Craft Owl Blog Challenge News

Important News about Craft Challenges

Hi everyone! This is just a short post to let you know that future Craft Challenges will be hosted by Marie-Celine.

The new challenge will be published tomorrow. Please make sure you’re following Marie-Celine so that you don’t miss out! Thanks!

Need inspiration? Try these previous posts:

Thanks for visiting today – see you again soon!

January Challenge

January Challenge – Love

The theme for the January 2019 Craft Challenge is …


It’s the perfect prompt for Valentine’s Day!

How to join in

Write a “love” themed blog post.

Include a link to this post and/or leave a comment below to say you’re taking part.

You can also join in on the challenges board on Pinterest, send me a tweet, or tag me on Instagram.

January Challenge
Craft Owl Blog January Challenge

You can download the image above and add it to your post if you would like to – help spread the word!

January Challenge

Paper Craft with Polly – Iris folding

I have been allowed back! Thanks to Marie for letting me loose with her crafty followers once again. I don’t tend to get to chat about crafts over at my Pad, so I love getting a chance to try things out here at the Craft Owl.

Iris Folding

tea bag folding

This is a craft I discovered a number of years ago while taking a craft course at a local shop. It originates from Holland where they used to fold the patterned square packets  tea bags came in to create an origami like pattern.

It has since evolved into various schools of folding – although I would heartily recommend that you do not make my mistake by assuming that the use of ‘tea-bag’ as a verb is safe to type into a search engine.

Trust me, it isn’t.

The version I am sharing today involves using an aperture, which creates a different look to the picture above, to the extent that it is know instead as Iris Folding. There are a few ways of doing this. It is possible to print off guides onto which you can build your pattern, but for this example, I am free-styling, just to see how it turns out; craft is all about experimenting, after all!

What you will need:

  • Scrapbook paper – recurring small patterns are best. My packet of paper came from Pound Land, and I generally use it for origami, but see the suggestions for alternatives below.
  • Scissors
  • Sticky tape – I couldn’t find mine, so used washi, but as long as it is sticky, it should would
  • An aperture card : these can be bought pre-cut, or you can create your own from card stock


paper and scissors

1) Select your patterned paper.If you don’t have scrapbook paper, maybe try different coloured plain papers, newsprint or magazines, wrapping paper, or the patterned inside of those envelopes you get bills in.

paper cut into strips

2) Cut your paper into strips. The thickness will depend on what you intend making, and if you use a guide it will give you full instructions, but for the purpose of this make I just chose 3 contrasting patterns and cut them up into even strips. In retrospect I would go a bit thinner next time, as I would then get to use more pieces to build the pattern, but we live, we learn right?

iris folding heart template

3) If you don’t have a card with a re-cut out aperture, you will have to make your own. I went for a generic heart shape, as I was making this craft with my Guide unit, so wanted to keep it simple I would recommend tracing around the shape on the wrong side of the card, so none of the pen makes show.

Once you have traced your shape, carefully cut it out, leaving your heart (or shape of your choice) shaped window.

iris folding heart aperture with paper strips
iris folding reverse side

4) Select 3 or 4 strips of your first patterned piece of paper. You will have to rip or cut them to fit, but this is not a problem. You follow the shape, around the edge, laying the end of the previous strip, and taping the paper down, until you return to the start.

If you are using a guide this is made easier as they give exact directions on where to lay the paper and in which order to place it.

However, as we are winging it, we are just working in a rough circle around the shape we have cut.

iris folding work in progress

Flip it over while you are working on it, just to check your progress.

iris folding work in progress

5) Continue to work your way around the shape.  I noticed with the heart shape the top part was most difficult, as I had to decide how I far I wanted to go into the centre, but if you set the paper in place and check before the final stick-down, you can move things about until you are happy with them.

Once you have filled the entire shape, it is possible that the back looks a bit untidy. I chose to glue a piece of card on the back of my Iris Folding to cover the ‘workings’

My final piece

iris folding finished

On reflection, I think I could have made a change in the order of the patterned paper; I should have placed the whiter paper after the initial purple keys cycle, to create a more pronounced contrast.  I should have also made the paper thinner, and not covered the complete edges,but you get the general idea.

I will provide a slightly better example below though, just so you can get a clear idea of why the craft is called Iris Folding.

iris folding birthday card

If you are a fellow Crafter, you are bound to have lots of paper in your stash – in fact ribbon would work just as well. So why not have an experiment with Iris Folding – Remember, if you decide to share on Instagram why not  tag @pollyplaits and @craft_owl and use #craftchallenge so we can come have a look at your work!

Thank you so much for being a guest on the blog again Polly! Your Iris Folding looks amazing 🙂

Anyone who wants to join in (just for fun) can also find the challenge on Pinterest

flowers on watercolour background

Make it Monday

St Ives Blanket

Crochet blanket

When I started making this blanket, it said “seaside” to me immediately. I asked for suggestions of names for the blanket based on favourite seaside places. My friend Hayley suggested St Ives, in memory of her son Tyler, and as soon as she said it, I knew it had to be.

This blanket measures approx 2ft x 3ft and is being donated to a hospital near my parents, to help dementia patients remember which bed is theirs and to help make the ward look more cosy.

If you would like to be updated each time I post something new, please use the subscription box below. It’s completely free and you can unsubscribe at any time!

Join 1,946 other followers

Handmade Envelopes

Included in my destash is this set of 5 handmade envelopes.

Made from thick double sided cardstock, each envelope has a pattern inside and out. They need to be finished with glue or tape to seal them (not supplied).

The C6 size is perfect for pen pals as it takes A4 folded twice.

£2.50 plus p&p

Only one set available. Please contact me if you would like to buy them.

Look at this on eBay – Bon Voyage

As part of my destash I am selling these brand new stamps. Please see my eBay (link below) for details. Thanks.

Pilot Edwin Magnolia Stamps

Flight Attendant Tilda

Look at this on eBay – Magnolia Graduation Edwin

I’m having a destash! This is a brand new item in the original packaging. Please click the link to go to eBay. Thanks!

Graduation Edwin

Look at this on eBay – Kittens Rubber Stamp

I’m having a destash! Please click the link below to go to my eBay, thanks.

January Challenge extended

The Love themed challenge for January will remain open until 14 February 2019.

Read more about it here – have fun!

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Ten reasons to write a letter

The January Challenge is almost over but there is still time to join in! The theme is LOVE and the link you need is this one:

January Challenge
Craft Owl Blog January Challenge

None of my challenges actually have a closing date, so if you would like to see what other topics there are then have a look here too.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

~ c r a f t o w l ~

If you are on Pinterest it would help me so much if you could pin the graphics from this post. Thank you!
flowers on watercolour background

Make it Monday – Magnolia Tilda watercoloured with Inktense