An Origami Art Project Perfect For Your Favorite Valentine

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Ombre Origami Valentines, Step-by-Step

Valentine’s Day seems to always sneak up on us, doesn’t it? Luckily, we have a super simple Valentine project for you to try that we think you’ll love creating and love passing on. Sweet messages can be inscribed on the origami hearts before you fold up them up and Valentine-themed wrapping paper can work, too, if you wish to forego the dyeing process. You can also extend your V-Day creativity to even more lovely handmade tokens with the 20 easy projects from Mollie Makes Papercraft as your guide.

For the demo below, we opted for coffee filters that were laying around, but you could also try regular copy paper as well. Enjoy!

 Ombre Origami Valentines | DIY Valentine | Valentine's Day | Artists Network

What You Need

  • Cutting tool(s) to trim paper if necessary
  • Concentrated watercolor (I used Ken Oliver’s Color Burst Fushia)
  • Cup of water, small
  • Paper (origami or paper that is thin enough to fold easily)
  • Paper towels
  • Gloves (optional)

1. 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 a 8 1/2- by 11-inch (22cm x 28cm) sheet of paper. In the picture above, I’m creating a piece that is approximately 3 by 3 7/8 inches (8cm x 10cm).

Cut as many pieces as you like at this stage. You’re going to want several to try out for the dyeing process.

color burst dye origami valentine paper

A tiny plastic cup works perfectly for this technique. Put a small amount of watercolor into the cup (I used a concentrated powder). Then add some water 1/4 to 1/2 tablespoon is plenty.

Experiment with dipping different portions of a sheet in the dye. I played with sides, middles and corners, and 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 for a future project.

dry origami valentine papers

You can see my finished, dry Valentine origami papers in the picture above. Let’s move on to the hearts!

Fold Your Valentine Heart

After your papers are dry, you are ready to move on to the origami process.

origami steps 1-6

To make hearts, first follow the folds shown, ending with the bottom edge of the paper meeting the base of the triangle shape.

origami steps 7-12

Then, follow the folds down as sown in the image above. After folding in the sides (the top two pictures), turn the piece over to continue folding.

origami folds 13-18

After a few more folds and some tucks, your ombre Valentines are complete.

Bonus Tutorial: The Heart Bowl

Want to mark a heart-shaped bowl to accompany your heart origami? I’ll show you how to get started, but you can see the process for finishing it in the article, “Beautiful DIY Bowls.”

shape paper clay heart bowl

Roll out some paper clay. For this heart bowl, I am 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, and voila! You have a heart-shaped bowl!

heart valentine bowl

Are you excited to get dyeing and folding? If you’re looking for more ways to prepare your paper before folding, watch the quick video below, for some fun techniques by artist Gina Lee Kim.

Her finished papers would look great folded into hearts. Happy Valentine’s Day, artists!

You can find more of Gina Lee Kim’s mixed media techniques and tutorials in the Fun with Watercolor Kit, which includes step-by-step instruction, inspiration and art supplies to help water media become a key part of your mixed-media toolbox!

Article contributions by Tonia Jenny

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