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How to Make a Cute Origami Valentine Card

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In February, stationery stores are filled with examples of beautiful Valentine's Day cards. But, if your sweetheart is one of a kind, doesn't he or she deserve a unique greeting? Show your appreciation for your loved one by creating a customized origami Valentine card.

This tutorial combines two simple origami projects – a paper bird and a heart-shaped card base – to make one special homemade Valentine's Day card. The entire project can be completed in about 20 minutes, however.

1. Begin Your Origami Bird

origami valentine card
© Dana Hinders

To begin creating your origami bird, start with a 6 inch x 6 inch piece of origami paper. Trim the paper to measure 5 inch x 5 inch, then place it in front of you with the patterned side face down. Fold the paper in half to form a triangle, then fold the top layer of the paper up as shown in the picture to the left.

2. Fold the Paper in Half

origami valentine card
© Dana Hinders

Fold the paper in half, then rotate 90 degrees.

3. Create the Bird's Wings

origami valentine card
© Dana Hinders

Bring the bottom point of the triangle up towards the top right corner. This will form the first wing of your bird, as shown in the picture to the left. Then, flip your paper over and repeat the fold to create the bird's other wing. You can vary the angle of the second fold as desired to create a slightly different look for your bird.

Repeat steps 1-3 to create a second origami bird for your cute Valentine's Day card.

4. Begin the Origami Heart Base

origami valentine card
© Dana Hinders

Now, it's time to create the heart shaped card for your origami bird. Start with a square piece of paper. To make a card that is big enough for your bird, you'll want to use 12 inch x 12 inch scrapbook paper or cut squares from some pretty wrapping paper. The paper should have one side that is white or light colored so that you can easily add a message to the inside of your card. If your bird is made from solid paper, choose 12 inch x 12 inch paper with a pattern to provide a nice sense of contrast. If your bird is made from patterned paper, however, your card will look best if you choose a plain paper for the heart backdrop.

Fold your paper in half, leaving the white side facing out. Make sharp creases for the best results. Unfold the paper. With the white side facing up, fold the corners into the center. When you're finished with this step, your origami heart Valentine's Day card should look like the photo to the left.

5. Flip the Paper

origami valentine card
© Dana Hinders

Turn the paper over. Fold both sides into the center.

6. Create Horizontal, then Vertical Folds

origami valentine card
© Dana Hinders

Fold the paper in half horizontally. Flip the paper, and then fold your card in half vertically.

7. Cut the Origami Heart Shape

origami valentine card
© Dana Hinders

Use scissors to cut small notches from each corner of the card. The sharper the angle of the notches, the more dramatic your heart shape will appear.

(Traditionally, origami does not involve the use of scissors or glue. However, making a few slight concessions is often the best way to create a pretty finished project with a minimal amount of fuss!)

8. Add Your Origami Birds

origami valentine card
© Dana Hinders

Add your origami birds to the front of your card, using glue dots or a bit of double sided tape. Write the message of your choice. Your Valentine's Day card is now complete!

If you'd like to make another pretty embellishment for a Valentine's Day greeting, the About Origami How to Fold an Origami Heart tutorial features instructions for a heart with a decorative flower in the center.

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