I typically don’t get too carried away with decorating for a holiday, except for Christmas. Then you’ll find lights and greenery and clever little snowmen and paper chains tucked into every nook and cranny in the house. But for most holidays, I am satisfied with a few scattered decorations, and occasionally, I forget to decorate entirely.
I almost did that with Valentines’ Day this year. When I realized that January had mostly been all crossed out on the calendar, I knew I should get up a few cutesy hearts or something around the house. The kids helped arrange some sweet Valentines’ clings in the front window, and I draped a sparkly heart garland over our lawn flamingos. (Yes, we have six shiny plastic pink flamingos that help us celebrate every holiday. They have names and everything, but that’s a story for another post.) Then, while hurrying the kids through Target the other day (impossible!), I saw a package of the cutest Valentines’ scrapbook paper in the dollar section. I brought it home with the intention of making some sort of decoration for the dining room. Since the paper is square, I came up with the idea of making an origami heart garland. The hearts are gigantic and pretty much all kinds of adorable. I feel like this adorableness should be shared with the world; hence I have written a tutorial just for you.
To make this heart garland, you will need several 12×12 squares of scrapbook paper and some ribbon. Beware of using cardstock – it just doesn’t do the whole origami thing very well. Stick to cute, lightweight paper like mine.
1. So first, take your square of paper and lay it owl-side down on your work surface.(If your paper is not awesome enough to have owls on it, just know that the design of the paper should not be showing.) Fold it in half length-wise, and then open it up again.2. Next, fold it in half width-wise and then open the paper up again. (What? Doesn’t your paper have a heavenly, blurry glow emanating from it too?)3. Your paper should now look like this. Well, hopefully yours won’t look quite so wrinkly. It takes special talent to make it look like this.4. Now, take the bottom of your paper and fold it up to the center crease, as shown. Hooray for upside-down owls!5. Then,turn your paper over, take the bottom left corner, and fold it to the center line, as shown. (Sideways owls!)6. Fold the right bottom corner to the center line, as shown. (Head-to-head owls!)7. Turn your paper over again so that it looks like this. Don’t worry – it may look boring now, but it’s about to get all creative and magical in here.8. Fold the left side in to the center crease, as shown. (Finally, some owls getting their act together and standing upright.)9. Fold the right side in to the center crease as well. 10. Fold down the top left corner to the center crease. Woohoo! It’s starting to get a little more exciting-looking, am I right?11. Fold down the top right corner to the center crease. Nope, it’s not a kite. Or a dreidel. It’s an almost-heart.12. Now, turn your paper upside down.(This is important because otherwise the pictures won’t make any sense to you and it will not look like a heart. Trust me on this.) Take the bottom “triangle” of your paper and fold it up about halfway to the other “triangle,” tucking the point into the pocket. 13. Your paper should now look like this. Wasn’t that a cool trick? Smooth the white rectangles flat.14. Finally, fold in the bottom corners as shown. (Oooooh, here comes the magic!)15. Turn over to see your finished origami heart pendant. Make lots and lots of hearts for your garland. It gets a little addicting to do all these folds and see these hearts emerge; so don’t get carried away.16. Once you have made the number of hearts you want, turn them over and arrange them in a row on your work surface. Thread your ribbon through the folded-over triangle on the back of each heart. Pink or teal? Who could possibly choose? So I used two ribbons for mine.Then hang your garland however you like. Ours hangs cheerfully over our home school work area. So simple. So frugal. And maybe, after you’re all finished, you’ll come away feeling like Martha Stewart.
Oh, and guess what? These origami heart pendants make great valentines to hand out. You can tuck a sweet note, a lollipop, a sheet of stickers, or even cold hard cash into the pocket in the back of the heart. This will instantly win you popularity among your friends; so I suggest doing this immediately. (My friends, don’t get your hopes up. I’m too lazy to make any more.)