How to fold paper pleats

Want to add bold shapes and dimension to your cards in a few simple steps? We’ll show you how to fold paper pleats on cards and papercraft projects.

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Bold shapes, patterns and colours can add lots of interest to your projects and, when it comes to choosing which papers to use, two sides are, arguably, better than one! 

Many of us have some double-sided papers hidden amid our stash, but sometimes it can be hard to know how to use them to their full advantage. These useful papers are ideal for creating clever folded cards, adding pleats or even creating origami shapes to add to your makes. Once you begin experimenting with different styles and techniques, you’ll soon be hooked. To get you started, here is a great pleated-paper card idea from Sarah Jackman-Read.  

Shopping List:

Basic card kit, plus

  • Patterned papers
  • VersaMark ink
  • Heat tool
  • Copper embossing powder
  • Stamps
  • Scoreboard and scoring tool
  • Distress Inks
  • Chipboard thickers
  • Baker’s twine
  • Foam pads

Step 1

Cut green spotty paper slightly smaller than a 6x6in white card blank and attach it to the front of the card blank, leaving a narrow border. Trim a piece of pink paper to measure 14.5×14.5cm.

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Step 2

Stamp a sentiment in the bottom-right corner, using a clear embossing ink pad. Add copper embossing powder over the sentiment, remove excess, then melt it using a heat tool. Repeat this process with the bow stamp, on another piece of pink paper.

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Step 3

Glue the pink paper to the card front, pulling up the bottom-right corner before the glue dries. Trim pale-green paper to 5x14cm, then attach it to the top of the pink paper.

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Step 4

Mark 9cm down one edge and 3cm at the other edge of a pink sheet of 12x12in paper, and cut across to create an angled strip. Score down at 5cm and 2cm intervals then fold, as shown.

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Step 5

Repeat step 4 with a yellow sheet, cutting across at 6cm and 1cm. Score and fold, as before, and glue to the pink strip. Wrap baker’s twine around the piece and glue it onto the card front.

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Step 6

Fussy cut a flower, then ink the edges with a pink ink pad. Fussy cut just the centre of another flower, ink the edges, then attach on top of the first flower, using foam pads.

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Step 7

Fold back the top-left corner of the green paper and add the stamped bow and a bird sticker. Add a heart sticker in the bottom-right corner and a chipboard sticker to the twine bow.

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Looking for some gorgeous patterned papers to use on your cards? Try our free vintage letter and typewriter patterned papers.

Paper pleating works best with double-side papers, so remember to print both sides of your paper if you are planning to use our free patterned paper downloads with this fold.