This artist trading card or ATC (or ACEO ie art card, edition or original) uses paper Iíve marbled at home as described in the article Iíve previously written covering this (link at end of this article). Apart from my own papers, it uses readily available materials and equipment.
Start with heavy watercolor paper (which has to be 2.5" x 3.5" for an ATC or ACEO) as a base. It needs to be reasonably heavy to prevent the glue used for sticking everything down from buckling it.
For a background I use my own marbled papers Ė three different ones. As you can see, Iíve cut two of them with edges that are reminiscent of waves, and then layered them over each other. You can get special scissors that automatically cut in a wave pattern, but I just used ordinary scissors and waggled them about a bit.
I then outlined the edge with fabric paint to give a 3D effect.
One is vertical, and one horizontal because Iím making two different ones at the same time.
Then you need your origami fish.
If you run into problems with any of the instructions, do drop into the Creativity forum (see on the right of this page) and ask for pointers. If you ask anything in there it will help other people, too, who want to know, but are maybe too shy to ask.
Here are the instructions:
Itís a page from a book that I had as a child Ė an absolutely brilliant book that Iím delighted to find you can still get. I shall write a review of it for my next article, but the link to it is at the end of this article.
Hereís a couple of the first folds:
Iíve used squares of 6.5 cm and 5.5cm because I wanted slightly different sizes of fish. Thatís quite small to work with Ė but then, so are ACEOs!
You fold your square in half and crease on the dotted lines. Make the creases sharp - it always helps with the folding. Take point A inside to meet point C and the same with point B. Make a cut where it shows you on the diagram, then moutain fold on the line AC and valley fold on line BD - and then do the same on the other side - and you can see your fish emerge. Turn it over and do the same on the other side.
Having completed your origami fish, please, origami purists Ė look away now! Ė I cut mine in half so I have two fish to useÖ and so itís not too thick on the ACEO. I donít want the 3D effect to be too bulky. Also, of course, I get two fish for the price of one. Youíll see how to do it when you look at your fish (because you've already seen your fish emerge on one side before turning it over to do the same on the other side). Your fish ends up looking exactly the same as it does twice as thick, only itís half as thickÖ
The eyes are drawn in with ink pens, and in the picture below Iíve used a green fabric paint to draw in some seaweed to make the rendezvous for these two fish that much more attractive.
The fish are stuck on with your average craft-type glue, and I made the marbled papers a little bigger than ACEO size so I could trim it afterwards, just to make sure everything was big enough.
And a few 3D bubbles dabbed on, and you have your origami fish in sea heaven.
You can equally as well make this design using wrapping papers or just printer paper youíve decorated yourself. I would always advise doing the origami bit first on a practice piece of scrap paper before using your precious special paper.
I think Iím going to put these ACEOs straight into one of my shops on Etsy as I have no birthdays just at the moment. Otherwise I might attach one of them to a greeting card blank or frame it to use as a small gift.
This is the shop on Etsy where Iíve put these ACEOs
And below is the book I had as a child from which I originally learnt origami - I was so pleased to find it on Amazon!