Ombre Valentine Origami – Dip Dye and Fold These Super Simple Hearts

ombre valentine bowl origami hearts

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
  • gloves (optional)
  • paper (origami or paper that is thin enough to fold easily)
  • paper towels

Dip Dye Your Paper

The first half of this project is all about the ombre!

start with coffee filter

If you’re using cone filters, start by opening the paper along the seam.

trim coffee filter valentine

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.

color burst dye origami valentine paper

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 origami paper dry

Lay out your wet papers on paper towels.

paper towel dye

Collage artists, save your pretty paper towels!

dry origami valentine papers

My finished, dry Valentine origami papers.

Fold Your Valentine Heart

Now it’s origami time!

origami steps 1-6

Follow the folds shown, ending with the bottom edge of the paper meeting the base of the triangle shape.

origami steps 7-12

Follow the folds as shown. After folding in the sides (top two pics), turn the piece over to continue folding.

origami folds 13-18

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.

shape paper clay heart bowl

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.

heart valentine bowl

To see the painting/finished method I like to use, check out this post on making your own paper clay bowls.

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!

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