Fabric origami

December 12, 2013


Since most of my current projects are to be kept secret until they are unwrapped on Christmas morning (or eve or evening, according to family traditions), I decided to share this great project my mom taught me last year. I didn't manage to be home for Christmas that year (again, sigh), but was home earlier in December, as all the preparations were in bloom. It was great. Also, easier to see people, since their social agenda wasn't as tightly booked as during the week of Christmas. Maybe I should remember this for my next visit.

My husband grew up in Saudi Arabia, which should have been a hint to me that bringing him to Quebec city for the first time in December could be traumatic. Turns out it was. I remember a sunny, crisp winter day, fresh white snow everywhere. It was beautiful and magical, and reminded me of how much I used to love winter there, for about 7 days of the year. I was thrilled, and convinced him to go for a walk. I thought that it was amazing, he thought it was freezing. I had a great time, he begged to go home. I might have even tried more than once, without ever convincing him. Maybe he'll get back at me at some point in the desert somewhere.

So while we were there, to spare him from the cold, and give him some time to relax quietly, I made some Christmas decorations in fabric origami with my mom. It's simple, fairly quick, requires little to no sewing, and you can make them any size you'd like. They will look great on the Christmas tree, or embellish a wrapped gift.

Here is how you make them (inspired by Riley Blake Designs)

Material:

Metallic fabric (it is a bit stiffer than regular fabric, and will hold the folds better, so you don't have to stitch/iron in between each step).
Hexagon template (substitute other similar shapes for more or fewer angles as you'd like).
Hot glue gun, or needle and thread. I started off with needle and thread, and quickly switched to the hot glue gun. If you are using light coloured fabric, or plan to keep these forever, you might consider needle and thread, as the glue can over time stain the fabric. 
Big fun buttons to decorate.
Scissors.
Tailor's chalk and ruler (optional).

Instructions:

Cut 1 hexagon in the metallic fabric. The one I used was 5 1/4" from edge to edge.

Fold the hexagon in half 6 times, joining all opposing corners and edges. You can also fold each edge in towards the midline, creating a smaller hexagon inside the one you cut. This smaller hexagon will be the size of your finished project. I found that folding ahead of time helped to define the tip of my triangles later on. I used chalk to highlight the folds, which I found helpful. You could skip the chalk, but make sure to have well pressed folds.

Bring the middle of two adjacent edges to the centre, forming a triangle. Repeat 5 times. I found that starting with 2 opposite sides helped, and then you can bring the remaining edges to the centre, forming two more triangles at once. Use the hot glue to secure each triangle in the centre as you make them, or a few stitches if you prefer.

Press down each triangle, forming a diamond. Fold and glue (or stitch) the bottom edges of the diamond to create a cleaner and more symmetrical diamond. No need to worry about the centre part looking too clean, as you will add the button over top. Repeat for all angles.

Glue/stitch the button in the middle.




Last year with my mom we made them in pairs, and sewed two together, adding a string, and making new ornaments. This year I decided to leave them single. Using the glue helped to keep the back nice and clean. You can add a loop and hang them up in your tree, or use them to decorate wrapped gifts.

Caution: they can become addictive. 

11 comments:

  1. I love these! They are so cute, and perfect for the handbags I make. Thank you. Plus, do you sell them? By the way, I loved your snow story.

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    1. Hi Jeannie, Thank you for stopping by and for your nice comments! At this time I'm not selling them, but I might consider it in the future. I'll make sure to place an update on the blog if/when I do.

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  2. These are beautiful: I'm eager to make one too. Thanks.

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    1. Thank you Marly, hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

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  3. Thank you for sharing such a fantastic tutorial. I will have to give this a try.

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    1. You are most welcome Joy! Hope you enjoy making them.

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  4. What a great idea. Appreciate you sharing. :)

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  5. These would make a great embellishment for a patchwork quilt. Thank you!

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