the Snowflakes
Believe it or not, these twelve snowflakes are going to create just one ornament! We need to glue the red accent snowflake onto the white background and then fold all of the pieces and glue them together to create our 3D snowflake. We found that a simple glue stick worked best for this project—just make sure that it will dry clear.
Start by applying your glue to the back of the red snowflake, taking care to cover all of the small pieces. Then, press it onto the white piece and allow it to dry. Let all of these pieces dry before gluing them together.
Next, fold all six pieces inwards along the perforated line. Apply glue to one half of the white back of the snowflake and attach it to the back half of another snowflake. This will begin the 3D element of this project. Repeat the process until all six pieces are glued together.
To finish the ornament, add glue to the final side and adhere it to the first snowflake. Apply pressure to each section to make sure the glue adheres properly and allow the snowflake to dry completely.
Step Four: Place Snowflake Inside Ornament
Because we resized our snowflakes before cutting them out, they fit perfectly inside of our plastic bauble ornaments. Simply unscrew the ball, place the snowflake inside, and screw it shut again. You can also add glitter or fake snow inside of the bauble before closing it for a little extra detail. We finished our ornaments by hot gluing a bow to the top!
This project is an awesome way to use your Silhouette machine to create intricate details you wouldn’t be able to cut out by hand. If you make these ornaments, be sure to tag us @silhouette.inc on Instagram so we can see them. Happy holidays!