Author: Jamie Goble Brocco

Coffee Filter Snowflakes

Class Party Season is upon us!  Whether you are in charge of a school or church group, you may be looking for some wintery ideas — look no further!

OK, ok, you can look after this . . .


Coffee Filter Snowflakes are a classic.  We will be using a 6-point design to mimic what we see in nature.  There is math involved, but if you don’t tell anyone, they’ll never know!

Many students need help with hand strength and scissor skills.  This is a great way to prepare students for writing when they insist that they hate writing!



Items needed:

Pattern(s) – provided below

Coffee Filters*


Stapler with staples (or paper clips)




First:  Fold the coffee filters.

IF you want to make a math connection, The circle shape of coffee filters is great for teaching fractions.  Twelfths may seem impossible until we break it down into manageable steps: half, half, thirds.


How to Fold Coffee Filters for 6-point Snowflakes:



Second:  Choose a pattern.  Cut out the pattern leaving the margin above it as an additional area for staples or paper clips to hold the pattern to the folded coffee filter.

Classic Snowflake Patterns,

Christmas Snow Patterns,



Starburst Snowflake Patterns,


Third:  Staple the pattern to the folded paper. Make sure to staple in an area that will be cut away. Staples are not reusable, but they allow students to focus on their cutting skills.

Fourth:  Cut away the shaded areas of the pattern.  Make sure to leave the area with the staple in it until the end, see videos below.

Fifth:  Unfold Carefully!


Classic Snowflake:




Christmas Snow:




Starburst Snowflake:




To see more patterns and videos see my Pinterest Board:

Paper Snowflakes: Classroom Resources


Please let me know if there are any patterns that I have shared in the past that you would like to see as six inch patterns (so they will fit on coffee filters).  Happy Holidays!


#papersnowflakes #ChristmasSnowflakes #papersnowflakehowto #classparty #coffeefiltercraft #scissorskills #finemotorskills #papercutting #papersnowflake #handmadedecorations


*A 6” or larger square of paper can be used instead of a coffee filter.  See for a video on how to fold a square.

Pumpkin Snowflakes

Pumpkin 1 Snowflake


Halloween is coming soon!  Jack-o-lanterns are a fun tradition and can easily be personalized — don’t be afraid to make changes to the patterns!


Materials needed:  Pattern* (provided below), 8.5” square of paper and scissors

Optional:  Paper punch, paper clips or staples to hold the patterns on top of the folded paper (remember to staple in areas that will be cut away)


*Note:  Some people choose to print out the pattern and use it on top of the folded paper (see video); others use the pattern as a general guide and cut freehand.  The choice is yours!


The red dashed line on the pattern indicates an access cut used to cut out the interior space, the eye.  Alternatively, the eye can be punched out with a paper punch — there are a wide variety of sizes and shapes available!


Pumpkin 1 Snowflake How-to Video:


Pumpkin 1 Snowflake Pattern & Box Folding Template:


Pumpkin 2 Snowflake


This snowflake may look much easier than the Owl Snowflake from last week, but the curly-Q is an advanced cutting skill.  Don’t worry!  I have a trick to share with you:  you can use a paper punch to help you with the inside curve.


Paper type makes a huge difference in the ability to successfully cut curly-Qs!  Newspaper weight is an excellent choice for beginners.


Pumpkin 2 Snowflake How-to Video:


Pumpkin 2 Snowflake Pattern & Box Folding Template:

#papersnowflakes #papersnowflakepattern #scissorskills #finemotorskills #papercutting #papersnowflake #handmadedecorations #jackolantern #pumpkinsnowflake #Halloweensnowflakes


See Halloween 2021 Snowflake Patterns at

(includes a sneak peek of next week’s challenging stencil style Pumpkin Patch Snowflake, video will be released on Facebook


Did you know that October is Family History Month?  Test your curly-Q skills with the snowflake combo for Day of the Dead at

If you are interested in learning more about Day of the Dead, there is a free Family History Event, 29 & 30 October 2021, ExpoGenealogía, see details at


Christmas Snowflakes will be coming out soon!!!  If you act fast, you can still get a 15% discount off your entire order at with promo code PRE15, see

Owl Snowflake


My daughter says that this is her favorite snowflake so far!  🙂


This one has a lot of cutting practice!  If you wish, you can prune a few branches from the tree.  Paper type will make a big difference in the ease of making the cuts:  newspaper weight works great!


The video shows “the hard way,” cutting out all the branches precisely to keep the leftovers for an outer 2-in-1.  For beginners, it will be helpful to staple the paper together and not worry about an outer 2in1 — do what works for you!




The Owl Snowflake Pattern is a 12″ pattern.  You will need a 12″ (or larger) square of paper, scissors, paper punch, and something to hold the pattern on top of the paper:  paper clips or staples.  You will also need patience!  Take your time and remember to pause at the points to turn the paper while you are cutting.

The Owl Snowflake Pattern is available as a pdf at


#papersnowflakes #papersnowflakepattern #scissorskills #finemotorskills #papercutting #papersnowflake #handmadedecorations #owl #spooky #HalloweenSnowflakes #halloweencraft


Don’t forget to experiment with leftovers!  The snowflake above is an outer 2-in-1.



For a chance to win a free copy of my book . . . and a $200 Amazon Gift Card . . . Vote for Christmas Snowflakes!


Christmas Snowflakes is available for purchase at


Thank You!


#bookpromotion #ChristmasSnowflakes #amazongiftcard

Day of the Dead Snowflake Combination

Day of the Dead Snowflake Combination:  Floral & Skull Patterns



I wanted to make something for Halloween, but I didn’t want it to be too creepy. I also wanted to make a floral snowflake as we say farewell to the flowers as the seasons are changing. My son suggested that I make a snowflake for Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) — it seemed like the perfect way to combine ideas!

Day of the Dead is a celebration of the lives of those who have passed on and a way to keep their memories alive! So much of who we are is a result of the collective experiences of our ancestors — the dreams that they had, the hopes that they clung to, and the adversity that they faced.

FamilySearch is a wonderful resource, preserving and making billions of records available for free to the public. They recently hit a very important milestone: all of their records have now been digitized! See for more details.

What will you find when you research your family tree? My friend, Michael Jensen, kindly shared his personal experience with me:

“When I was very young, my family had to move away from the state where all of our relatives lived. During my formative years, we visited sporadically those relatives, including my grandfather. My Grandpa was 70 years old when I was born. All my memories of him were as an old man, retired, tired and fragile. He couldn’t hear well and spoke very loud because of it. He was more of a stranger to me than a grandpa.

“Years after he passed away, I felt an urge to get to know my ancestors better. I started with trying to get to know my grandfather better. He was an educator, a historian, a thespian and a strong participant in his religion. Looking at my own life, I was also an educator, an historian, a strong participant in the same religion, and found many other wonderful connections between us. One day, while looking through some documents of his, I found a death certificate for his second child, Shirley, who died hours after birth. He was just 27. My wife and I lost our first child at birth as well when I was 27 and I felt an incredible connection between me and my Grandfather at this moment. In discovering more about him and his life, he has become more alive to me, I have grown a love for him that I didn’t get a chance to forge while he was alive. Learning more about him has led me to remember him not with just memories of the times we shared together, but with new memories of shared experiences across time. I know a bit more who I am because I understand a bit more of who he was. I feel more whole because of it.”


I hope that as you learn more about your relatives you will make connections to them and find strength and understanding that you did not have before.


Supplies needed for making snowflakes:

Patterns (see below)

12″ & 8.5″ squares of paper (newspaper weight works very well – I used wrapping paper from Dollar Tree)


Paper clips or staples


The curly-Qs in the Floral Snowflake are challenging.  Take your time and modify them if you need to, see examples in the video below. Because they are more challenging, cut them out first:  save the other areas of the snowflake until last, they will provide stability while you are cutting out the curly-Q’s.

If you like curly-Q’s, you can look forward to more in the 3rd Book of the Christmas Snowflakes Series, which focuses on the journey of the Wisemen.



The Floral Patterns used in the video above can be found at or by clicking on the pattern images below.


If you are only interested in the Skulls Snowflake or want a walk through of how to use the Box Folding Template, here is a separate video for you:



The Skull Snowflake Pattern on the Box Folding Template can be found at or click on the image below.

Don’t forget to experiment with leftover pieces! . . . and don’t be paralyzed by perfection, enjoy the process!

Freehand 2in1 with Floral Snowflake


Cedar Fort Publishing & Media is Running a Promotion:


For a chance to win a free copy of my book . . . and a $200 Amazon Gift Card . . . Vote for Christmas Snowflakes! or


Christmas Snowflakes is available for purchase at

Thank You!

Folding Snowflakes Q&A: Reindeer 6 vs 8



The most common question I receive is, “Why do you make the folding so hard?” often followed by, “Why can’t I just fold the paper in half, half, half, and then half again?”

In the world of Paper Snowflakes there is sometimes heated discussions over how many points a snowflake should have.  As an artist, you can choose how to represent your subject.

I choose to mimic the designs I see in nature:  snowflakes with 6 arms/branches.  Thus the folding methods and snowflake patterns that I share are for 6 pointed snowflakes.

With practice the folding becomes easier.  If you prefer a different method, you can adjust the patterns to work with the folding style of your choosing; the Reindeer Snowflake works perfectly for illustrating the difference between snowflakes with six points and those with eight points.

If you want to turn this into a math lesson, you can talk about how many layers of paper the different folding styles create and what degree angle is created in the center of the paper.

It also makes a great science lesson as you delve into the structure of snowflakes and how and why they form.  An amazing resource for the science behind snowflakes is Kenneth G. Libbrecht, Physics Professor at the California Institute of Technology, see

You might even try your hand at macrophotography!  Learn about Snowflake Bentley who is the first known person to photograph snowflakes at and

I was inspired to try taking pictures of snowflakes and hope for more opportunities to learn.  The snowflake pictures below were taken Winter 2020-2021 in Iowa.  It’s harder than the experts make it look!  The challenge makes it addicting!


Snowflake on Turkey Feather



There are many amazing snowflake photographers out there!  If you are interested in seeing real snowflakes here are some links I hope you will enjoy!

Alexey Kljatov,

Don Komarechka,

Pam Eveleigh,

Monique Van Someren,


Below you will find the Box Folding Template and Pattern for the Reindeer Snowflake and an additional video created for Facebook last December. 


The Reindeer pattern is provided separately from the Box Folding Template in case you want to use the full paper of the Box Folding Template and utilize the outer leftovers for an additional snowflake.



#papersnowflakes #ChristmasSnowflakes #Reindeer


September 2021 Promotion by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media:


For a chance to win a free copy of my book . . . and a $200 Amazon Gift Card . . . Vote for Christmas Snowflakes!   or

Thank You!

#amazongiftcard #bookpromotion

Bat 2in1 Snowflake

Last week we did a freehand 2in1 with the International Bat Night Snowflake, see

It is a great snowflake for beginners!  I made a pattern from the original snowflake for you to enjoy today 🙂


Supplies Needed:

Pattern (included below)
8.5″ square of paper

Paper Clips



Don’t be afraid to ask me to make patterns for snowflakes that you see me make freehand in my videos.  I appreciate knowing which snowflakes you like and what skills you are currently working on!

See pdf version at


The video for how to use the above Bat 2in1 Pattern on Box Folding Template can be found at


#papersnowflakes #papersnowflakepattern #scissorskills #finemotorskills #papercutting #papersnowflake #handmadedecorations

International Bat Night: Snowflake with 2in1 Potential

Supplies Needed:

Pattern (included below)
12″ square of paper*
Paper Punch

Paper Clips


As we head back to school, we start to pay more attention to the calendar. Did you know that this Friday, August 27th, is International Bat Night?

Not only do bats help control mosquitoes, but bats also help pollinate some of our favorite fruits like bananas and mangoes, see

Unfortunately, bats are susceptible to a fungal disease known as White Nose Syndrome that humans sometimes accidentally spread from cave to cave. Please be aware of the need to clean your equipment when spelunking or enjoying other outdoor activities.

I had fun creating this snowflake!  I hope you enjoy this glimpse of the creative process,  Admittedly not my best video work, but a second take would not be authentic.   It will walk you through the folding and cutting process using the sketch below.

For more folding practice, please watch

A pdf version of the original sketch for the 12” International Bat Night Snowflake (above) is at

The newspaper snowflake (from the pattern, see below) was completed with only the large orange handled scissors shown in the video. I did the order a bit differently since I decided to keep the hair. 🙂  I started with the nose, then the eye, hair, snout, and between the two folds on the wing. Then I finished cutting out the outer edge, added some freehand details to the center for a 2in1, and cut out the center.

For the 12” International Bat Night Pattern see

#InternationalBatNight #batsnowflake #bats #papersnowflakes #papersnowflakepattern #scissorskills #finemotorskills #papercutting #papersnowflake #handmadedecorations #Halloween #halloweensnowflake


*Note:  You will be cutting and punching through twelve layers of paper.  Newspaper works great!  20 lb copy paper is the heaviest paper I like to work with.  Wrapping Paper and paper made for Origami often work well.  To test paper for ease of use, fold a piece of paper into twelve layers and try cutting/punching through it.

Don’t forget to experiment with leftovers!  The center of this snowflake has lots of potential!


RISEUP for Children

I purposefully focused on something that everyone can do in my last post, but there may be some of you who want to do more. Thank You! There are many worthy organizations hoping to match your skills to their needs.

What program and level of involvement are right for you? That will depend on many factors including your current time commitments, your stage in life (just starting college, retiring, etc), will you need your involvement to provide income or can it be a volunteer opportunity, your health (physically and mentally), and the level of family support that you have. Whether you choose to make combatting human trafficking the focus of your career or it is something you support on a volunteer basis, everyone’s efforts are needed!

Today I want to focus on an option that I had not heard of until recently, being a Court Appointed Special Advocate. As a volunteer, you will receive training (and continued yearly trainings) to advocate directly for a child assigned to you, see for more details.

Infographic from

I could make this quite wordy, but I don’t want to take away from this purposeful statement, “Every child needs an adult who’s paying attention, who worries and cares what’s happening,” see

I encourage you to find a way to use your skill set and personality to be that adult: the one that sees, the one that cares, the one that does something to improve the situation.

#RISEUP #RISEUPforChildren #EndHumanTrafficking #AuthorsforFreedom

I am participating in Authors for Freedom to raise money for Operation Underground Railroad this Friday, July 30th 2021.

This Friday RISEUP

July 30th is World Day Against Trafficking

I challenge you to make sure that your social network acts as a safety net for those you come in contact with.

What does that mean?

Day to day as an individual, I hope you are aware of the other individuals around you.  

One of the things that all of us can do, in every neighborhood in every community, is know the names of individuals in our neighborhoods.  Greet them by name.  Be aware of what is going on in your surroundings.  Unfortunately, human trafficking can be present in any neighborhood, regardless of how perfect it looks from the outside.

Crime thrives when no one knows, no one cares, no one notices . . . We need to remove the anonymity of our surroundings.  People have names!  We can learn them and use them.  

Be good neighbors — not nosy neighbors!  Build real relationships.  If people don’t want to go past hello, don’t push it.  I have been in neighborhoods where saying hello to people as they pass on the street freaked them out!!!  It was like a piece of furniture had just talked to them!  It was not something that they were used to.  Depending on where you live, this may be a much more complex project than it would seem.  Keep the safety of yourself and your family in mind.  Start small, but please start by reaching out to one more person beyond your usual circle.

You don’t have to travel way out of your comfort zone: like ripples in a pond, as we each notice individuals around us, it will spread across the entire surface. This can happen from one stone thrown into the water, but the surface becomes rapidly animated during a rainstorm:  the more people willing to start, the more quickly everyone can be reached.

Resources to Help

If you are witness to or have evidence of a crime, please contact the proper authorities.  If you are too uncomfortable to file a report in person, find out if your local authorities have a way to report anonymously.  

You can reach the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 1-888-373-7888, or learn more at   The website includes a search bar to find resources by zipcode (in the USA and its territories).

If you want to be more involved or would like free training on what signs to look for, please visit the Operation Underground Railroad website at 

It is my hope that we will revive courage in people who have given up hope by recognizing them as individuals.  We can then continue to support them throughout the long healing process.  By we, I mean the network of organizations that have been set up to support individuals, professionals who are trained to handle traumatic situations and their aftermath, and the common everyday person who can be genuinely kind to all who are rebuilding (or building for the first time) their lives.

#RISEUP #OperationUndergroundRailroad #EndHumanTrafficking #RISEUPforchildren #AuthorsforFreedom

[The photo is from 2016 when my 3 year old son insisted on throwing every available rock into the water at Fontana Park, Hazleton, Iowa. Most of the ripples are from the wind and the sparkles are from the bright sunshine, no filters or special effects.]

I have joined with other authors to raise money for Operation Underground Railroad.  Authors for Freedom will donate all profits from books sold on July 30th 2021 to Operation Underground Railroad.