Handmade Cards – Iris Folding Star

Gloria Bastos is joined by

Belinda Kangwa of Scrap Book direct and she’ll be sharing interesting techniques of card making. First, she introduces us to the iris technique and makes a card with a 3D effect and then later shows how to make a gift cracker that you can re-use.

Scrapbook Direct
Belinda Kangwa
: 012 347 8361

Iris Folding Star


  • Any paper 80g – 250g
  • A pen, craft knife and sticky tape.


  • Step 1:
    Select or create a numbered pattern like the star below.
    Depending on the design selected, choose the combination and amount of colors you want to use in your design. TIP: Write the name of the color (for instance “light blue”) next to the pattern guide color. This
    eliminates mistakes when placing the paper strips down. Remember, you will be working on the back of your piece of cardstock, so write a ‘B’ on the back so you can make sure you are always working on correct side. Trace the outline and use a craft knife to cut out the desired shape from the cardstock you want to use as the main color in front. TIP: Laminate the pattern so that you have a design that can be utilized repeatedly. Discard the central piece.


  • Step 2:
    Fasten the remaining portion of the pattern on your craft mat. This serves as the guide to complete the rest of your design. Place the cardstock over the pattern (so that the back side faces toward you) and adhere it with removable tape.


  • Step 3:
    Cut as many strips per color of the paper you need as indicated by the pattern. The strips must be approx. 3.5cm wide. The length is determined by the size on your design. Generally the longest strip is never more than about 7-10 cm. The best is to take an A4 or larger paper, trim a few 3.5 cm strips and simply cut them down as needed. You don’t have to be exact when cutting the strips, but it’s better for beginners to err on the side of caution by having the strips  too wide rather than too narrow. Fold them in half and place them in separate piles on your working surface.


  • Step 4:
    The lines on the pattern indicate where to place your strips of paper. The numbers indicate the order that the strips are placed. The pattern instructions tell you where to place each different colored paper, such as Pattern/Color A: 1,2,3,10… Pattern/Color B: 4,5,6,11… Pattern/Color C: 7,8,9,12…
  • Step 5:
    It is now time to place the strips of paper down in succession over the design as per the number indicated on the design starting with number 1. Always make sure that the folded edges of your strips are facing toward the center of the design i.e. the closed side must always face inward. Take care not to trim the strips too short as all the strips should always completely cover the opening in your cardstock. You will always start from the outside and work your way inward on the design. Tape the 1st piece in place, along the line indicated on the pattern. Trim the excess down as you progress so that the edges do not protrude beyond the sides of the project. – TIP: When sticking down your pieces, make sure the double-sided tape only touches the cardstock or your strips of paper. DO NOT tape anything to the central pattern on your working surface. This is very important to facilitate easy removal of the project when completed. Double-sided tape must also not protrude to the front of the project.
  • Step 6:
    Select the correct color for #2 on your pattern and repeat the process by alternating between the pattern colors as indicated on the pattern guide. For illustration purposes only we have photographed the placing of the first strip of all 3 different colors. The correct method would be to place the strips in succession of numbers i.e. starting from #1 and ending at # 21 making sure that the colors are placed accurately according to the pattern guide.
  • Step 7:
    Repeat with the rest of the numbers and colors until all your pieces have been correctly placed. Select the color you want to use for the iris and close up the design. It is most gratifying when you have completed the process and is able to remove the tape and view your masterpiece from the front!