Day 3: Iris Paper Folding
Today’s handmade Christmas craft is brought to you by my good friend Laura! We were roommates in college, and her fun little crafts were always so creative. She’s made me tons of fun stuff over the years, and one of my recent faves is the mobile she made for Luke – you can catch a glimpse of it from afar in this post. Anyways, I loved it so much that I asked her to share her technique in making what I called her “ribbon art” – come to find it actually has an official name! – and so here she is to explain iris paper folding!
“This is a great way to recycle leftover Christmas scraps of ribbon, wrapping paper, or Christmas cards and can be used for a variety of crafts! The official name is iris paper folding. You can find hundreds of templates online, and can also make your own. It is a great way to add a homemade touch to your Christmas decorations or gifts without a large investment of time or money! This project usually takes about 1/2 hour once you have your supplies together.
- Exacto knife
- Cutting mat
- Card stock paper
- Glue stick
- Ribbon, wrapping paper, or other lightweight paper
Here are the basics: Pick a Christmas themed shape such as a Christmas tree or Christmas stocking. Pick your ribbon or wrapping paper that you will use for your craft. You can do it with one color of ribbon or paper, or pick a couple of colors and alternate. Pick a contrasting color of card stock paper for a backing.
Use a pre-made template, or cut your own out of card stock paper. Then trace this template onto your card stock and cut out your shape with the knife. You will then flip over the template and work from the back.
Have your template or wrapping paper cut into long strips. You will essentially start in a triangle, taping your strips down. Keep working in concentric triangles towards the center. This is where it is easiest to have a pre drawn template, because it guides you just like working on a paint by number like you did as a kid.
Always remember that you are working from the back, so you want to see the ugly side of everything. When you make it to the middle add some extra tape strips to secure everything.
Then flip over, and voila, you’ve created something new! You can then back your creation on a card for a homemade greeting card, or another piece of card stock for a gift tag, Christmas ornament, or whatever strikes your fancy!”
Thanks Laura! I am super excited to try this – really, when she said it was like “paint by number,” I said “I’m in!” And for reals – I might give this ornament pattern a try for some gift tags and Luke would flip out if I made this dolphin for him. You can totally think beyond seasonal tags and ornaments and make a gift out of your creation – Laura also made me an awesome squirrel a few years ago. She framed it in a picture frame and it was such a fun gift to receive! He still sits happily on my desk. So go get your paper and ribbon scraps and give this craft a try!