Paper Heart Decorations




About: Industrial Design student at Eindhoven University of Technology

I was trying to use an origami module that I use a lot (for example here and here) for making decorations. I knew that I could make flat squares and triangles with it, so I realized hearts should be possible to make with them. I drew out the heart, to know how many pieces it would take, and folded all those pieces. The first times putting it together was a bit chaotic, but I then knew exactly what to look at when making my next heart. The first one I made was the white heart. As you can see in the top left corner, the squares aren't really next to each other. The second one I made, the red one, was part of a Christmas gift exchange. It turned out just the way I wanted it to be. Enjoy!

Step 1: Materials

To make one heart, you will need the following:

- 38 (!!!) square pieces of paper, mine were 8 cm and gave a heart of about 15 cm in height
- yarn
- scissors
- glue
- needle

Step 2: Making a Module

Start by taking one of your squares. Fold it in half diagonally and unfold, fold in half diagonally in the other way and leave the fold there. Fold up the corners that are now at the bottom to the middle. Next fold the now bottom line up to the middle. Repeat this on the other side. Unfold the diagonal fold you had let there in the beginning. Fold in the corners. After that, fold down the right top corner and tuck it in as shown. Turn the piece around to repeat this on the other side. To complete the module, fold back the corners.

Step 3: And Repeat

Basically, repeat the last step until you have folded all 38 squares. Yes, that's a lot of work. But, choose a long movie you've seen so many times that you don't have to follow it 100%, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings will do just fine, start folding, and when the movie is finished, there's a big chance your modules are too :D

Step 4: Making the Squares

Since one square takes two modules and you will need 17 squares, you can put four modules aside, since you don't need them in this step.

Start by taking two squares. Since you folded the triangle parts back, there is just one way they fit on each other. Make the triangles of module number 1 go in the pockets of module number 2 as shown in the pictures. The last one could get a bit tricky, but after a few times it will get easier.

Repeat this until you have 17 squares.

Step 5: Making the Triangles

And then there were those four modules you had put aside. These four will make the four triangles used in the heart shape.

Take one of the modules and fold it in half diagonally as shown. Next, add the triangles to the pockets in this same module.

Repeat this for the other three modules.

Step 6: Laying Out the Shape

To find out how many modules I would need, I started by drawing the heart. Since I couldn't find that drawing, I drew it again on my computer, using different colours to make clear shapes (and because colours look awesome).

I arranged the shape according to this drawing, laying it out makes the following steps easier so I would definitely recommend it.

In the next steps I will be talking about horizontal and vertical rows. I've marked them in the third image of this step.

Step 7: Putting It Together: Vertical Rows

Start with the two squares above each other on the left side of the heart shape you laid out. Cut off a piece of the yarn and add the two squares to it by opening them, adding the yarn and closing them, just as shown on the pictures.

Step 8: More Rows

The third row from the left includes a triangle shaped piece. Skip that row just for now, I'll get there in the next step. For the other rows, you can basically repeat last step, the only difference is that there are also rows with three squares, but this doesn't change anything about how to do it.

Step 9: The Triangles

Take your needle and add the yarn to it. I usually avoid using needles, since needles don't like me. They always try to stab me, and usually succeed. But, this time I couldn't avoid them.

Luckily, no one got hurt this time. Using your needle, make a hole in the middle of your triangle, on the top side. Let the yarn go through there first, after that you can just add the squares beneath it using the same technique as in the last few steps.

Repeat this step for the other row that has a triangle.

Step 10: Horizontal Rows

When you have made the vertical rows, it's time to join those too!

Basically it's the same as the previous step, but now you have to work with the heart as a total shape instead of just the rows. There are five rows to join this way, I started with the one that has those triangles on the sides. But, I skipped the triangles first, since that makes working on this row a lot easier. Open up all three (in this case) squares, add the yarn and close them again.

Step 11: The Triangles and Other Rows

Adding the triangles is done slightly different as with the vertical rows: stick the needle through the middle of the triangle, add yarn to your needle and pull it through the already created hole. Repeat this on the other side.

Now you can just finish the other horizontal rows as explained step 10.

Step 12: Easy Knotting

Now you have your heart shape, but the pieces still aren't completely joined. This is what the next steps will take care of.

There are four places where there are two threads of yarn at the same point, on the straight sides of the heart. All you have to do here is make two knots, the second one to secure the first one.

Step 13: Triangles Again

At the places where the triangles are, there are a lot of single threads. Make couples of them by using the needle to let the yarn go through the triangle. After you have done this, you can knot the two threads together the same way as in the last step. This technique can be used in all four of the triangles.

Step 14: The Bottom Square

Almost everything has been knotted now, just that bottom square left! Simply let one of the threads go through the square so it makes a couple with the other thread and can be knotted.

Step 15: Working Away the Threads

Now that you have completed the heart shape, there still are a lot of loose threads hanging from it.

You can work these away by opening up a module, putting the thread (s) in, adding glue and closing it again, just as shown in the pictures.

Step 16: Finished!

Now that you worked away the threads, your heart decoration is finished! You can make them in different colors, different sizes, whatever you want! I hope you enjoyed reading through this project and maybe will try it for yourself.



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    19 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This would have been excellent for the Valentines Day Contest, but even I could not stop myself publishing this 2 months before. :-)

    Very creative Emily! Good job. :D

    8 replies

    Haha thanks, I already had a really hard time waiting to publish it, since it was a present I wanted it to arrive first :) I can't believe I still have drafts waiting to be published, but I don't want to take the risk of not having the time to make instructables during the jewelry contest! (Oh, this also could have been in the paper craft contest :)

    No problem Emily! I can understand why you published it early, I would have done the same! :-)

    Like you, I have some drafts of projects - just waiting for the right time (like when a contest is on). I believe this could have easily been a winner but I'm sure one of your other entries will reserve a spot ;-)

    All the best Emily! :D

    I'm quite sure you will be a finalist! - you post some very innovative things like the heart pendant! :D

    Yes, I find waiting is hard, but thats what makes it all enjoyable for me, the build up to it :D

    I used folding paper, but I think any kind of paper would work, although the thicker the paper the harder it would be.


    5 years ago

    great job but how long did take you to make this

    1 reply