Making Love – Origami Heart Garland Tutorial

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by Marisa Edghill of Omiyage

I must admit, I wasn’t always fussy about Valentine’s Day.  I fell into that group of people who found it to be a bit of an overdone, commercial holiday.  But then, you see, I met my husband on Valentine’s Day.  I certainly wasn’t looking for love in a tiny underground (literally) Japanese dance club – but the universe is funny that way, sending us gifts when we least expect it.  Anyway, since that fateful night, Valentine’s Day has grown on me.

However, what does linger from my anti-Valentines days is an aversion to the typical box of chocolates, long-stemmed red roses, heart-shaped pendant version of the holiday.  What do I want for Valentine’s Day?  A gift from the heart – and preferably a handmade one.  Be it a heartfelt note, a homecooked meal or something else.
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Ever since I saw this Make Love origami poster from Vancouver-based Field Trip, I knew that origami hearts would be a big part of my Valentine’s this year.  The sentiment of “Make Love” stuck with me – turning simple squares of paper into the iconic shape of love.  Once you learn the folds, there is something almost meditative about origami – your mind is free as your hands create.  Allowing you to remember all the reasons you do love that special someone.

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So this Valentine’s Day, why not make love?  Fold a mountain of hearts and string them up for all to see.  Feeling especially enamoured this year?  I love the idea of writing secret love notes on the back of the papers before folding them up.  There are plenty of origami heart tutorials out there, I’m partial to this one – if diagrams don’t quite cut it for you, there’s even a corresponding step by step photo series.

Origami hearts are actually fairly simple, once you get the hang of it.  If you’re using standard 6″ (15cm) origami paper, this can even be a kid-friendly activity.  I folded my hearts from a variety of 6″ (15cm), 3″ (7.5cm) and 2″ (5cm) origami papers. Your hearts will end up being about 1/4 of the size of the paper you use – something to keep in mind!

Once you’ve folded all those sweet thoughts into hearts, you’re ready to start stringing.  You’ll need thread or string in your desired colour, glue and the hearts. The beauty of these origami hearts is that there’s a split up the middle between the front and back halves.  Simply lift up the front half of the heart, apply some glue, insert thread / string into the fold and press closed.  Make sure the thread goes all the way to the top of the fold. Allow to dry before hanging. Simple, right?
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Mix and match colours, patterns and sizes for a lovely ode to Love.  We had a little fun with washi tape too!

My favourite pictured up top- multiple strings of tiny hearts.  Folded from 2″ (5 cm) origami paper in red, white and 2 shades of pink, this garland might just stick around our home long after February 14th!

How about you?  Are you pro- or anti-Valentine’s Day?  How are you planning to celebrate (or not) this year?

If you’re looking for origami paper, you can find a variety of sizes, colours, and patterns here.

  • http://noodlenthread.wordpress.com angie

    all these are very cute, especially the multi-hearts big heart one. i’m not pro-valentine only because it’s too specific for people who have someone else already. it should be Love Day or something where you can enjoy it with your loved ones in general.

  • http://www.ellivenstudio.blogspot.com Julie

    how cool is that?! love it, thanks for sharing!

  • Kelly K.

    I love these! I was thinking of doing a bunch of love notes to my husband, but folding them up into little hearts makes it even cuter. Thanks for the idea!! Now off to find some paper!!!

  • http://www.paperphine.com/ Linda

    Beautiful! And I think if I tune the colors down a bit my boyfriend will tolerate the garland in his flat! Definitely a project for this weekend!

  • http://www.cocoblushop.com/cocoblog/blog.php/ Sarah

    I love, love, love it!!! Simplicity and girlie charm.

  • http://www.cocoblushop.com/cocoblog/blog.php/ Sarah

    P.S.I just linked to this post on my blog.

  • http://mindymerenghi.com Mindy

    I made these and linked to your blog post! 🙂 Great idea~!

    http://www.mindymerenghi.com/2011/02/origami-hearts/

    My hearts were top heavy and I had to add beads- maybe your paper was lighter?

  • http://omiyage.ca Marisa

    Sarah – thanks for linking! 😉

    Mindy – your heart “kites” are so cute! My multiple strand version was folded out of 2″ paper which might have made them lighter / less likely to flip. Sorry, for the craft-frustration!

  • http://www.joyhey.com JoyHey
    • http://ohmyhandmade.com/members/ohmyhandmade/ Jessika Hepburn

      Thanks for sharing Marisa’s tutorial Joy! Love your collection of inspiration:)

  • http://www.CreativePopUpCards.com CreativeRich

    Pretty cool ideas! Thanks for sharing.