I have been on a paper pleating binge for two reasons - I have been inspired by Paul Jackson's new book , Complete Pleats (link to my review)- and I have a lovely Silhouette Curio machine to score the folds for me - a top notch productivity assist! Paper pleating is a skill I have long wished to acquire. Now that I've cracked it, I want to share so that you can get the pleating bug, too. So today, I have a fun seasonal project plus tutorial - pleated rosettes. They make great tree ornaments, or can be used as gift packaging embellishments.
I have designed rosettes in two sizes, standard and small. (Always nice to have contrast.)
Here are your rosette files:
The pics above are of the .pdf versions. I include a low-tech - handmade - alternative because not every papercrafter has a digital papercutter - yet :)
Pleated Rosette Tutorial
1 Print out two copies of each design. The strips are pieced to makeup the full rosette length.
Making by hand: score the folds with a fine-point embossing tool held against a small metal ruler. Punch the holes with a 1/16 circle handpunch. Cut out the rosette rectangles with a craft knife held against a blade (use a cutting mat).
Curio version: turn on the registration marks and print two copies of the rosette design. After printing, move the folding guide on top of the rosette design, with edges aligned. Proceed to cut by colour. The ratchet blade goes in the the lefthand holder, the fine-point embossing tool on the right. Emboss first (blue lines), then cut (orange lines). I have given you a selection of rosette designs, simply choose the design you want and place it in the cutting area as required.
2 Pic above shows you how to join the rosette strips. Once the strips are joined "prime" the folds so they will fall into place when you fold them for real. Fold the pleats both ways - mountain and valley (a universal fold, according to Paul Jackson) and also squeeze the zigzag Vs - crease and pinch.
3 Time to start folding for real! I won't lie to you - this is a bit tricky - so do a practice run. The tricky bit is that the folds reverse direction at each crease. Insies turn into outsies at each V! What you have to do is "pop" each V - kind of like popping bubble wrap. When the action clicks, you will find that the accordion pleats fall into place when you fold the concave Vs. Whee!
When one side of the rosette is folded, it forms a crocodile (pic above).
4 Now fold the other side of the rosette strip. A horseshoe shape is formed (pic above). Your rosette folds are made. You now have to join the strip into a ring.
5 To join the rosette into a ring, overlap the last accordion sections. Double-sided tape does the trick. The action of joining opens out the pleat a bit - coax the rosette into shape, folding the accordion pleats inwards.
6 Now all you have to do is lace through the holes (use craft thread and a tapestry needle) and knot the ends. Repeat for the other side. I like to add small beads onto the ribbon tails.
7 For a hanging ornament, thread 45cm(18in) of narrow ribbon through the centre hole. Knot as shown, just above the rosette and another 10cm (4in) along. Trim the tails.
Aren't pleats neat? Happy pleating! If you want to find out more, here's the pleating motherlode: