Craft

Iris Paper Folding

This eye-catching effect is incredibly easy to achieve using iris paper folding. It is, as the name suggests, a way of producing an iris effect using folded paper. I have produced a Christmas card in this tutorial but you can make any shape you like. There are so many patterns available!

 

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You will need:

Pattern (plenty available online, google ‘iris folding patterns’)

Card (like this from Amazon)

Paper ( not too thick, printer paper is ideal)

Scissors

Tape

Masking tape

Double-sided tape

Iris paper folding Pattern

Step 1:

I used two copies of the pattern. I cut one of them out and used it as a template on my card (which was red). You need to draw around the template and then cut out your tree shape. I used a craft knife but you could use scissors.

Iris paper folding - draw around template
Iris paper folding - tree cut out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2:

Place the pattern that you did not cut out directly behind that card so that it lines up perfectly with the cut out in the card. You will see that my cutting out was not perfect but it will not matter. No-one will ever know! Stick the pattern to the card using masking tape. I used low-tack tape to avoid damaging the card when I remove it.

Iris paper folding pattern in place.

Step 3:

Decide on the colours for your iris folding. In this case I needed a pot, trunk and three colours for the tree. Of course, what colours and how many is really up to you and your imagination. Cut your paper into strips approximately 2.5cm (1″) wide. Fold them along their length approximately a third of the way across. I used a ruler to make the fold and then ran my fingernail along it to make it a crisp fold.   

Iris paper folding making folds
Iris paper folding - strips of paper

Step 4:

Apply the strips in the order of the pattern. In this case, from 1 up to 15. Take your first strip and place it onto the card so that it covers the section marked with a 1. Ensure that the fold is along the line on the pattern bordering section 1. Tape it down.

Iris paper folding strip 1

 Repeat for strip 2 in your chosen colour. Then continue, making sure that you use the correct colours for your pattern, building up your iris.

Iris paper folding strips applied

It will get very thick and this is why I recommend using thin paper. When you reach the iris you can continue with your pattern or attach something special as the iris.

Iris paper folding - all strips applied.

Step 5:

Turn over the card, remove the pattern very carefully and look at your completed iris picture.

Iris paper folding - completed tree

Step 6:

Do whatever you want with your picture. You can trim down the card or fold it or whatever is appropriate. I cut my card down and used double sided tape to affix it to a Christmas card. I love the effect!

Iris paper folding -completed card

Summary:

This is a great way of making really effective, professional looking cards or pictures without needing too much skill or specialist equipment. You probably have everything you need in the house already!

So, now you know how to do iris paper folding have a go and let me know, in the comments section below, how you get on. You can also ask any questions that you may have.

If you like papercrafts take a look at my other posts:

How to make seed paper

Paper Flower Tutorials – tried and tested

Decoupage Tutorial and Project Ideas

Remember to pin this for later!

Iris folding pin 3

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