Even though gift cards are a mainstay on holiday shopping lists, they're usually not much fun to give. Instead of simply tucking the card into the plain envelope you received when you purchased it at the store, consider presenting your gift card in a customized origami envelope that doubles as a cute Christmas tree ornament. Folding an origami envelope for your gift card is a thoughtful way to turn an otherwise ordinary present into something a bit more festive.
The origami gift card envelope in this tutorial is based on the CD envelope designed by Darren Scott and featured in Everything Origami by Matthew Gardiner. Using smaller paper is what makes the project suitable for a gift card instead of a CD.
A beginning paper folder should be able to complete this project in 15 minutes or less.
1. Choose Your Origami Paper
The origami gift card envelope is made with one sheet of patterned paper. Scrapbook paper works best for this project, although you will want to choose lightweight patterned paper instead of patterned paper that is closer to a cardstock weight. Avoid using vellum, glitter, flocked, or metallic paper to make your origami envelope. These types of papers are difficult to fold neatly for this Christmas origami project and may tear if you aren't careful.
Start with a 12 inch x 12 inch square sheet of paper with the white side facing up. Book fold and unfold horizontally, then vertically. Fold the bottom edge to the middle crease, then unfold. Fold the top edge to the middle crease, then unfold. When you're finished, your paper should look like the photo to the left. (The lines along the creases are for demonstration purposes only; you don't need to draw them on your paper.)
2. Fold the Corners
Fold the bottom left and right corners to the edge of the bottom horizontal crease, then unfold. Fold the top left and right corners to the edge of the top horizontal crease.
3. Fold Along the Diagonal
Fold and unfold along the red line diagonal line shown in the picture to the left.
4. Create the Right Side of the Origami Envelope Pocket
Holding the bottom right hand corner of the paper with your fingers, collapse the fold you made in step three. Fold the left corner back along the center vertical fold created in Step 1.
5. Create the Left Side of the Origami Envelope Pocket
Repeat Step 3 and Step 4 on the left side of the paper. When you're finished with this step, your origami project should look like the example in the photo to the left.
6. Add the Gift Card
Insert your gift card into the envelope pocket. Close the envelope by folding along the diagonal crease and tucking the right corner into the right flap and the left corner into the left flap.
7. Decorate Your Origami Gift Card Envelope as Desired
Your origami gift card envelope is now complete. You can add holiday stickers for embellishment and use a hole punch to add a ribbon for hanging the envelope on your Christmas tree. Inexpensive gold or silver curling ribbon adds a particularly festive touch to this easy origami project. Look for curling ribbon in the gift wrap supply section of your local craft store or a discount store such as Walmart or Target.
If you'd like to try a fun variation on this Christmas origami project, make envelopes using smaller paper and tuck homemade coupons or small notes into each envelope before adding them to your tree. To create a unique homemade Advent calendar, you could try hanging a series of 24 origami envelopes labeled with the numbers for each day in December. The envelopes could be hung from a long length of ribbon if you don't have room for all of them on your tree.
Want more great origami Christmas project ideas? Try making an origami wreath using the instructions in our Origami Wreath Instructions: How to Make a Modular Origami Wreath tutorial.