Valentine’s Day seems to always sneak up on us, doesn’t it? Luckily, I have a super simple Valentine project for you that I think you’ll love. Sweet love notes can be scribed on the pieces of paper before you fold up these origami hearts and the results are surprisingly satisfying. Valentine-themed wrapping paper would be lovely if you wished to forego the dyeing process. I opted for coffee filters. I recently switched coffeemakers to one that uses a permanent filter, so I happened to have a stash of no. 2 cone filters in my pantry. Loving their kraft look, I thought they seemed perfect to use for this project, but you could also try regular copy paper.
What You Need
cutting tool(s) to trim paper if necessary
concentrated watercolor (I used Ken Oliver’s Color Burst)
cup of water, small
paper (origami or paper that is thin enough to fold easily)
Dip Dye Your Paper
The first half of this project is all about the ombre!
If you’re using cone filters, start by opening the paper along the seam.
This origami project works best with paper that is in ratio with an 8-1/2″ x 11″ (22cm x 28cm) sheet. Here, I’m creating a piece that is approximately 3″ x 3-7/8″ (8cm x 10cm). Cut as many pieces as you like at this stage. You’re going to want several to try out the dyeing process.
A tiny plastic cup works perfectly for this technique. Add a small amount of watercolor to your cup (I used a concentrated powder). Add a small amount of water—1/4″–1/2″ (6mm–13mm) is plenty. Experiment with dipping different portions of a sheet in the dye. I played with sides, middles and corners. I wet my paper prior to dipping it.
Lay out your wet papers on paper towels.
Collage artists, save your pretty paper towels!
My finished, dry Valentine origami papers.
Fold Your Valentine Heart
Now it’s origami time!
Follow the folds shown, ending with the bottom edge of the paper meeting the base of the triangle shape.
Follow the folds as shown. After folding in the sides (top two pics), turn the piece over to continue folding.
A few more folds, some tucks and your ombre Valentine is complete!
Side Note: The Heart Bowl
You may be wondering where I got this cool heart bowl? I made it and you can make one, too! I’ll show you how to get started, but you can see the process for finishing it in this other post: Beautiful DIY Bowls.
Roll out some paper clay. I’m using ACTIVA La Doll Premier Natural Air Dry Stone Clay. Cut a heart shape from paper and use it as a guide to cut the same shape from the clay. Use your fingers to create scallops around the edge and tear the heart in a couple places. Add some crack marks or other texture and use your hands to shape into a shallow bowl. Set the piece in a similar sized bowl to hold its shape as it air dries.
Are you excited to get dyeing and folding? I hope so! If you’re looking for more ways to prepare your paper before folding, watch this video featuring some fun techniques by Gina Lee Kim. I think these finished papers would look super cool folded into hearts!