How-To Tuesdays: Quilt-Inspired Greeting Card

Paper Crafts

If you love the colorful and graphic look of quilt blocks, here’s a fun way to experiment with designing them — only without having to pull out the rotary cutter and iron. Just round up some origami paper or patterned fabric and some graph paper and you can create all sorts of fun designs to turn into useful and unique greeting cards. Here’s how I did it!


Graph paper 4 squares per inch
Colored cardstock I used brown
Origami paper various colors/patterns
Glue stick
X-Acto knife
Sewing machine



Step 1: Cut out a 5″×5″ piece of graph paper. Sketch out an angular design on the paper. I found it helpful to crease the paper in 1¼” intervals to help me keep the design centered and even on all sides. You can copy the design pictured above or create your own.
Step 2: Once you’ve sketched out your design, figure out how many shades of origami paper you’d like to use. I used 3: red, blue, and yellow. Color-code your design by marking the appropriate section with the color you’d like it to be.
Step 3: Cut out another 5″×5″ piece of graph paper and recreate your design once again. Then cut along all the lines so you’re basically left with a quilt block puzzle. So now you have 1 block in puzzle pieces, and 1 intact piece to refer to as a placement guide.
Step 4: There are a couple of different ways you can choose to cut up the origami paper. For the example pictured above top, I knew I needed to end up with 4 blue triangles. So I folded a piece of blue origami paper over 4 times and used one of the “B” triangle pieces I cut out in Step 3 as a template, slicing through all the layers at once. For the yellow example pictured above bottom, I saw that the “Y” triangle pieces I cut out in Step 3 fit together as a square. So I cut out a square the same size and cut it in the same way. However you want to cut the papers out is fine, as long as you end up with all the pieces you need.
Step 5: Cut out two 6″×6″ pieces of cardstock. On one piece of cardstock, mark the center with 2 lines measuring at least 3″ long. Use this marking as a guide to begin gluing and placing the paper pieces you cut out in Step 4.
Step 6: Using your intact piece of graph paper as a placement guide, continue gluing and sticking the origami paper pieces to the card, building the block from the center out towards the edges. If you want to be super neat and line all the edges up perfectly, feel free, but I like the slightly wonky look of letting a bit of cardstock peek through. Allow to dry.
Step 7: Stack the block-adorned square on top of the blank cardstock square. Sew the layers together with a sewing machine, stitching about ¼” in from the leftmost edge. Double-knot the threads at the top and bottom edges of the card to secure. That’s it!

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Jenny Ryan

Jenny Ryan is an artist, crafter, and maker of things. She lives in Los Angeles with a pack of various animals (including her husband) and writes about her adventures in creating at Exit Through the Thrift Shop.

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