I had originally made an origami leaf tree necklace way, way back when I started making origami jewellery and had just moved on from folding more than cranes. Since then my skills and knowledge have increased (read: I’m better at making leaves more precisely and better glued); so I decided I wanted to upgrade the leaves on the necklace so it will be worn more and not waste the reusable elements.
- 1 green origami paper square (~15cm x ~15cm)
- Paper glue
- Finish coating (e.g. ModPodge)
- 14 x 5mm jump rings
- Chain necklace
- Eyelet wire in ~5, 7 & 8cm or prepare your own 20ga wire (cut 6, 8 & 9cm).
- 28 x green beads, 4-5mm size
- 1 x tree trunk bead and jump ring or wire to attach to necklace
Make the little squares
- Fold origami paper into 14 squares (or use all 16 squares and make a pair of leaf earrings). i.e. Fold the paper in half, then fold in half again. Unfold, turn paper 90 degrees and repeat the folds. Carefully cut out 14 (or 16!) squares.
Fold the leaves.
- Fold square in half point-to-point so it becomes a triangle.
- Fold other way point-to-point to make a crease from middle to point of first triangle. Unfold. Now have triangle with line down the middle. This line helps to line up the other folds.
- Concertina fold, or zig zag fold, the triangle. Fold point up to meet the crease at the top. Then fold point down to the bottom to meet the crease. Turn over and fold top down to meet the bottom line. Now fold all sections in half, some earlier folds will need to be reversed (mountain becomes valley, or valley becomes mountain fold).
- To finish the leaf, fold the long side half to meet and glue. Leave a hole in the leaf for a jump ring – do not glue all the way in. The point is now the base of the leaf.
- Coat in a protective finish. I use ModPodge. And do 2 coats (paint and dry x 2) on each side; one side at a time so it can dry on baking paper and not stick.
- Once dry, attach 5mm jump ring through the hole in the leaf.
- Find middle of necklace and attach trunk bead.
- Thread leaves and beads in the pattern: bead, leaf, bead, repeat – with 3 leaves (e.g. bead, leaf, bead, bead, leaf, bead, bead, leaf, bead), then 5 leaves and then 6 leaves.
- Measure out and attach wire ~1cm up each level (this worked out to 8 chains from bead of first wire and then 6 chains between 1 and 2, and 2 and 3).