Thursday, December 23, 2010

Folded Paper Flowers

These are some of my favorite ornaments- so simple, and an unusual design here in North America. This style of folding is traditionally done in New Zealand using green flax leaves.
Once, walking down a sidewalk in a New Zealand town, I passed a garden filled with flax growing out and over the path. Rather than cutting it all back, some creative passer by, or the gardener themselves, had woven the ends of the living flax leaves into this flower pattern, clearing the way with a visual gift! This random act of beauty reminds me to appreciate the beauty of our surroundings, and to hold a sense of that beauty within, in our day to day actions. And to occasionally participate in some guerrilla origami in the garden!

watercolour paper, painted on both sides
embroidery floss or ribbon for hanging
wool felt beads (optional)

Cut the piece of watercolor paper to measure 14 inches long, 2 inches wide at one end and tapering evenly to a point at the other end.
Round the edges of the wide end.
Cut up the middle of the paper from the pointed tip, to within 1 inch from the rounded end.
Holding the rounded end in one hand, fold the left half strip behind the right half strip. Do not crease.

Continue folding the left half strip under the right side strip and over the top of the wide rounded end, as the folded spiral grows. The paper will first form a circle, and then will spiral around on top of itself.
Continue folding in this way until your reach the end of the strips. The paper folds will hold themselves in place. Trim the points as desired
Make a hole in the rounded end of the flower with a needle or hole punch and thread a 6” length of floss or ribbon through and knot at the top for a hanger. Thread a wool felt bead onto either end of a 6 inch length of floss or ribbon. Knot at both ends to secure the beads. Thread this through the bottom fold on the flower and knot, as an embellishment.

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