Flat Unit Origami Ideas for Handmade Cards

Updated on March 11, 2018
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Ms. Venegas has been using origami to make rosettes and medallions since 2003. She shares art/craft techniques and ideas on the Internet.

Origami Embellishments
Origami Embellishments

Handmade Greeting Embellishment

Handmade card ideas just got easier. Use this flat fold origami pattern series for the next round of handmade cards you want to give out.

After pursuing flat unit origami for a few years, a designer of paper rosettes will start tweaking folds they find a bit too simple for the look they want to achieve. Presented below are variations of a fold that appears in the book reviewed below.

The main reason to make these paper rosettes or card embellishments is to apply them to something. Explore 4 variations below for new handmade card ideas.

Supplies

  1. Decorative Papers
  2. Scissors
  3. Glue

Basis Origami for Card Making
Basis Origami for Card Making

Table of Contents

  1. Original Pattern From "Memory Folds" book.
  2. Variation #1
  3. Variation #2
  4. Variation Idea #3
  5. Tea Bag Folding Variation #4
  6. Memory Folds Book Review

Original Pattern From Memory Folds Book

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A) Fold tile two ways diagonallyB) Bring corner of two sides to meet in centerC) Fold in half diagonallyD) Fold top tip down at center foldE) Fold bottom tip up to meet the centerF) All eight tiles should look like these. Assemble by aligning pink dots and edge along blue diagonal arrows. Apply a dab of glue just to the left the lowest arrow.
A) Fold tile two ways diagonally
A) Fold tile two ways diagonally
B) Bring corner of two sides to meet in center
B) Bring corner of two sides to meet in center
C) Fold in half diagonally
C) Fold in half diagonally
D) Fold top tip down at center fold
D) Fold top tip down at center fold
E) Fold bottom tip up to meet the center
E) Fold bottom tip up to meet the center
F) All eight tiles should look like these. Assemble by aligning pink dots and edge along blue diagonal arrows. Apply a dab of glue just to the left the lowest arrow.
F) All eight tiles should look like these. Assemble by aligning pink dots and edge along blue diagonal arrows. Apply a dab of glue just to the left the lowest arrow.
Completed embellishment
Completed embellishment

This is the original fold from the Terri Pointer book reviewed below. It is called a Star within a Star. This guide shows variations of the pattern.

Completed Memory Fold Variation #1

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Make half kite folds on tips of the outsde folds.  Make half kites on the inside folds. Open each fold into half kites.Your star variation will look like this one.
Make half kite folds on tips of the outsde folds.  Make half kites on the inside folds.
Make half kite folds on tips of the outsde folds. Make half kites on the inside folds.
Open each fold into half kites.
Open each fold into half kites.
Your star variation will look like this one.
Your star variation will look like this one.

Variation #2

Tuck the outer edge kite (blue arrow) behind the left edge (red arrow) of each unit.
Tuck the outer edge kite (blue arrow) behind the left edge (red arrow) of each unit.

The gray and white rosette below is another example.

You can see how color, type of paper and paper weight, can give subtle looks that make each project interesting results. Tucking the half kite as in #2 makes the center pop. The gray and white rosette at center top is an example.

Do You Make New Tea Bag Folding Patterns

Have you tweaked some new designs of your own?

See results

Variation #3

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Start your project with eight squares. Fold them all like above till step E). Next fold the top and bottom as in step H)H) The bottom will now be unfolded and a new quarter fold to the end as shown.Fold all eight squares alike. The assembly is done the same as our first medallion above as in steps F) and G). A spot of glue as shown will hold the squares together.The finished rosette.
Start your project with eight squares. Fold them all like above till step E). Next fold the top and bottom as in step H)
Start your project with eight squares. Fold them all like above till step E). Next fold the top and bottom as in step H)
H) The bottom will now be unfolded and a new quarter fold to the end as shown.
H) The bottom will now be unfolded and a new quarter fold to the end as shown.
Fold all eight squares alike. The assembly is done the same as our first medallion above as in steps F) and G). A spot of glue as shown will hold the squares together.
Fold all eight squares alike. The assembly is done the same as our first medallion above as in steps F) and G). A spot of glue as shown will hold the squares together.
The finished rosette.
The finished rosette.

Tea Bag Folding Variation #4

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Start with eight 3 inch squares. Fold each square as on Lesson #1 through step (C.Fold top down to the center and creaseFold back and crease.Open and squish to form the mountain fold on the left. Fold the bottom up to the center.Fold the bottom back a quarter.Open and squish for the square at bottom. Complete all squares in the same manner.Apply glue at the areas mark by yellow dots. The purple dots meet together at the center of the medallion. Line up the edge indicated by the blue arrow along the pink arrow.Work around gluing each tile as you go.The finished rosette.The pink is three inch squares and the other two are made from 2 inch squares.
Start with eight 3 inch squares. Fold each square as on Lesson #1 through step (C.
Start with eight 3 inch squares. Fold each square as on Lesson #1 through step (C.
Fold top down to the center and crease
Fold top down to the center and crease
Fold back and crease.
Fold back and crease.
Open and squish to form the mountain fold on the left. Fold the bottom up to the center.
Open and squish to form the mountain fold on the left. Fold the bottom up to the center.
Fold the bottom back a quarter.
Fold the bottom back a quarter.
Open and squish for the square at bottom. Complete all squares in the same manner.
Open and squish for the square at bottom. Complete all squares in the same manner.
Apply glue at the areas mark by yellow dots. The purple dots meet together at the center of the medallion. Line up the edge indicated by the blue arrow along the pink arrow.
Apply glue at the areas mark by yellow dots. The purple dots meet together at the center of the medallion. Line up the edge indicated by the blue arrow along the pink arrow.
Work around gluing each tile as you go.
Work around gluing each tile as you go.
The finished rosette.
The finished rosette.
The pink is three inch squares and the other two are made from 2 inch squares.
The pink is three inch squares and the other two are made from 2 inch squares.

Rosette #4 as a Gift Package Topper

Use an islet punch to make a hole in the center. Tie two simple overhand knots in the center of a length of ribbon to go around your box.

Book Review

Memory Folds: Great Ideas for Scrapbooks & Cards (Design Originals)
Memory Folds: Great Ideas for Scrapbooks & Cards (Design Originals)

This is the book that presents the simple fold for our variations explored above. The pattern that I start with for this series of variations is on the cover of the book. It is the sample that says Love You at the top center.

I have made something from each of the patterns in the book. Instructions are easy to follow and pages are colorful with professionally designed graphics. Most of the tea bag folding books available were published during the turn of the 21st century: the late 1990s and early 2000 decade. I have not seen a new book about the technique for some time. Do not be afraid to buy a used book or a "like new" book. Don't buy a book that is over priced, though. There is lots of tea bag folding information on the Internet.

 

Tea Bag Folding and Memory Book Ideas

Tea bag folding, or flat unit origami, is perfect for scrapbooking as this book illustrates on the cover and inside. The pattern folds generally lay flat and then pop out when the page is opened to give the scrapbook page some depth. The card embellishments slip into envelopes nicely, as well. Do you design hand made cards? I hope these ideas are enjoyable. Add them to your greeting card idea book.

If you are new to this paper craft see my introduction page about tea bag folding titled Tea Bag Folding: a Flat Unit Origami Craft.

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Sherry Venegas

    Paper Folders and Card Making Questions

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      • paperfacets profile image
        Author

        Sherry Venegas 2 years ago from La Verne, CA

        Good eye, It is thumbnail 2 in 'Teabag Fold Variation #3'. The tips at the tip and bottom are folded only quarter. The result is a more pointy looking rosette. Thank you, Fanienne

      • profile image

        fabienne 2 years ago

        humm I can't find the (H part you are talking of in your variation 3. As far as I can see it stops at G).

        Nevertheless I love Tbag folding and these folds are awesome. Thank you for sharing them.

      • paperfacets profile image
        Author

        Sherry Venegas 5 years ago from La Verne, CA

        @AustriaChick: First handmade greeting cards, than memories books, paper crafts, such as, bookmarks, hanging paper ornaments, make them big for party decorations. My other TBF lenses show all the ways.

      • AustriaChick profile image

        AustriaChick 5 years ago

        These are lovely, but what do you do with them?

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