How to create iris folding cards with ribbon

Written by alexis rohlin
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Create Iris folding cards with folded strips of ribbon for an eye-catching and striking work of art to give as a greeting card. Iris folding refers to the pattern of the fold in which the shape of the pattern looks like an iris diaphragm or a camera lens shutter. The hole at the centre of the camera is called the pupil, or aperture, and the area surrounding it is the iris. Find iris-folding patterns for cards online for free and use them as a template to create your own cards with colourful ribbon.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Card stock, 2 different matching colours
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue
  • Iris-folding pattern
  • Ribbon, 3 different colours, 1/2-inch
  • Easy release painter's tape
  • Iron

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  1. 1

    Cut the base-coloured card stock into a 5 1/2-by-11-inch rectangle. Fold the rectangle card stock in half. Measure the front of the card and transfer the measurements to a different, contrasting coloured card stock and cut it to these measurements. Glue the different coloured card stock onto the front flap of the card with craft glue.

  2. 2

    Cut a 4 7/8-by-3 3/4-inch piece of base-coloured card stock. Place the iris-folding pattern template onto the centre of the piece of card stock you just cut and trace its outline onto it. Cut out the outline to make a frame or window for the iris-folding pattern to show through.

  3. 3

    Place the iris-folding pattern template onto your workspace. Set the card stock frame over it with the back side or coarse side facing up. Tape the corners of the card stock frame down to your workspace with easy-release painter's tape.

  4. 4

    Cut the ribbon into 1 1/2-inch strips, or slightly longer than the opening of the window or frame of the card stock. Fold the ribbon in half lengthwise. If the ribbon doesn't stay folded, press the ribbon flat with an iron.

  5. 5

    Study the iris-folding pattern. The pattern works the same way that a paint-by-number does, with each section of the pattern having a number that corresponds with the colour and order of the ribbon that will be laid down onto the card stock. Often, each corner or section of the figure will be made with a single colour of ribbon.

  6. 6

    Apply a small dab of craft glue onto the ends of the ribbon and press them down onto the card stock frame, lining up the folded edge of the ribbon with the line of the pattern. Start with number 1 on the pattern and add the ribbon according to the pattern in ascending number order.

  7. 7

    Keep laying down folded ribbons, according to the numbered sections of the pattern and gluing them to the card stock. The ribbon will start to form an iris pattern that looks like a ladder or the shutter of a camera lens.

  8. 8

    Let it sit for one hour once you are done gluing all of the ribbons to the card stock. Remove the tape from the corners of the card stock and lift it up. Flip it over to see the iris-folded ribbon in the centre of the card stock. Glue this iris-folded section of card stock to the prepared front flap of your base card stock to complete the card.

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