Heart Iris Folding

Have you ever heard of iris folding?? I hadn’t until a few weeks ago when a friend told me about it. It’s a way to layer folded paper and create a design. The pattern resembles the lens of a camera; the iris diaphragm that opens and closes to let light in.

While the designs can be very intricate, you use a pattern which takes all the hard thinking out of the equation. I suppose you could create your own pattern, but I didn’t feel that was necessary. I found my free patterns here.

The uniqueness of your iris folding comes from the outer shape and the paper you use. I decided to go pretty simple for my first try and went with a heart shape. Besides that, it’s Valentine’s this week and a heart shape just fits.

I cut out a heart and used it as a template to cut around with my X-acto knife. You could also use a cutting machine if you have one. (You’ll notice in the pictures that I started with a white piece of cardstock, but in the finished photo I have a glittery red. I just didn’t care for the white when all was said and done, so I changed it.)

Next, place your free printable pattern under the card stock and tape into place. The card stock needs to be right side down so you are looking at the back of the card stock. I used the square pattern and so needed 4 different types of paper.

Cut your paper into 2 x 6 inch strips.

Begin placing the first paper over the number 1 and tape into place.

Place the second paper over number 2.

Then the third over number 3 and the fourth over number 4.

Continue around in the same way until you’ve covered up all the numbers on the pattern. You’ll end up with a small opening. (I continued on until the hole was covered up, but that is not typical of an iris folding.)

Place the piece of card stock that was cut out over the hole and tape in place. Remember this is the back.

When you turn it over and frame it, it looks like this…

Isn’t it so pretty! I’m sure I’ll be trying some more iris folding projects in the future.

Linking up to these link parties.


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    This is really fantastic. Still trying to wrap my head around how you figured that out. I do believe you must be math genius my dear! Love being able to use pretty scraps of paper also.

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