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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tutorial 2--Junk Mail X'mas Card

Since Christmas is getting close, I thought I would make a few Christmas cards.  I loooked around at my materials, and I again see junk mail that could be reused/recycled/upcycled.  I had read about a type of origami method called iris folding, and decided to incorporate it into my Christmas card.  This card can also be used as a Christmas ornament since it has a piece of string attached to the top.

Making a Christmas Card out of Junk Mail (this tutorial is for the card on the left)
  • Thick paper for the card (I used 67 lb cover stock)--one large piece and one half its size
  • Junk Mail, unwanted magazine, used wrapping paper, or any other pretty paper
  • Scotch tape
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon or String
  • Color pencil
  • Compasses, bowl or some circular object for drawing a circle
  • Computer Printer for printing the template

    Time Taken

    1.5 hours

    General Idea
    The ornament portion of the card is made by overlaying strips of paper to create a 3-D look.  A piece of thick paper, with the shape of an ornament cut out of it has been glued over these overlaying strips.  This tutorial is good for understanding how iris folding works, and for looking at how your card develops from the front.  After writing this tutorial, I found some templates on the internet that I could use to make the process easier, by working on the underside of the frame, building the iris backwards.  See Tutorial 10 for free instructions on using the template.

    Step 1)  Fold the large sheet of thick paper into half.  If the paper is too large for the card, cut it to an appropriate size.  I cut mine to 6.2" by 4.5" before folding.

    Step 2)  Cut a piece of thick paper (I used the same cover stock) to the same size as the front of the card (i.e. half the size of the paper in Step 1).

    Step 3)  Trace a circle onto the paper from Step 2.  I will call this paper the frame.  Draw a little rectangle at the top of the circle.  Cut the circle and rectangle out so you have the shape of an ornament on the frame.  It was too difficult to get my scissors around the corners of the rectangle so I didn't actually cut the whole rectangle out.  I simply folded the rectangle to the back of the frame.

    Step 4)  Lay the frame over the front of the card and locate the center of the circle.  Lightly mark this center on the front of the card, with a pencil.  This will be the center of the ornament.

    Step 5)  Cut several colorful pieces out of the catalog.  These pieces will be used for the colored portions of the ornament shown in the completed card above.  The number of pieces you cut will depend on their size.  you can always cut more later if you need more.

    Step 6)  Select a piece of colored paper and cut it into 4 strips, each 1 inch by 2 inches.  You may tear the pieces instead of using scissors.

    Step 7)  Fold the raw edge of each of the strips under.  Form a square with these folded edges; Tape each strip to the card so that the INSIDE of the strips form a square.  Place the tape on the OUTSIDE edge of each folded strip so that the tape will not be seen.  The center marked in Step 4 is the center of the square.

    Step 8)  Cut 4 strips from the leftover cover stock.  Tape these strips around those from Step 5, so the INSIDE edges form a square.  As in Step 5, tape on the outside edge of the strips.  Note that this square is bigger than the one in Step 5, and is has been rotated.

    Step 9)  Cut 4 more colorful strips.  Repeat the process of forming a square with the INSIDE edges of the 4 strips.  Note that each square is bigger and is rotated just a bit.  You can use a ruler to help make sure the square isn't a trapezoid.  I made mine without the use of a ruler.  I just eyeballed the squares.

    NOTE: Before taping junk mail, fold one long raw edge under first so the square you form will look neater.

    Step 10)  Alternate using junk mail to form a square, and leftover cover stock to form a square.  Altogether, I formed 4 squares with junk mail and 3 squares with leftover cover stock.  

    Step 11)  Place the frame over the front of the card so that the ornament looks centered, and no tape is showing.  This step is done just to make sure everything looks alright so far.

    Step 12)  Cut 3 pieces of colorful paper, preferably in a color that stands out from the rest of the ornament.  These will be used to fill in the rectangular ornament holder.  

    Step 13)  Fold these 3 pieces into squares and overlap them so that the bottom edge looks like a zigzag.

    Step 14)  Tape these 3 pieces to the back of the frame so the zigzag shows through the rectangular portion.  If the front doesn't look good, you can always remove the tape and reposition the squares.

    Step 15)  Tuck a piece of string into the upper 2 corners of the rectangle that was cut out.  Tape the ends of the string to the back of the frame.

    Step 16)  Glue the frame to the front of the card.  Outline the cut out part of the frame with a color pencil for a bolder effect.  I used a blue color pencil for my outline.

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