Sunday, December 16, 2012

Origami Christmas Cards

As happens every year, the whole idea of holiday cards and the obligatory holiday photo of the kids provided me with an ample dose of agita.   Last week, I finally sat down to choose a photo of the kids, upload said photo, create the card online and order cards.  The photo card software did not like the format of the picture I chose.  Or the next three.  Argh.  After a few more tries and a few more sites, I decided to simply order reprints and mail regular cards.
I started looking online at greeting cards, didn't really like any I saw, and considered just making my own cards.  Did I have time for making holiday cards?  With 12 days left before the holiday?  And shopping, school projects, and baking to do?  How did I get myself in this predicament again?
Then I stumbled upon an origami site that had tutorials for several holiday-themed models.  They were so cute.  I decided that, maybe, I did have time to make Origami Holiday Cards.  I scratched holiday baking off the to-do list and, instead, spent an afternoon folding paper.  Crazy talk, I know.  However, the process turned out to be relaxing and fun.    The decision was kinder to my waistline, gave me a new skill, and resulted in some really cute cards.  Bye-bye agita.

Materials I used:
  • Greeting Cards and Envelopes - I purchased a pack that included red/green cards and white envelopes.
  • Origami Paper - I purchased 7" x 7" Origami paper in multiple colors. 
  • Paper Punches - snowflake and star
  • Bone Folder
  • Adhesive 
  • Online Origami Patterns
Materials needed for Origami Holiday Cards
Origami Paper:
When I hunted around for some spare paper with which to create the origami, I realized that my scrapbooking paper was a bit heavy, and colored on both sides.  I headed out to the craft store and bought a package of papers (with assorted solid colors).  Origami paper is relatively thin, holds a crease very well, and is typically white on one side.  It's sold in several standard sizes.  

Origami Folds:
Most origami is created using a combination of standard folds.  Take a look at this website for descriptions and demonstrations of each fold.  For some folds, I used a bone folder, a common card making and book binding tool, to keep the creases smooth.

Making My Origami Models:
I found a tutorial for folding tree models and got to work.  It's pretty basic (requires seven simple folds), but was so striking when completed.  I added the yellow star on top using a mini craft punch.
Origami Trees
When I ran out of green papers, I attempted the Santa origami model.  It took a few tries to get the folds exactly the right way.  I had only 10 sheets of the red, so I made 10 Santa models.  Each one is a bit different, but still recognizable. The white snowflake is his finishing touch.
Origami Santa
When the red and green papers were all gone, I searched the website for another origami design.  The bell model was pretty, and used yellow paper - perfect.  The folds on bell were a bit confusing towards the end.  Luckily, there is a great video associated with each model on the website.  I watched the video and was able to complete a couple of good bells before I moved on.
Origami Bell
Wanting a more straightforward design, I finished up with wrapped package models.  They turned out really cute with snowflakes as bows.  I used a variety of colors, which was good because I had several non-holiday-ish colors left.
Wrapped Packages
Finishing Cards:
After all the origami was completed, I began assembling the cards.  I adhered the models to the card fronts,  glued the photo to the inside and signed the card.  The back of each card is punched with a snowflake and  initialed.  The snowflake appears white because the back of the photo (inside the card) is white.
Back of card
I was able to make fifty cards in an afternoon for less than fifty cents a piece.  I picked up a new skill, created something handcrafted, and reduced some of that pesky holiday stress.  Hooray!

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