Iris folding is one of my favourite things. Have you tried it? I love that it’s a paper craft and you don’t need much to get you started. I’ve given this post a little update as I’ve been learning more about iris folding since this post was first written.
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It’s one of the things I love about crafts, it keeps your mind active and your hands busy and working. Both essential skills at any age.
Being creative is something I’ve always enjoyed. I try lots of different things and some stick as firm favourites. Iris folding is one of these favourites.
My blood pressure is too high and I’m trying to reduce it before I have surgery in a couple of months. Iris folding is such a mindful activity and I definitely think it’s helping to keep me calmer!
I’m pleased to report my surgery was in June and a huge success. The blood pressure is definitely lower too. Not sure if the crafts help but it certainly hasn’t hurt to have moments of calm.
Iris Folding for Beginners
I discovered iris folding recently through a lovely lady at a weekly craft group that I run. She’d heard about it and wanted to learn so I did some research so I could teach the group.
I discovered a small company Pretty in Paper by B run by Bethan. She has great online tutorials like the one below and you can buy kits from her Etsy shop here. The rainbow card I made is available as a kit or you can just purchase a pdf pattern.
It’s Autumn here in the UK and I love this Autumn tree tutorial that Bethan has done below. You can purchase the template from Bethan here.
Iris Folding what’s an SVG File?
When I’ve ordered from Bethan I’ve noticed that she not only sends out PDF files of the patterns and templates but the templates also come as SVG files. What’s an SVG file? SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics. They’re often used for simple, 2D graphic images that need to be re-sized. They can be re-scaled without losing resolution.
Why do I need to know about SVG files for iris folding? When iris folding you need to cut out your outline template onto a material so that you can begin to iris fold. With the bee pattern that I made above I needed to use a craft knife to cut out the bee. Let me know if you’d like the bee iris folding template and pattern. I’ll be making an SVG template and uploading the pattern soon.
If you have an SVG file of your template you can use this with one of those fancy cutting machines to get precision cutting out of your templates in no time.
Brother Cut and Scan Vs Cricut
I’m only just dipping my toe in the world of cutting machines. One of my lovely group members from the craft club I run has lent me her Brother Scan and Cut while she’s on holiday and I’m in love. Now I need to work out what might be the best solution for me after others have said they love a Cricut. There are quite a few options of Cricut – I’ll report back once I’ve done more research. If you use one I’d love to know your thoughts.
The main reason I love the idea of the cutting machines is so I can design my own templates and then make my own pattern to correspond with it. However, you can also use patterns in iris folding books and upload these onto your cutting machines to allow you to complete these without needing to use a craft knife.
Iris Folding for Kids
My daughter is six and has really enjoyed iris folding too. If you’ve got a child who can sustain their concentration for around half an hour this is a great activity.
It’s also a lovely activity to share together. One person holding in place while the other tapes. Taking turns and chatting together. That’s how we like to do iris folding together.
Once you’ve got the iris folding pattern and template you can experiment with different colours and types of paper. I made the one below for my Mom who loves the colour green.
It was lots of fun having a go and well worth trying yourself for whatever pattern you like.
If you’re looking for papers to use then you want them to be thinner than you would normally use for craft projects – around 70-80gsm. It makes them easier to fold if the paper is thinner.
Iris Folding Equipment
If you do decide to get one of Bethan’s kits to get you started the only other things you need are Blu Tack, Cellotape, Glue and Scissors.
I’d recommend getting a weighted tape dispenser as this is so much more convenient as you’ll be using lots with iris folding.
I prefer the magic invisible tape from Scotch as it leaves a neat finish. It’ll also mean if you’re making things to last it won’t yellow with age.
You can use a pair of scissors to cut strips of paper. It doesn’t matter if you don’t cut straight as you will make a folded line that is what you see. However, I find using a paper trimmer quick and neat.