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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Learn to Iris Fold

Happy Wednesday to you all.  As promised yesterday, I will devoting my blog today to teaching you how to do the iris fold technique.  The card I shared with you yesterday was a beautiful dolphin.  For today's lesson, we will be making a cute little fish.  Let's get started shall we.

The first thing you will need is a pattern.  I have found most of the patterns I have through the internet.  I simply Googled Iris Folding Patterns and visited some of the site that came up.  Once I find a pattern, I print it out and add it to my stash. Sometimes when I go to use the pattern I find that it is a little larger than I need.  I simply place it on a copier and shrink the image.  In this case I made a second copy at 75% of the original so it would fit on my card.  The pattern has the numbers on it as well as the pattern guide.  The guide will indicate how many colors of paper you will need to use.  In this case, we will be using 4 colors as there is a color A, color B, color C and color D.  Listed with each color are the numbers you will use the color with.  Now that I have selected my pattern it is time to trace it.

I placed my pattern on top of a light box and turned the light on.  Next I put a piece of Whisper White card stock cut at 4" x 5 1/4" on top of the pattern and placed the image where I wanted it.  I then used a pencil and traced around the image. 

Once your image is traced it is time to cut it out.  I took out my cutting pad, my craft knife and some blue painters tape.  I will use a small piece of the tape at each corner to hold the image in place so it does not move while I am cutting.  Painters tape is the best to use because it will release from your card stock causing little to no damage at all.  Once your image is secured, use your craft knife to follow the lines and cut the image out.

Here is my fish once it is cut out.  As you can see, my lines are not always perfectly rounded as they seem like they will be.  Do not worry about this.  Your image does not have to be perfect.

Once your image is cut out, place it over your pattern sheet and secure it to the sheet using the painters tape if you wish to do so.  As you can see, you will be able to see the numbers through your image opening allowing you to easily follow the pattern.  What you cannot see is the pattern guide.

To make it easier for me, I take a scrap piece of paper and copy the guide onto it.  This way it is off to the side where I can easily see it and I will not have to lift my image.  I also like to do this because I can cross the numbers off as I go along.  Now it is time to choose my papers.

As the pattern guide indicated I would knew I would need 4 different patterns.  To make my selection easier, I tend to use the designer series papers from Stampin' Up!  This particular set is retired but as many crafters know sometimes you have not used all your paper by the time it retires.  I tend to store mine in baggies and label them with the colors they include.  Now you can go to your local craft store and select papers that compliment each other and I have done that before.  I would recommend you store them together to make future selections easier.  Now we have our paper so let's get folding.

I like to start by cutting my paper into strips wide enough to cover the widest area where a piece will be needed.   Once I have the strips cut, I will cut off a piece from the end and fold one edge down as shown in the photo.  

Looking at the first strip I cut, I am sure you can see it was too long for the spot where I was to place it.  Simply cut it down so it will cover the area.  Place the piece with the folded side towards the number line and tape it down.  There is no special tape for this.  I simply use plain old regular scotch tape.

You will continue with the cutting of strips, folding and taping down around your image following the numbers.  Do Not do all of one pattern color at a time because your iris will not look right.  You need to go in numerical order - 1,2,3, and so on.  If you are afraid you will confuse your patterns, write down which pattern goes with which set of numbers on your pattern guide.  If you have it off to the side, you will be able to refer to it any time you forget which pattern you are on.

Once you finish going around and around and have covered all the numbers, this is what you are left with.  Doesn't really look like a fish does it?  It always looks like a mess.  You will have the center section open as this is the iris of your image.  Carefully remove your painters tape. 

Once you turn your image over, you will be able to see your fish.  As you can see, you get a nice spiral effect using this technique.  Again you have to follow the numerical pattern number by number.  You can choose to leave the center of your iris open if you would like to do so.

Personally I prefer to cover my area up with a small piece of paper.  I usually look at my image from the front and decide which pattern will look best showing through.  All you have to do is flip the fish back over and tape the paper to it.  Sometimes I will add a rhinestone to this area instead of paper.  Other times I add both.  It just depends on my mood.

Well I hope this tutorial has been helpful.  I am pretty sure I covered all the steps.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.  I will do my best to answer you.  

If you want to see what I do with my fish you will have to come back tomorrow.  I will have a card made using this cute fishy.  I hope you will all come back to see him.  Thanks for stopping by today.

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