Addictive Iris Folding Paper Craft

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Nearly 1300 published posts on this blog and I've yet to feature iris folding, a fun swirling fold technique used by paper crafters to make eye-catching cards and wall art. It's high time I give it its due!


folded hearts in rainbow colors shown in square white frame surrounded by paper crafting supplies

At the turn of the century (doesn't that make one sound positively ancient?!) when I first discovered paper quilling, I joined an online British card making group where I was introduced to quite a few techniques. It's where I first heard about iris folding, incire, tea bag folding, and more. 


iris folded flamingo card surrounded by paper crafting supplies

I made one or two iris folded designs and although I loved the look, I had used paper that was too heavy for the task so my cards wound up being rather bulky. But now that I've come across the clever designs created by Bethan Lucy Aspland of Pretty In Paper By B, I'm very tempted to give iris folding another try.

iris folded block letter A greeting card shown with paper crafting supplies
Make an initial as a frameable card or wall art


Interestingly, it was the pandemic that led to this new paper crafting career for Bethan. She learned iris folding from her mother as an eight year old, but left card making behind to earn a degree in events management. This is a field to which she is well-suited as she loves organizing, planning, and leadership, all of which are evident in the way Bethan has built Pretty In Paper By B since being furloughed from her gym manager job. 


pastel iris folded floral designs on table

She has stocked the shop with original printable templates and complete kits, paper packs that are an ideal weight for iris folding, and custom designs that she will create for the person who would rather have her do the making. 


sample pack of patterned fuchsia paper sheets displayed on table

Reviews are very strong... for example, "I love this kit! Never tried iris folding before but the instructions were easy to follow and I'm so impressed with how professional my cards look!" 


eight examples of iris folding card designs - heart, balloon, butterfly and flower - on table with paper sheets
Starter Kit


Bethan is not a bit shy in proclaiming herself "The world’s leading iris folding paper crafter" and I have to say I've never encountered anyone who has thrown themselves into the technique quite the way B has! 

handmade iris folded rainbow greeting card displayed with extra papers and punched hearts in rainbow colors


Her shop is growing quickly, thanks to an active Instagram presence, excellent how-to videos, and even a Pretty Paper Community where makers are invited to share photos of their work and chat with other iris folders. 


iris folded dinosaur birthday card on table surrounded by paper crafting supplies

Bethan recommends using origami sheets or lightweight gift wrap for the best result. The scrapbooking paper I used initially is what led to frustration... it's too heavy even though the array of colors and prints is so tempting. Learned my lesson!


iris folded castle greeting card on table surrounded by paper crafting supplies

It's sunflower season here in Delaware so this design would be perfect for a summer birthday. In this video, Bethan shows exactly how to use her template to make the card. 



Visit Pretty In Paper By B to see more designs. You'll also find Bethan on Instagram and Facebook. Join her Pretty Paper Community and receive a free heart pattern.


iris folded floral greeting card on table surrounded by paper crafting supplies

If you would rather learn to do iris folding via a book, check out this popular one from Search Press, 460 Folded Cards to Make. Reviews are very good... one describes it as the go-to book of iris folding. 


cover of paper craft book, 460 iris folded cards to make shows images of handmade iris folded cards with swirled central designs


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Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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  1. Nice to see Iris folding which I had forgotten about. I tried this fun technique a decade ago on Christmas shapes & a few basic shapes. Love the alphabet. Hope to try it when my crafting mojo is back.

    1. I'd pretty much forgotten about it too, Leanne. It's so nice to see that Bethan's fresh designs are luring in new papercrafters.

  2. Love Iris Folding! Thank you for sharing about Pretty In Paper By B. Really like the fresh patterns and coordinating paper. I’ll be shopping her site for sure.

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed seeing B's designs, thanks Michele!

  3. How lovely. Have not seen Iris folding in ages.

  4. I've never heard of this craft before but I love the style. Thanks

  5. I got the book mentioned above, how do I use it?

    1. If the step-by-step directions in the book aren't helpful to you, perhaps you're a visual learner. There are quite a few iris folding videos on YouTube... watch a few to get the hang of the process.


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