Iris Paper Folding: How to do it?

Embark on the fascinating world of Iris Paper Folding, a captivating craft that resembles “paint by number” with paper. You will explore the intricate art of creating stunning designs using folded paper or fabric strips, framed by colorful backgrounds and accented with a central iris opening for a touch of flair. In this tutorial, you will learn how to master the three key components of Iris Paper Folding – the frame, the pattern, and the filler – to create beautiful decorations, cards, and more. Let’s look into this timeless craft and unleash your creativity!

Key Takeaways:

  • Iris Paper Folding: A craft that involves creating intricate designs using folded paper or fabric strips placed in a specific pattern.
  • Materials Needed: Printed PDF pattern, adhesive tape, low tack tape, paper or fabric for elements, special materials for iris accents.
  • Tools Required: Cutting machine or hand cutting tools, scoring wheel or stylus, Cricut pen, mat for cutting.
  • Assembly Process: Follow the pattern, tape the folded pieces in numerical order to the frame, add special iris accents, and reveal the finished design by flipping it over.
  • Finishing Touches: Trim edges if needed, adjust connections, add iris accents, and frame the 8×10 design or attach the card version to personalize and gift.

Materials and Tools

Your Iris paper folding project will require a few vital materials and tools to bring your design to life. Make sure you have the following items on hand before you begin:


  • PDF Pattern Printed at 100% scale
  • Adhesive (Scotch) tape
  • Low Tack (Washi) Tape – temporary for assembly
  • Paper or Fabric for Elements – Great scrap buster
  • Iris Accent: Small piece of Metallic, Glitter, or Special material
  • Card Background: Prefolded A2 Card or Cardstock to cut from SVG
  • Larger Design Background: Paper, Cardstock, or Interfaced Fabric 8″x10″


  • Cricut – Any model (joy card only) or Hand Cutting Tools
  • Fine Point Blade
  • Scoring wheel or Scoring stylus
  • Standard or Light Grip Mat
  • Cricut Pen 0.4 or smaller – if using lots of dark color, you may want a white pen

Having these materials and tools ready will ensure a smooth and enjoyable Iris paper folding experience. Gather everything you need, set up your workspace, and get ready to create something truly unique and beautiful.

How To do Iris Paper Folding?

Printing and Preparing the Pattern

  • For the Iris Paper Folding project, the first step is to print the PDF pattern at 100% scale or selecting “no scaling.”
  • Once printed, place the pattern on your work surface and secure with low-tack tape.
  • Next, place the frame wrong-side up on top of the pattern, aligning the shapes.
  • Tape it down as well with low-tack tape to prevent movement while working with the pieces.
  • Folding and Sorting Pieces

Sorting the folded pieces is crucial for a smooth assembly process. Once you have folded all pieces along the score lines, organize them either by color or number for ease of access during assembly. Keeping the pieces in order will help you progress through the project efficiently and ensure accurate placement on the pattern.

Understanding the importance of properly folding and sorting the pieces will contribute to the overall success and neatness of your Iris Paper Folding project.


Even as you begin the assembly process, remember to start with piece #1 and place the folded edge on the straight line, keeping the larger side facing down and the number facing up. Secure each piece to the frame as you progress through the numbers, following the pattern carefully. Add any Iris accents as you complete each shape to enhance the visual appeal of your design.

For instance, paying attention to the order of assembly and ensuring proper attachment of each piece will result in a beautifully crafted Iris Paper Folding project that you can proudly display or gift to others.

Finishing Touches

Pieces may need trimming at the edges, and any extra connections can be removed if desired. If you opt for the card version, attach the Iris design to the front or inside of an A2 card for a personalized touch. Consider adding a backing to hide the assembly work and secure the pieces for long-lasting enjoyment.

Understanding the final steps of the finishing touches will help you complete your Iris Paper Folding project with precision and attention to detail, resulting in a polished and professional-looking creation.

To wrap up

Hence, Iris Paper Folding is a creative and engaging craft that allows you to create intricate designs by folding paper or fabric strips in a specific pattern. Whether you use a cutting machine like a Cricut or opt for hand-cutting tools, the process of assembling the design is a rewarding experience that can result in beautiful artwork for various purposes, from decorations to greeting cards. With the flexibility to choose different materials and add personal touches like metallic accents or unique filler patterns, Iris Paper Folding offers a customizable and enjoyable way to express your creativity.


Q: What is Iris Paper Folding?

A: Iris Paper Folding is a craft that involves creating intricate designs by folding paper or fabric strips into patterns that resemble the iris of a camera lens or an iris flower.

Q: What materials do I need for Iris Paper Folding?

A: You will need a PDF pattern printed at 100% scale, adhesive tape, low tack tape for temporary assembly, paper or fabric for the elements, an iris accent like metallic or glitter paper, a card background, and tools such as scissors or a craft knife, a fine point blade, a scoring wheel or stylus, a scoring mat, and a Cricut cutting machine (optional).

Q: How do I assemble an Iris Paper Folding design?

A: To assemble an Iris Paper Folding design, start by folding all the pieces along the score lines. Then, tape each folded paper piece onto the frame following the numbers on the pattern. Add an iris accent at the end of each element. Once all pieces are taped down, remove the temporary tape, flip over the project for the reveal, and make any necessary adjustments.

Q: How can I finish an Iris Paper Folding project?

A: To finish an Iris Paper Folding project, trim any excess edges, remove extra connections if desired, and add the iris accents. For an 8×10 version, frame the finished design. For a card version, glue or tape the design onto an A2 card and personalize it as desired.

Q: Where can I get Iris Paper Folding patterns?

A: You can find Iris Paper Folding patterns for designs like tulips, watering cans, and swirled flowers in various sizes in the Freebie Library or by opting into the creator’s mailing list. These patterns are perfect for decorating windows, classrooms, senior homes, or making adorable Spring/Summer cards.

Written by
Peter Walker

Peter Walker is a versatile and accomplished writer with over 10 years of experience in various fields of writing. He has worked as a journalist, editor, copywriter, and content strategist for leading companies such as The New York Times, Forbes, and Medium. He has a knack for crafting engaging and informative stories that resonate with diverse audiences. He is also passionate about exploring new topics and genres, from fiction and poetry to business and technology. Peter holds a master's degree in creative writing from Columbia University and a bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University. He is currently working on his first novel, a thriller set in the near future. When he is not writing, he enjoys reading, traveling, and playing chess.

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