Iris Folding @

Printable Iris Folding Instructions:

Getting Started
  This page contains a complete lesson plan on how to iris fold. By the time you have completed this lesson, you will have all the basic information you need to complete the other free patterns available on this site. See our idea gallery and message board to learn how to turn your iris folding designs into beautiful handmade greeting cards and learn more advanced card making techniques utilizing iris folding. But first, let's get started with this simple heart pattern...

To complete this project you will need:

  • Iris folding heart pattern
  • A piece of cardstock that is larger than the pattern
  • 3 different papers, each about 6 inches X 6 inches
  • Scissors or craft knife and cutting board
  • Scotch tape
  • Removable tape(masking tape or blue painter's tape).

  •   Start by cutting the 3 different papers into 1 1/2 inch strips. You don't have to be exact when cutting the strips, but it's better for beginners to err on the side of having the strips too wide rather than too narrow.

    Also carefully cut out the pattern. If you have carbon paper available, you can use that instead of having to cut out the heart shape. Or you may want to first laminate the pattern, then carefully cut it out so you will have a pattern that can be used over and over.

    You will be working on the back of your piece of cardstock, so write a 'B' on the back so you can make sure you are always working on correct side. Trace the heart pattern in the center of your piece of cardstock.

    Now, cut out the heart opening and discard the center(you may want to save a piece of the center for the iris).

      Next, tape the heart pattern to a working surface, a plain white piece of paper is fine. Using removable tape, adhere the piece of cardstock with a heart shaped opening over the pattern. Make sure you are still looking at the back of your piece of cardstock.

    Start folding your strips of paper in half, lengthwise. Decide which will be pattern/color A, which will be B, and which will be C. Place them in separate piles.

      It's now time to start following the pattern. You will be going in order starting with #1. Looking at the pattern guide, you will see that #1 should be Pattern A.

    Keeping the folded edges of your strips toward the center of the heart, tape the 1st piece in place, along the line indicated on the pattern.

    I like to trim the pieces as I go, so they don't hang over the edges of my cardstock. This makes it easier to attach the finished project to a greeting card or scrapbook page later(double sided tape works best for this).

    When taping down your pieces, make sure the tape only touches the card stock or your strips of paper. Do not tape anything to the heart pattern or your working surface(I used a plain white piece of paper). This is very important because later you will be removing the blue painter's tape(or masking tape) and lifting your finished designed from the pattern. You don't want to have it taped down to the white paper or pattern and you also don't want the tape to show on your finished design. New strips can either be taped to the card stock or to the previous strip.

      Continue by adding piece #2. According to the pattern guide, this will be pattern/color B. Again, trim the strip of paper so it fits on your cardstock. Also, make sure the folded edge is facing the center of the heart. I almost trimmed this piece too much, it should completely cover the opening in your cardstock.

    Now, move on and attach pieces 3-6, following the pattern guide. These pieces alternate between pattern/color A and pattern/color B. Keep your folded edges toward the center of the heart and trim any excess paper.

      When you get to piece #7, which will be pattern/color C, note that this piece spans across the entire top of the heart.

    Continue by adding your strips of paper according to the pattern guide, #8 will be pattern/color A, #9 will be pattern/color B, #10 will be pattern/color C and so on. Continue until you reach the center of the heart.

      You've now made it to the " iris" . Traditionally, you would tape a piece of holographic paper here. But, instead, I've just used a scrap of the cardstock that was previously cut from the center.

    Next, the fun part! Remove the blue painter's tape, or masking tape, turn the piece of cardstock over and view your design!

    Using double sided tape, mount your design to the front of a greeting card or on a scrapbook page. In addition to looking great, iris folding projects add texture and depth to your designs.
    Visit for free iris folding patterns, a message board, card making ideas and much more

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