I wanted to share a bit of teabag folding with you. The colors on my card are for this week’s color challenge at StampTV. Not the perfect colors for the theme of my card, but they’ll do. Here is the completed card, then I’ll go through the steps of making the Nested Star in the center.
To begin to make my Nested Star, I chose paper in the color I needed for my card. In this case, Mango. The paper I used was about 80 lb paper, so quite thick for this use, but it works to show you how I did it. Usually you would use quite thin paper, like origami, or plain copy paper which is available in colors. Using plain or colored copy paper and stamping on it to begin with would work wonderfully.
Next, I cut 2″ strips. You can use either 2″ or 1-7/8″ for this, but 2″ was easier to line up on my cutter.
Then I cut the strips in the other direction to make 2″ squares.
I cut my whole 12 x 12 sheet of paper into 2″ squares, though I only needed 8 for this project.
To begin folding, flip the squares over so the back side is showing.
The next step is to turn the square so it looks like a diamond and fold the bottom point up to meet the top point.
Your fold should be on the bottom. Then fold the left point over to meet the right point. Unfold this last fold.
Your fold should still be on the bottom with the points at the top, but you will have a crease going from the top point to the center of the bottom.
Now you want to separate the points and fold just the top layer down so the top point meets the crease on the bottom.
Next step is to fold the bottom layer so the top point meets the horizontal fold you just made.
After that, fold that bottom layer down over the top layer at the same horizontal fold.
Your piece should look like the bottom left image.
The image at the top right of this picture is the same as the bottom image above. Now, flip your piece over.
Then you want to take the point on the left side (while the image is facing down) and fold it up along the center crease line.
Flip your piece back over.
Do the same steps for all 8 of your squares.
Now you want to glue each of these pieces together. You want to put a bit of glue on the white point, then slide the next piece up along that white (bottom of the paper) edge until the point touches the fold. It will be under the top folded piece. I found that my glue pen wouldn’t hold, so I used some tiny glue dots I made a couple of weeks ago. Continue around until all 8 of your pieces are attached together. On the last piece, you will have to pull the point of your first piece out and tuck it above as with the other pieces.
Your finished octagon should look like this.
You may need to shift the pieces a bit to get all eight together. You can see from the white areas that I had to do a bit of shifting. Make sure you work quickly so your glue is still soft enough to wiggle a bit. If you use glue dots, just don’t firmly press down until all pieces are fitted together.
Don’t worry, you are almost done and after you have done one, it really goes together quite quickly. Now, flip this piece over.
If you like this look, you can use it like this. However, if you like the look of mine, you have just a few more steps.
You want to take the outside point of each piece and fold it over so it touches the inside point. This is the same as the second fold you did. Once again, unfold this fold. Now you want to separate the outside edges a bit and flatten it so the fold is on top, right down the center. This is probably the hardest part besides gluing all the pieces together. Don’t worry, you can do it.
Do this for each of the points. For a different look, you could do every other point, too.
Your image should look like this:
Now you can flip it over and put some adhesive on, then put it where you want it. You just created a beautiful piece to use on a card, in a scrapbook, for a decoration, or whatever you want.
Tea bag folding is the process of using origami folds on small decorative pieces of paper, adhering them together in different ways to make beautiful pieces. The squares of paper used can be anywhere from 3/8″ to 2″, if you want a piece small enough to fit on a card. If you want something larger, use larger squares.
I will try to share a different design with you every so often as this is quite fun and makes beautiful pieces.
Hopefully my instructions were clear with the pictures. If there is anything you don’t understand, please let me know and I will try to clarify.
Thanks for taking the time to share this fun art form with me!