Tuesday, November 18, 2014

how to make a rainbow out of folded paper scraps!

if you haven't read the post above this one, with my card for this week's "thankful" challenge at shopping our stash, you have no idea what the heck i'm talking about, so here's a quick synopsis: i saw an amazing and sculptural paper collage by maud vantours on pinterest, i decided to make a card-sized version and i learned a lot of things in the process that i'd love to share with you! so let's get started:

grab your stuff
you'll need: paper-weight scraps of various sizes in a rainbow of colors (or whatever palette you've chosen), your favorite dry adhesive, scissors, and a panel of cardstock approximately 1/4" bigger than you'd like your finished rainbow panel to be (because we'll be trimming it slightly at the end)

start folding triangles
use any size and shape of paper you'd like, but i do suggest PAPER rather than cardstock, because it folds easier and weighs less... and this will be a bulky card! it's important that the bottom edge be straight, as this is what's going to compose the pointy bit of the triangle. place a little stripe of adhesive on the lower left edge and lower right edge, then fold one corner up, forming a perpendicular 90-degree angle to the bottom, as pictured. 

now you're getting the point
the other edge needs to meet the first one pretty closely, and you can see that if the bottom edge of the paper wasn't straight, the point won't be sharp. which will matter. 

trim the top
this is a good time to get rid of any excess paper, since it will make the card a little less bulky. it's also a great idea to burnish the folds as you go along, so they'll stay flat and look more precise.

repeat... and repeat... and repeat
you'll need more of these than you think, and you'll need the most of whatever color you plan to put on the bottom. it's a great idea to vary the size of your scraps. i like a fair amount of variety in terms of pattern and color, too, but that's more of a personal preference. (afterall, maud vantours uses all solid papers; she's even done some that are mostly white, and they look AMAZING!)

prep your panel
fill the bottom edge with strips of paper that will coordinate with the colors you plan to use there; it will help you reduce how many tiny (but lumpy!) triangles you need to seamlessly cover the entire length of the panel.

start stacking the triangles
be fairly generous with your adhesive, but don't go crazy. you'll get the hang of staggering the triangles, of changing sizes, and overlapping them by different amounts as you go along, there really aren't many MUSTS here. except: DO try to keep the vertical middle lines as straight as you possibly can and DO let some of your triangles overlap each of the outer edges of the panel.

keep stacking
if you're making a rainbow or ombre effect, it's good to decide before you start which direction you'd like your color to transition; so you can keep on track as you build your layers.

and KEEP stacking
...until the entire panel is covered, with at least a few triangles hanging over each edge.

trim the excess
i use my guillotine paper cutter to get a nice straight edge, about 1/8 inch inside the panel, but if you're careful you can use scissors or a craft knife. i like to sew around the edges of the panel, just for extra security, but i can tell you that even my workhorse of a machine, equipped with upholstery level of needle and thread, needed a bit of encouragement to get through many adhesive-coated layers. (though by the second card i'd realized i needed to use the thinnest papers and the least overlapping right around the edges, which helped!)

et VOILA: rainbow goodness... times two!

questions? feel free to ask in the comments or send me an email; i'll do my best to help! 
happy (RAINBOW) crafting, darlings!


  1. This is such a genius technique! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  2. An all white one would look amazing - this just has so much texture and interest, Lauren - freaking genius!!

  3. um.. WOW!!! That's all I can say! WOW!!! absolutely fabulous in every single way.

  4. Can you say, "Bookmark this page."? I can and did. You're a genius.

  5. Beautiful technique! Love the vibrant colors! Can't wait to CASE this fun design.

  6. OMG! I came over after seeing a post on the lovely Becca's blog. I just love this and as I have lots of papers that I desperately want to use up will be trying this. I hope you don't mind if I Pin this onto one of my tutorial boards on Pinterest? Will drop back later to see if that's okay with you - thank you for the awesome inspiration Karen x


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