We mostly get to see photos of how our customers use our products but when Jessica’s origami dresses, made from our recycled catalogs came through, our hearts skipped a beat.
We connected with Jessica to discover how she makes these origami dresses, so read on and learn how to create your own!
DIY Origami Dress
“Making origami is so fun! Being able to turn a piece of paper into a work of art is really gratifying. All you need to get started is an old west elm catalog.”
What You’ll need
An old west elm catalog
Pair of scissors
Carefully tear out a page from the catalog. Because the pages are rectangular, we need to make them into a square. Fold the right corner of your page up and to the left until it creates a point at the bottom left corner. Crease along the folded line. There should be about two and a half inches give or take left at the top of your page.
Remember, the key to origami is precision when folding, and keep those creases crisp!
Fold the extra two and a half inches of paper left at the top over and create a strong crease. Carefully unfold + either tear or cut the excess two and a half inch piece off.
Now that we have our square, fold the bottom half of your page up to the top of your page so they line up – crease and then unfold. Then fold the right side of your square to the left so they line up – crease and unfold. Your square should now have creases that resemble a plus sign (there should be a crease horizontally and vertically).
Flip your paper over to the back. Fold in the left half of the page to the middle crease and do the same with the right side. It should resemble two cabinet doors. Unfold and flip your page back over. You will see that your page has two peaks kind of like mountains. Fold your left peak into the middle crease and do the same with the right. Do not unfold.
Flip your folded page to the back side and fold the top half of your folded page to the bottom half of your folded page. Crease and keep folded. Now bring the bottom half of that folded page up, but when folding it up, leave about a quarter of an inch between your fold and the crease.
Flip your page back over to the front of your dress. Keeping one hand on the crease in the middle of the dress, gently pull the bottom right corner of your folded paper out to the right. This is going to make the pleat of your dress front. Pull it out until the bottom has opened completely. Be careful not to pull too hard to avoid tearing. When it’s completely pulled out, crease along the pleat you’ve just created. Do the same to the left side.
Flip your dress back over to the other side and at the top middle, pull down each corner so you create two little triangular flaps. Make sure they are even. Crease and then unfold. Pull down in the middle of the top (where you just folded and unfold the triangles). Pull it open and out until it folds down creating two triangles pointing outwards (it looks like a diamond). If you start opening it up and pushing the corners out a bit, it should start to naturally fold down into that diamond shape.
At the top middle where you just folded your diamond, there is going to be two flaps you will be able to fold and crease. This is going to make your neckline. Fold the right middle flap down to the right and it will make a triangle. Crease. Do the same to the left middle flap. Crease. Now take the right top flap and fold it into the middle of your dress. Once you do this, the whole right side will come with it (i.e. the middle and bottom of the dress). The middle of your dress (where the middle fold/crease is) will start to fold inwards.
This is how you will determine if your dress has a higher or lower waist. Fold it to the middle and there will be a little corner of the wrong side (back of your page) of your paper that will meet in the middle. Crease the right side (front of your page) at an angle so everything will lay flat. You can kind of manipulate it in whichever way you want your dress to look like in the front. You can kind of test it out; flip it over to check if you like it, and then crease all the way down. Do the same to the left side.
Flip your dress back over and you will see it taking shape. Last stop is making the sleeves. Flip your dress back over to the back and the two flaps left at the top are going to be the sleeves. Fold down the corner of the right flap to the opposite right side of the dress (it will be off to the side of your dress) so it makes a triangle. This is also based on preference; you can make your sleeves more or less prominent. Do the same to the left side.
Jessica is based in South Florida and loves to make and create. Treasure hunting for vintage pieces and finding out about her history tugs at her heartstrings. Check out her blog and follow her on Instagram.
For being chosen as the #mywestelm Photographer Of The Month, we’re sending Jessica a $100 gift card!