How to Fold a Horizontal Pull Tab Note

The Art of the Folded Paper Note

pull tab note with books and markers
Rita Shehan

There are many ways to fold notes, and this project will show you how to create one that has been popular for years. The pull tab note creates a small envelope that keeps your secret message safe inside. The recipient can quickly open it with the tab.

Not only is this a fun, old-school way to send someone a note or letter, but it's also a quick and simple introduction to origami as well.

Practice First

It's best to practice making the pull tab note on a blank piece of paper. Afterward, you can unfold it to write your letter, then fold it back up. It ensures that you don't waste paper or time if it doesn't come out as you expected.

Once you become more familiar with the folds, you can write your note first, then fold the paper.

Start With a Sheet of Paper

Folded sheet of paper
Rita Shehan

Start with a blank 8 1/2- x 11-inch sheet of paper. This example shows white copy paper, but you can use colorful copy paper, lined notebook paper, or even graph paper. Just make sure it is standard letter size. If it isn't, you can trim it. Fold the paper in half horizontally, sharpen the crease with a bone folder or your fingernail, then open and lay flat.

Fold the Right Top and Bottom Corners

2 folded corners
Rita Shehan

Turn your paper horizontally. Fold the top right corner toward the center, then fold the bottom right corner towards the center. Your folding project should have two equal triangles with a vertical line down the center.

Fold the Left Top and Bottom Corners

left corners folded
Rita Shehan

Fold the top left corner towards the center fold, then fold the bottom left corner towards the centerfold.This step should create four equal triangles with a vertical line down the center.

When you fold the corners, align the edges of your folds, so the two triangles on each side line up evenly. There shouldn't be a gap between the edges of your folds.

Fold the Top and Bottom

four folded corners pull tab note
Rita Shehan

Fold the straight top down toward the center and the straight bottom up toward the center. Everything should line up along the center fold of the paper. 

Flip the Paper Over

fliped folded paper
Rita Shehan

Flip your paper over so that the folds are facing down. The flat side of the paper should be facing up. 

Fold the Paper Toward the Center

center fold
Rita Shehan

Take the left edge of the paper and fold the paper toward the center of the paper, about one-third of the way. The tip of the triangle that appears on the left side should line up with the left edge of the paper.

Fold the Right Edge In

folds in corners
Rita Shehan

Taking the right edge of the paper, fold it toward the center as well. Now the left and right edges of the paper that you just folded should overlap in the center of the paper. Tuck the top right and bottom right corners into the left and right pockets.

Tuck the Corners

folded pull tab note
Rita Shehan

Take the corners of the right fold (which should be on top) and tuck them into the folds on the left side. Tucking the corners will keep your note securely folded until the tab is pulled. Flatten your pull tab note.

Pass It On!

note with pull instructions
Rita Shehan

Your pull tab is in the center of the note. You can label it with the word "pull" or draw a fun arrow. You can unfold the note and write your note and then refold it. Flip the finished note to write your "to" and "from" message or draw doodle images to decorate your note before giving the note to someone special. 

Try Other Types of Origami Folds

other origami folds
Rita Shehan

Now that you have made your first origami note, you may have been bitten by the folding bug. Try these other types of origami folds offered on The Spruce Crafts. Any of these cute paper shapes would make a delightful note to pass on to your friends.