Friday, July 10, 2009

Iris Folding

Iris folding, scrapbooking

Iris folding is a paper folding technique. It's easy to do and is used often in scrapbooking and cardmaking. Derived from patchwork, iris folding consists of placing strips of paper over each other, following a pattern, to put a design into relief. The name comes from a camera shutter (the iris) and the pattern is folded along marks drawn by hand or pre-printed.

Cath explains this technique as done with a pre-printed template. All of the assembly is done on the back of the piece.



  • Sheet of cardstock bigger than the template below
  • 3 matching sheets of paper measuring 15 x 15 cm (6 x 6 inches)


  • Scissors
  • Repositionable tape
  • Sheet of scrap paper



Iris folding, scrapbooking

  • Cut strips of paper 3.5 cm (1-3/8 inch) wide from the matching sheets of paper.

  • Fold them in half lengthwise and decide which color will be A, B, and C.

Iris folding, scrapbooking

  • Carefully cut out the template.

  • Trace the outline of the template on the back of the cardstock.

  • Cut out the cardstock along the outline, discarding the center portion.

Iris folding, scrapbooking

  • Tape the template onto the sheet of scrap paper.

  • Position it on top of the cut-out cardstock, lining up the edges carefully.

  • Fix it in place with 2 small pieces of tape.

Iris folding, scrapbooking

Glue the strips

  • Put the first strip on the template, placing the folded side toward the center of the design and making sure all sides except the folded one overlap onto the cardstock.

  • Tape each end in place.

  • Do this for the rest of the strips, following the numbers on the template and the color code you established, until you reach the center of the iris.

Iris folding, scrapbooking

  • Once all of the strips are in place, place a piece of paper (either matte or glossy) in the center.

  • Remove the tape that's holding the cardstock in place.

Iris folding, scrapbooking

  • Turn it over.


  • To limit the thickness of your iris folding (a serious consideration with some scrapbook albums), don't fold your strips of paper. Cut them thin and straight.
    NB: A thinner design means you'll lose some of the depth of your relief effect.
Iris folding, scrapbooking

Source: "Blog de Cath" ("Cath's Blog")


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