Thursday, 10 November 2011

Folded embellishments - a tutorial

You were kind enough to express an interest in a tutorial in the paper folding technique I used while making this layout - thank you :)

OK, firstly you need a square of patterned paper. You can cut squares to size or use a square punch; the size really depends on how big you want your photo corner or embellishment to be. I'll say a bit more about sizing later. I'm using a large square (4") just to make the photos clearer!

Fold your square in half diagonally, with the pattern on the outside (if you know any origami terms, this is a mountain fold!) At every stage make the fold as accurately as you can, and crease it firmly. You may want to use a bone folder to get a good, sharp crease. Then open back out to the square.

Then fold along the other diagonal, again with the pattern on the outside, and open back out to the square.

Next fold in half horizontally, this time with the pattern inside (a valley fold in origami), and open out again.

You can see here how the paper should look after these three creases have been made. You should find that if you press gently you can encourage the paper to fold along each crease, with the sides tucking neatly inside, to form a triangle. (This is a bit tricky to describe - ideally I'd make a video, but time constaints make that impossible right now! All I can say is that if you give it a try you should see how it works!)

The folded triangle should look like this - you can see from the second photo how the sides have tucked neatly inside.

Now we're going to add the decorative feature! As you saw above, we have two layers on each side of the triangle. Take hold of just the top layer on the left and bring the point to meet the top corner of the triangle, creasing firmly.

Similarly, take hold of the top layer on the right hand side and fold the point up to meet the top corner of the triangle.

I've opened mine out again just to show you how those creases look:

But you don't need to open out those last folds, as you've now completed one folded piece. Yay you! :)

As you can see, there's a little 'pocket' inside the triangle.

You can use the piece as a photo corner (or indeed, adorn the corner of any piece of paper on your layout, including the base cardstock!) by slipping it over the corner in question like so:

You can allow the little folded bits on top to stick up slightly, as mine do here, or you can add a dab of glue to hold them down if you want to keep them neat and flat. You can also choose whether to add these pieces to all 4 corners of your photo or paper, or just to adorn 1 or 2 corners.

If you measure the diagonal of your original square and then halve it, this gives you the length of a shorter side of your photo corner. For example, if your square of paper has a diagonal measurement of 2 inches, the photo corner will extend 1 inch along each side of the photo. (In practice I don't tend to actually measure them, but it's useful to have a rough idea of how big the photo corner will be compared to the original square.)

To take this a step further and create an embellishment, you'll need to fold 4 of the pieces described above.

One simple way to use them is to place them corner to corner, sticking them down as you go, to create this 'flower' which is the same size as your original square:

To make a slightly different and slightly smaller embellishment, tuck the corner of one folded piece under the flap of another:

You're aiming for this:

(You can add a dab of glue to hold them together if necessary, but I find that they fit together snugly enough that I don't need to stick them.)

In the same way, add a third piece by tucking its point under one of the flaps as before:

Now it looks like this:

Finally, slot the fourth piece under the flaps on the final side to complete the shape:

Here's a closer look at the photo corner on my layout :)

And here's the folded embellishment, finished with a glittery foam sticker in the centre :)

Anything not clear? Please do ask! I've written this under the influence of children, so who knows what nonsense I might have come out with ;)


Clair said...

Yay! Thanks for sharing your techniques with us all. Gonna have to try this when we get together next x

Jane said...

thanks for sharing this, will definitely be having a go soon

Ladkyis said...

Excellent! Now I have seen it I can try it. I might have to run back and forth between rooms a few times though

Maria Ontiveros said...

NOw these I can definitely make!
Thanks for the idea.

Irene said...

So generous of you to do a tutorial. They look really pretty. I can't wait to have a go. Thank you Mel!

Lizzie said...

Well, in fact you did it very well and it's really clear what you mean!
A great tutorial and lovely little embellishments. Thanks Mel!

Jimjams said...

Brilliant tutorial Mel - couldn't be clearer!

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I use this fold shape as quick & easy bookmarks

Amy said...

I always get very confused with paper folding techniques and origami - my goodness, you have explained it very well and I could actually follow along .. quite an achievement! Thanks Mel :-)

Missus Wookie said...

Oh way cool - I like them on the layout especially in the tiny versions. I make these (using the 4" ish size) as bookmarks too - very good for small/medium sized people. Add some googly eyes and they become animals with big mouths.

Alison said...

Thanks for taking the time to do this Mel..I shall be giving it a try!
Alison xx

Melissa said...

Wow, Mel, I've just caught up with your recent posts after being away for a week. You have created some wonderful layouts in response to the Pretty Paper Party prompts! Fantastic job!!

Katherine said...

Super folding - will have to give this go :)

Miriam said...

Excellent tutorial Mel, they remind me of those fortune-telling-click-clack-things.