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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Children's Christmas Crafts no 4- Iris Folding

Christmas Iris Folding – This is a great activity for fine motor skills, symmetry, pattern, precision and fun. You can use absolutely any design for this, all you need to do is cut a shape in the middle to create your iris folding. Why not try using Christmas trees, Angels, Snowmen etc.

You will need, Card, scissors, paint, patterned/coloured paper and glue.
 Completed Iris Folded Christmas Tree

1. Start by drawing around your template on card and then cutting out two copies of your shape carefully. One will be put aside for later.
2. Then label the edge of your shapes. In my decoration I am doing a Christmas tree so have 3 side which I have labelled 1-3. If you are using a square, circle or rectangle labelled 1-4 (obviously is you have 5 sides you will label up to 5 and so on and so forth) These numbers will be used as a guide to place your folded bits of paper and create your fabulous iris folded decoration.

3.   Cut a series of rectangles from patterned or coloured paper (once again you can create your own painted patterned paper for this).
4.     Fold each strip in half.

 5. Pick up your first strip, glue each end of the folded strip with the folded side of the rectangle paper facing the inside of your template as shown. Glue on the side marked number 1, continue this process around to number 3 as shown below.

 6. Once you have completed one cycle, start over again at number 1. This time overlap the paper by about half a centimetre.
7. Continue this with each layer
 8.    Continue until you have filled in the centre of your design.
 9.   Tidy up any ends and glue the pre cut shape put aside in step one to the back of your decoration.

Younger children may need help cutting the strips and cutting out the centre of their shape.
 You may also find it more successful if Key Stage One children lay their folded piece of paper in rows rather than in a spiral. This will still create a beautiful decoration of slatted paper rather than spiralled.
 To complete my tree I have finger painted using yellow and blue acrylic paint, mixing on the tree rather than in the palette. This presents a nice textured finish. Add ribbon and embellishments.

Key stage two children can try to create a spiral effect in the centre by rotating the piece of paper layered around the outside. Each time you start a new cycle you start with the same one, you finished the previous cycle with so in effect number four becomes number 1. You can also encourage older children to incorporate this technique in a design to make a card. Why not have a look at my blog Noel Cards

Here are a couple of examples that were made on a recent school staff Christmas Crafts training session.

I will post templates that can be used for this activity on tomorrows blog which will look at some cute weaving ideas.

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