How to Make an Origami Birthday Card

A child folding origami

 plusphoto / Getty Images

Handmade origami cards are some of the most practical origami projects around. Instead of spending $3 to $5 on a card at a fancy stationery store, you can quickly create a memorable greeting using a few supplies you probably already have on hand: a blank card, patterned paper, scissors, and glue or double-sided tape.

The beauty of this project is that you can adapt it however you see fit, depending on the patterned paper you use. You can use it as a birthday card, or you could easily change the design to fit whatever occasion you want.

Fun Fact

Origami was initially known as orikata, which means folded shapes. However, in the 1800s, the craft became known as origami. 

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Scissors
  • Glue


  • Paper
  • Card
  • Embellishment: sticker or photo


  1. Prepare Your Paper

    Origami birthday card step one
    Dana Hinders

    Look for paper that is about 4 inches x 4 inches square. Cut your paper in half, so you have a strip that is 2 inches x 4 inches. 

  2. Create a Paper Triangle

    Origami birthday card step two
    Dana Hinders

    Place one strip of paper in front of you with the pattern side face down. Fold the left and right corners up to make a triangle. 

  3. Fold the Corners

    Origami birthday card step three
    Dana Hinders

    Fold the left and right corners out. Make sharp, even creases.

  4. Flip the Paper

    Origami birthday card step four
    Dana Hinders

    Flip your paper over. Fold up, so the visible white edges line up with the patterned edge of the paper. Fold each corner in to make a small triangle. When you're finished with this part of the project, you should have an origami unit that looks like the one in the photo.

    Repeat to fold an identical unit with the other strip of paper leftover from the first step of the project.

  5. Complete Your Origami Birthday Card

    Origami birthday card step five
    Dana Hinders

    Attach the two origami units to the front of a quarter folded 8 1/2 inch x 11-inch paper as shown. Add a small photo or embellishment to the center to complete your origami birthday card.

    Alternatively, you can use this design to create an interesting closure on a decorated sheet of 8 1/2 inch x 11-inch paper. Use a bit of glue or double-sided tape to attach each half of the design to the top and bottom of an 8 1/2 inch x 11-inch sheet of paper. Flip the paper over, then write your message in the middle. Fold the top of the paper up to the middle point. Fold the bottom up to the midpoint, then secure the two origami units with an envelope seal.​

Make an Origami Cupcake Birthday Card

Cupcake card
Dana Hinders

If you'd prefer a more traditional-looking birthday card, try folding an origami cupcake. It uses colored origami paper and patterned washi tape to make a sweet wish for birthday boys or birthday girls of all ages.

Watch Now: How to Make an Origami Bow