Iris Folding

The other day I wrote about being intrigued by two new crafts recently.  That post was about the first, and this post is about the second.  Iris Folding.

While searching Pinterest for ideas for my art journals I found this image:


That led me to this page, where the author introduced me to Iris Folding.  Which led me to several hours on YouTube and Pinterest and Google Image Search.

Iris Folding begins with a pattern, like this one:

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In the tutorial I originally found she made her piece right on the template (without sticking it to the template), and then created an aperture for it.  Most of the other tutorials online begin with cutting your aperture from card stock, then taping it (with temporary tape like washi tape or masking tape) down over the template.

Then you lay strips of paper over the piece in line with each of the numbers on the template, using little bits of tape to keep them in place.

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When you’re finished, peel up the masking tape and flip your piece over.

With the triangle piece there, I made a few errors.  I had the pencil marks on my black card facing out instead of in…

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… and there were lots of gaps where I’d been paying attention to the lines on the template and not on the width of my paper strips.  So I had another go…

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…in which the pattern itself looked great but my horrendously cut aperture ruined the effect.  So I went again.

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This one I’m really pleased with.  It isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty.

Those three pieces are made with strips of paper originally intended for making lucky stars, like this.


…so the edges are nice and neat.  Many tutorials say to use folded paper strips so that you have a nice edge.  And this does work well, but there’s an issue with it.

My first attempt at Iris Folding was actually the C at the top of this image…

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…(That’s a page from my art journal by the way) but for some reason I didn’t take photos of it.  So to demonstrate the issue with folded paper (and because I really enjoy the technique) I made another one.

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I’m really really happy with this one.  I took lots of photos doing the steps so I might post a tutorial some time soon.  But the problem with using folded paper is this..

It doubles the thickness of the piece.  It’s not so bad with large images like this.  In the original C I did it was quite small, so I was essentially layering each piece directly on top of another, meaning I ended up with almost a stack of paper.

I enjoy the process, and it makes such a pretty result.  I’m definitely going to be doing more, including experimenting with ribbon and washi tapes.

Author: Colette Horsburgh

A 30-something creator/baker/writer/artist/crafter living with several (but not enough) scatty animals.

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