Handmade origami cards are some of the most practical origami projects around. Instead of spending $3 to $5 on a card at a fancy stationary store, you can quickly create a memorable greeting using supplies you already have on hand. The card featured in this tutorial is my original design, using free printable origami paper that I also created.
You are welcome to adapt this project however you see fit. I typically use it as a birthday card, but you could easily change the design to fit whatever occasion you want. If you'd like to share your creations with the readers of About Origami, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Prepare Your Paper
If you would like to use the free printable origami paper featured in this tutorial, click here to download the graphic. Print on lightweight printer paper, then trim as needed. If you want to use your own paper, look for paper that is about 4 inches x 4 inches square.
Cut your paper in half so you have a strip that is 2 inches x 4 inches. If you're using the free printable origami paper featured in this tutorial, cut the paper so the green squares are in the middle.
2. Create a Paper Triangle
Place one strip of paper in front of you with the pattern side face down. Fold the left and right corners up to make a triangle as shown in the photo to the left. If you're using the printable paper to make your origami birthday card, you'll have a small green triangle at the bottom.
3. Fold the Corners
Fold the left and right corners out as shown in the photo to the left. If you're using the printable paper, use the green triangle as a guide for lining up your corners. Make sharp, even creases.
4. Flip the Paper
Flip your paper over. Fold up so the visible white edges line up with the patterned edge of the paper. Fold each corner in to make a small triangle. When you're finished with this part of the project, you should have an origami unit that looks like the photo to the left.
Repeat to fold an identical unit with the other strip of paper leftover from step 1 of the project.
5. Complete Your Origami Birthday Card
Attach the two origami units to the front of a quarter folded 8 1/2 inch x 11 inch paper as shown. Add a small photo or embellishment to the center to complete your origami birthday card.
If you would like to fold an envelope for your card, follow the directions in the Easy Origami Envelope Pattern tutorial.
Alternatively, you can use this design to create an interesting closure on a decorated sheet of 8 1/2 inch x 11 inch paper. Use a bit of glue or double sided tape to attach each half of the design to the top and bottom of a 8 1/2 inch x 11 inch sheet of paper. Flip the paper over, then write your message in the middle. Fold the top of the paper up to the middle point. Fold the bottom up to the midpoint, then secure the two origami units with an envelope seal.