Iris Folded Heart

I am sharing an Iris Folded heart with a tutorial!  I love Iris Folding and origami paper is perfect for this!  It is thin and easily folded.  Because it is thin you don’t get a lot of bulk which is Awesome!!


4306 Yuzen Origami Paper

4251 Origami Paper

4305 Animal Print Origami Paper

Ivory Cardstock

Kraft Cardstock

Red Marker

Use a craft knife to cut a heart out of the center of  the Ivory Cardstock.  Cut some kraft cardstock and fold it in half to make a card base.  Leave enough space around the heart so it will fit nicely on the card you just made.

I like to sketch my design before I start.  On the left I just wrote where the 3 colors of paper will go and in which direction.  I call this a swirl pattern.  On the right, I made a pattern that I could use to make a more interesting design.  I did the swirl pattern for my heart.  Take your paper and cut it into 1 inch strips. Now, fold them in half.  The center of the design will be empty.  With either of these designs, there will be a triangle in the center.

Now, get your tape ready!  I start with my first 2 pieces of each color.  I start the pattern by placing them at different angles around the heart.  Tape the first one, and then place the second strip on top at an angle and tape it.  I don’t do precise measuring.  Just each piece a little over the last, going clockwise.  Be sure to keep your folded edge towards the center.  Each section is at a different angle.  And each piece overlaps the last.  Keep going around in a circle.

This is the back.  I just keep adding pieces on top of the last.  Be sure to not show the edges and be sure the heart doesn’t have any open areas.

Here is the front.  Keep checking the front as you tape another circle.  If there is a problem, you can fix it before it is too late!

The back looks like a hot mess!  But don’t worry!  The front is the magic!!  I tape all around the edges of the design, just to make sure it is tight all around.  And when you turn it over, you get….

Magic!!  I take the left over strips and made them a border on the card.  I also used a bit of white paper for the center, since the card base is kraft.  You can ink the outside, or stamp.  Use pastels or watercolors!  I just wrote the word “forever” and made a heart.  I think my Iris Folded heart came out perfect and I didn’t want to take away from that.


That’s it!  Try Iris Folding for yourself!  It is much easier than you think!  If you do try Iris Folding please tell me, I’d love to see it!!  



Scrapbooking Fun with Altered Arts Images

Hi, it’s Tessa from How to Make Art here to share a fun scrapbooking project with you.  Scrapbooking is one of my favorite hobbies, so today I decided to make a small piece about my dog, Ruby.  I used Yasutomo’s Fold ‘Ems Origami Paper because of their beautiful bright colors and the fact that the size of the pages fits perfectly into one of the pockets in my pocket scrapbooking system.  You can see the finished piece above.
*Altered Arts Collage Sheet, “15th Century Alphabet”
*Yasutomo Fold ‘Ems Origami Paper
*Niji Waterbrush
*Yasutomo Nori Paste
*Niji Pearlescent Watercolors
STEP ONE: Download and print out the Altered Arts Collage Sheet called “15th Century Alphabet.”  Use your scissors to carefully cut out the letters you wish to use in your project.  You should cut out a word or name that has something to do with the photograph you will show in your scrapbook piece.
STEP TWO:  Use your Niji Waterbrush to moisten the color of Pearlescent Watercolors you wish to use.  Let the water sit there for a few moments to moisten the color and really get it flowing.
STEP THREE:  Paint over the letters you cut out in Step One to add a nice, shimmery effect to your name or word.
STEP FOUR:  While you wait for your letters to dry, use your Nori Paste to glue the photograph to your origami paper.
STEP FIVE:  Now it’s time to glue your letters to the top of the page.  I started by gluing the first and last letters (the “R” and the “Y”) to the edges first, that way it would be easier to center the middle two letters in my word.  Use the Nori Paste to glue these letters on too.
I hope you enjoyed creating a piece for your scrapbook today!

Origami Paper Collage

This is Quinn from QuinnCreative encouraging you to try collage with origami paper. I also used Splash Inks, Yasutomo’s gel pens, and a touch of the gold sumi-e watercolor paint.

fleur1Yasutomo’s Fold ‘Ems origami paper is double sided. One side is a print, the other a pattern. This was the star pattern, which worked well to give parts of the collage texture.

Start by choosing a sturdy watercolor paper–300gsm is good. I used cold press because it works well for the background. Spray the paper with water, both sides. You want the paper to be covered with a mist of paper, but not slick with a wash of water. The size of this piece is 6 inches by 9 inches. You can make it smaller to make it a postcard, or this size to create a journal page of a piece for framing.

Free-mix Splash Inks in a palette to make green, teal, and purple. If you want to mix specific colors, use the blending palette instructions that come with the inks.

fleur2Dilute the colors with water, then drop the colors onto the wet paper using a fat watercolor brush. As the colors spread, blend with a light hand, allowing the colors to run and mix. Keep the background light to contrast values across the finished piece.

fleur3Allow to dry completely. Select some coordinating colors from the origami paper. I like abstracts and a rustic look, so free-hand drawing loose flowers appeals to me. Cut the majority of the flower from the solid paper, then add touches of the patterned side for contrast, depth, and visual interest. Try several shapes rather than just one. It makes the completed piece look more natural.

Decide on the orientation of the paper–I used vertical (portrait). I placed the cut pieces of paper flowers in an arrangement that looked pleasing, then drew pencil lines for stems. Using Nori glue, I glued the pieces down, including leaves I had cut from the same origami paper.

fleur4Cut double portions of leaves, so you have a mix of dark and light. It makes them more interesting. As a finishing touch, I added a bit of gold watercolor shine to a few of the leaves and darkened the stems with a green gel pen. You can use the purple pen to add depth and give the flower petals some definition. Your work is now ready for signing and framing!

Origami paper makes a great collage element, too!

Quinn McDonald is on the Niji Design Team; she is a creativity coach and collage artist.

Faux Spider Mum Blooms

Paper FLowers 11


  • Yasutomo Fold Em’ Origami Paper – Solid Colors
  • Card Stock remnants in a coordinating color
  • Floral wire
  • Floral tape
  • Xacto (or similar) knife witha fresh, sharp, blade (be careful!)
  • Ruler
  • Cutting mat
  • Painter’s Tape for delicate surfaces – I used 3M brand
  • Glue: type 1. I used hot glue for this project.
  • Glue: type 2. Some sort of double sided adhesive. I used a My Stix roller with permanent glue.


  1. For this project all of the  step-by-step directions are indicated below each photo

I would also like to give credit to a wonderful book that inspired me to create these cheerful faux Spider Mum blooms. It’s called “Paper Blooms”  by Jeffery Ruddell. It was published by Lark Crafts in April of 2013, and it is a delightful book filled with color and  precise, well done, step-by-step directions. Without this book I would not have been inspired to adjust Jeffery’s directions  just a bit in order to speed up the creation of these fun ,faux blooms.

Paper flowers 1

Tape a piece Yasutomo FoldEm’s solid color Origami paper to a cutting mat using painter’s tape for delicate surfaces on the top and bottom of

the paper sheet . Cover about 1/4 – 1/2 an inch on both ends with the tape. It’s important to use tape for delicate surfaces so that you will not tear the paper when you remove the tape.

Paper Flowers 2

Using a ruler and an Xacto Knife with a new, sharp, blade (or use a similar knife type. I used a Fiskar’s brand here) and a ruler

cut the paper every 1/8 of an inch. You can use larger cuts but the will result in flowers that are not as delicate.

Paper Flowers 3a

When all of the paper is cut very carefully remove the tape at the edges. Go slowly or you may tear the paper.
Paper Flowers 3b

Apply double sided adhesive ( I used MyStix permanent roller glue) along the lower edge on the paper.
Paper Flowers 4

Carefully roll the top of the paper towards the bottom, glued, edge. Line the top and bottom up and glue them togetherPaper FLowers 5bPaper Flowers 5

Roll the paper around something round -like the handle of a large paint brush handle which I used in these photos.

Add a dab of glue at the end, I used hot glue.  Carefully and gently, slide the bloom off the handle.

Be careful to add glue only to the paper. Do not get any on the handle because it will be difficult to slide the flower off if you do!

Ask me how I know this!

Paper Flowers 6

If desired you can add a decorative ‘collar’  end to the end of the flower by cutting a 1/2 inch piece of piece of

cardstock in a coordinating color and gluing it to the base of the flower.Paper Flowers 7

Cut a 1/2  wide X the width-of- your-flower-long piece of scrap cardstock and roll it around your finger or other tool (like the handle of the paintbrush).

Gently unroll it and insert it into the end of the flower. This provides a support for the floral wire which is inserted into the middle -as shown above.

Carefully support the flower with your other hand so that the ‘flower’ is not crushed on a table ,

and insert a length of floral wire into the middle of the flower and the paper insert.  Completely fill with glue.

As I mentioned I found that hot glue was the easiest for this step.

Allow the glue to cool and set. I let floral hang on a “third hand” tool  to dry completely after it had set up enough to keep the wire firmly in place.

Paper Flowers 8 leaves


If desired you can also make some leaf forms. I cut the leaf shape and then sliced them in the same manner

as I did the flowers, using a cut every 1/8 of an inch. If you choose to make leaves,

ensure that you leave a tail on the bottom so that you can attach them  to the wire with floral tape.Paper FLowers 9 floral tape

Begin to wrap the bottom of the flower with floral tape and then continuing winding the tape along the length of your floral wire.

For more substance or support you can add a second layer of tape. If you have made leaves, add them to the wire as well  as you wind.Paper Flowers 10 finished bouquest

Voila! A cheerful bouquest of faux spider mums will add a spot of color on a grey, or sunny, day!Paper Flowers 14

Paper Flowers 13

Spooky Surprises


Halloween is the perfect time to surprise a friend with a tiny treat. I’ve crafted up some spooky candy bags with matching gift card envelopes. I plan to leave them lurking on a few desks next week.

Supplies I used:

  • Small craft paper bags or other small bags
  • Craft paper gift card envelopes
  • Origami paper in a variety of designs
  • Circle cutters, scissors, and punches to cut a variety of shapes
  • Nori paste
  • Plastic skeletons
  • Watercolor paper
  • Yasutomo Permawriter II pen, black
  • Yasutomo Chinese Watercolor paints
  • Small paintbrush


I bought small craft paper bags and gift card envelopes at my local hobby store, but inexpensive brown lunch bags would work well too (and they would hold more candy!)


Cut origami papers into strips, trims, ruffles, and circles to decorate paper bags and envelopes. I used my circle cutters to create several different polka dot sizes. You might choose to use other scrapbooking scissors and punches to create a variety of trim designs.  Use Nori paste to glue down your design.

Inexpensive plastic skeletons are easy to find in the Halloween decoration aisle at the $1 shop, craft store, or drug store. Use Nori paste to glue down a crown, bow, or other hat.


Your friends might love a coffee gift card, but you can also craft a personal watercolor card. I cut these cards and rounded the edges to fit into the envelopes. Using a black Permawriter pen, I drew fun Halloween-themed greetings. I added color with my Yasutomo Chinese watercolors.




The final step… fill the bags with candy (without sampling!)


Purrfectly Paper Doll

cat paperdoll

October brings out the kid in me. I love the falling leaves, the cooler weather, and all things Halloween. I can’t wait to decorate with tacky Halloween decorations, buy mounds of candy for the neighborhood children, and help my own children create their costumes. In my excitement for the season, I decided to create a black cat paper doll set including some festive Halloween costumes.

Supplies I Used:

Step 1: With the pencil, draw a paper doll body on the cardstock. I chose to make a cat. Just for fun, I created a calico cat who is wearing a black cat suit. Go over the pencil drawing with the permanent black marker.

cat drawing

Step 2: Paint any large black areas with the ultra black ink.

cat painted with ink

Step 3: Paint color details with the watercolor paints and use the metallic pens for any accents. I used the silver pen to make the zipper on the black cat suit.

cat with painted face

Step 4: Place the deli paper over the paper doll and use a pencil to create clothing items that will fit the paper doll body. Move the deli paper off the cat drawing and use the black permanent marker to trace over the pencil lines. Use Nori paste to adhere the deli paper to cardstock. Once dry, cut the pattern pieces.

cat costume pattern pieces

Step 5: Trace the patterns onto decorative origami papers and cut.

Step 6: Use Nori paste to adhere the origami papers to cardstock. Outline each piece with the black permanent marker. Remember to add tabs to the pieces so that you can attach them to the paper doll. Cut the pieces. Add accents with metallic gel pens.

go-go suit

Step 7: To create fairy wings, paint deli paper with metallic watercolors. Add sparkle with metallic gel pens. Cut two wing shapes. Glue or machine stitch the wing shapes to the wing piece. To create straps, cut small strips and glue them to the top and bottom of the wing piece.

Step 8: To create a fairy tu-tu, paint two rectangular pieces of deli paper with metallic watercolors. Add dots with the metallic gel pen. Match the long edges of the rectangles and baste a single stitch across the top. Carefully pull the threads to gather the paper. Use Nori paste to glue the tu-tu to the body suit.

metallic painted pieces

fairy suit

Step 9: For a fancy mermaid tail, paint a sheet of deli paper with metallic watercolors. Cut a small strip of the deli paper (about 6″ x 1/2″). Accordion-fold the strip and cut a fish scale shape. When you unfold the strip, you will have a row of fish scales. Continue making these fish scale rows, as you’ll need quite a few to fill up the tail! Layer the scales onto the tail using Nori paste.

gold deli paper


Step 10: Carefully cut the paper doll.

cat in cat suit

Step 11: Enjoy your new paper doll set!


cat a go go

Cat Fairy:


And my favorite… Mercat!

cat mermaid

You can use paper dolls in so many unique ways. Create fun displays in frames, arrange them on your mantel, or use them in a garland by hanging the pieces onto twine using tiny clothespins. Once you get started, you’ll discover your own way to play!