Teabag Folding 1

Class taught by Dominique S. on 8/11/06


Link to gallery:
Teabag Folding Technique Gallery on Flickr



Using a paper trimmer or a metal ruler and a sharp craft knife, cut out 8 teabag squares out of the sheet of teabag papers. Accuracy is paramount!


Square Fold:
To get a neat result, it is important to fold accurately, so please take your time. Thick or glossy papers are more difficult to fold accurately. Standard printer paper is the best.

1. Begin with the wrong side of a paper facing up. Fold the paper horizontally, side to side, so the patterned side is uppermost and the corners match. Use a bone folder to crease the fold.


2. Open the paper, then fold and crease the other sides.


3. Open the paper, turn it over, fold diagonally corner to corner. Crease the diagonal.


4. Open the paper, then fold and crease the other diagonal.


5. Open the paper and check the folds. It should look like this:


6. Turn the paper over, then using the creases as a guide, start to close the fold.



7. Flatten the paper to form a small square. Depending how you fold it, there are four possible “front” designs. Choose the most pleasing one. Here I have the geisha’s face on the front.


8. Repeat steps 1 to 7 with the other seven papers, making sure that each square has the same design on the front. Please take your time to fold accurately.

9. You now have 8 small folded squares, all with the same design on the front.

Let’s now assemble the rosette. We’ll practice first without any glue. Pick a square in your left hand, open sides at the top. Insert another paper snugly inside the first so that the bottom points are aligned. We are assembling the folds left over right. Although you could insert the whole thickness of the second square inside the first one, it is easier to align the bottom points if you insert the top section of the second (right) square under the top section of the first (left). The back section of the first square goes in-between the folds of the second square.



Holding the first two together, insert a third paper in the second one exactly the same way.


Once you are confident you’ve got it right, disassemble (just let go!).

10. Pick one paper, and apply a little bit of adhesive on the inside of the right side fold, see photo (Vicki B. also suggests using small adhesive dots as a possibility, instead of the glue):


11. Insert another paper snugly inside the first so that the bottom points are aligned. Remember we are assembling the folds left over right. Close the fold, check alignment and press the glued pieces together.


12. Repeat steps 10 – 11 with the other six papers. Check alignment every time, and don’t forget to interlock the left side of the first paper in the right side of the last one to complete the rosette. Depending on how accurately you cut your squares and folded them and assembled, you usually end up with a small hole in the middle. The thinner the paper and the more accuretly you work, the smaller the hole. It can be disguised with a flower, a brad (as in my card) etc.. or just left as it is.



13. Congratulations! Check the back of your rosette, it should make another one…
Here is what mine looks like:


14. Now, let your imagination guide you and use this rosette to make a card. Here is the one I made, using an extra teabag square:

<img src="http://www.orientalstampart.com/images/techniques/teabagfolding/howto-18.jpg&quot; border="1" alt="" width="170" howto-18

One design of teabag square can create four different square folds, each of which can be assembled to produce two different rosettes (right into left or left into right):


Picture from “Tea Bag Folded Greetings Cards” by Kim Reygate

Sheets of seamless teabag papers can also be used as background paper for your teabag folding projects.

Teabag folding is generally explained using international origami symbols. I have included those in a pdf:
International Origami Symbols
You will need those for the next class. I suggest you print it in landscape form.

There are quite a few internet sites dealing with teabag folding, as well as books with projects. Here are a few references:

Tea Bag Folding by Tiny Van Der Plas and Janet Wilson
More Tea Bag Folding by Tiny Van Der Plas and Janet Wilson
Tea Bag Folded Greetings Cards by Kim Reigate

Both have free printable Teabag Papers.

This is a very good explanation for the Triangle Fold.

Some tips

by Ann P.:
First tip. If your folded squares aren’t accurate, trim along the *open* edges with scissors to make them neat. Don’t cut along the folded edges or the module will fall to pieces, Don’t ask how I learnt that lesson! Remember to trim them before you assemble your medallion!

Tip 2 is, trim the edges with fancy scissors. A deckle edge looks lovely.

Tip 3 if you have a large hole in the middle of your medallion after assembling the squares, glue a bead in the centre to hide the hole. You can use any kind of embellishment. Play and see what happens. (playing with papercrafts is always good for the soul)

Tip 4. punch tiny holes at the pointed end of each folded square (when the medallion is assembled) attach a tiny seed bead. This also looks wonderful.

By Pixie:
If you have one of the very large square punches, either straight sides or scallop, use that to punch out sqares from plain paper. Great to practice with so you don’t spoil your fancy teabag tiles. Also you can decorate them after assembly. Or use 2 different colours of paper & alternate the tiles as you assemble the medallion, very pretty

One Response to Teabag Folding 1

  1. Susan says:

    Thank you, very helpful and clear. Love the card design, Susan from Australia

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