Most will agree that receiving a handmade Christmas card is more noteworthy than a store-bought one. Making an origami Christmas card takes a little extra time and requires attention to detail and some precision to get it right. But the payoff with an origami Christmas project is a beautiful little work of art that has the power to spread joy to others. This origami Christmas tree is also easy to make, but you must follow the instructions precisely.
Before You Begin
You can use any paper you have around the house, but it's best if you use origami paper for this project. It is different than regular paper in texture and thickness. Origami paper is much thinner than regular paper, which makes it easier to fold. Also, most origami paper comes in square sheets, unlike rectangular copy printer paper. Another feature of origami paper is that it has color on one side, and the other side is white.
Here are the step-by-step instructions for making this super simple origami Christmas tree using four sheets of small 3-inch square origami paper. You will need a few dabs of glue to complete the finished Christmas tree card.
What Is Origami?
Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding used to make decorative shapes and figures. The word derives from the Japanese words "ori" (folding) and "kami" (paper).
Equipment / Tools
- Markers (Optional)
- 4 7.5 centimeter by 7.5 centimeter (3-inch square) paper
- 1 Blank Folded Card
If you're using origami paper, get started by using the white side of the paper up. Fold the paper in half diagonally both ways.
Flip the paper over to the other (colored) side and rotate. Fold the paper in half and unfold.
Make the Pieces of the Tree
Flip the paper back over to the other side. Push the right and left sides into the middle, collapsing the top section down. You now have a water bomb base.
Make two more of these.
Make the Tree Trunk
To make the trunk of the origami Christmas tree, start with the white side up (if using origami paper). Fold the paper in half both ways and unfold. Flip the paper to the other side. Fold the bottom right corner up to the top left corner. Unfold.
Continue Folding the Trunk
Rotate the paper and flip it over to the other side. Push in the right and left corners to the middle. This form is an origami square base.
Fold the right and left corners to the middle. Fold the bottom corner up to the middle and unfold. Repeat on the back.
Glue the Tree Together
Next, stick the tree together with a drop or smear of glue. Glue the top of one of the tree sections.
Get another tree section and slot it on top, gluing it at the same time. You can adjust the height of the tree by pushing it on further. Do the same with the tree trunk.
Attach the Tree to a Card
Glue the tree onto a blank folded card. You can leave the tree as it is or make it more three-dimensional by folding the right and left sections in opposite directions.
Optionally, you can also decorate the tree by drawing baubles and tinsel with pens or sticking other decorations on top.
Tips for Making Origami
The history of origami stretches back for millennia, probably as far back as the invention of paper. The art and its intricacies were passed down from generation to generation as an oral tradition until the first book was published at the end of the 18th century, "How to Fold 1000 Cranes." Some simple tips for beginners who want to start doing origami include:
- Fold with clean, dry hands.
- Make sure the square is indeed square.
- Be precise and take it slow.
- Folding an edge to an edge is easier (and more precise) than folding to a crease.
- Practice using a larger sheet than usual the first time you try a new design.
- If you get stuck following a diagram, refold it with a new sheet.
- Always look ahead to the next step to see what's next.