Making handmade origami Christmas cards can be a lovely way to show appreciation for family, friends, and all the special people in your life. However, you don't necessarily need to spend hours folding elaborate cards to make an impact. There are plenty of simple origami projects for Christmas that you can complete in 15 minutes or less. Many of these easy Christmas origami projects qualify as modular origami. This means identical paper units are combined to create a design that only appears to be complicated!
In this tutorial, you'll learn how to make both an origami snowflake card and a simple origami Christmas tree card using the same basic paper folding techniques. If you experiment with the types of papers used and the placement of the units, you may even be able to create card designs featuring an origami snowman or a cute little paper polar bear.
1. Fold a Triangle
To make sure your origami design fits on your finished card, you'll want to use paper that is fairly small. This project uses 3 ½ inch x 3 ½ inch note paper, which makes the design small enough to fit on a standard greeting card.
To begin, fold your paper into a triangle. Unfold, then fold the paper into a triangle from the opposite direction. When you're finished, your project should look like the photo at the left. (The black lines are to help you see the placement of the creases; you do not need to draw them on your paper.)
2. Fold a Square
Fold the left corner of the paper up so the tip meets the top of the triangle formed in Step 1. Fold the right corner of the paper up in the same manner. Your paper should now be a square shape.
3. Finish the First Unit of Your Origami Christmas Card
Fold the left corner flap back so it is aligned with the edge of your square. Fold the right corner flap back in the same manner. If your project is folded correctly, your modular origami unit will now look like the photo to the left.
Repeat the steps as needed until you've created enough origami units to make the design of your choice. Double check the units when you're finished to make sure they are all identical.
4. Create an Origami Snowflake Card Design
Part of the appeal of this easy origami project is that you can use your creativity to make multiple designs from the same basic paper units. For example, arranging five shapes folded from blue paper into a circle and folding down the connecting corners creates a snowflake design. Add a snowflake epoxy sticker to the middle of the card or accent with a bit of glitter glue and a silver metallic marker to give your design some sparkle.
The snowflake design can be folded with metallic silver paper or vellum if desired. However, you will need to be careful not to tear this paper. It is thinner and more fragile than other types of origami project paper.
5. Create an Origami Christmas Tree Card Design
If you're not interested in making snowflakes for your cards, arranging four shapes folded from green paper creates a Christmas tree design. Simply tuck the top point of the second unit into the bottom flap of the unit before it.
You can decorate your origami Christmas tree by adding small rhinestones or by hand drawing tiny ornaments onto the branches. Add a star sticker or scrapbooking brad to the top of the tree. If desired, you can use ribbon scraps for tinsel or cut small squares of paper to make presents for beneath the Christmas tree embellishment.
Please review the About.com Origami paper Santa tutorial for another great origami Christmas card idea.