Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Search Press
Release Date: November 2003
ISBN:9058772780 (Compendium)
  9058773221 (Elegant)
Format Reviewed: Paperback
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Genre: How-To Books/Making Greetings Cards
Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Rachel A Hyde 
Reviewer Notes:  Christmas, Easter, Valentine and general

Iris Folding Compendium
Elegant Iris Folding
By Maruscha Gaasenbeek & Tine Beauveser

      That most green of Dutch papercrafts is more popular than ever, as these two books show. If you haven't bought any of the books yet and are wondering what it is all about-- or are already a veteran folder--then these two new titles are what you're looking for.

     If you are wondering what iris folding is: it has nothing to do with the flowers; it is so- called because the folds resemble the iris of a camera. In Holland, business envelopes have wonderful patterns printed inside them and these are split open and cut into strips, ready for folding. This is a great way of recycling, but in other countries these papers are nearly always blue and nothing like their lovely Dutch counterparts. Don't despair, though, as there are plenty of other pretty papers to recycle - the outsides of some commercial envelopes, flyers, old wrapping paper, bits left over from other paper hobbies, wallpaper, etc.

     The compendium contains the text and diagrams (plus three new ones) from three books: Iris Folding with Envelopes, Festive Iris Folding and Iris Folding for Christmas. I was pleased to see a whole two-page spread of colored photographs that show, clearly and in easy steps, how to iris fold. Before this there are two pages of text, explaining how to do this for the basic triangle, circle and square, but I found these pages were not needed, since the diagrams do the explanations far better and this solid type is very daunting for the beginner.

     Then there is the list of items used (and don't worry if you don't have them all - as long as you have fancy papers, a craft knife and some glue or tape then you are away). After that come the patterns and ideas for the cards, which are lovely, especially as this book is larger format and those initial step-by-step diagrams are such an improvement on the originals.

     Elegant Iris Folding is a little more advanced than the earlier books and takes the idea a little further. Some of the projects use five papers instead of three or four, and the new packs of iris folding papers (ideal for anybody short of decorated envelopes) are showcased. There are some lovely cards in here all shown with lovely toning colors. Make a truly lovely rose, fancy birthday cake, house for somebody moving, Christmas tree, bauble and more. This was my favorite book yet and I particularly like the way the small tree is repeated more than once on a card used to great effect, also the way in which iris folding is teamed up with other papercrafts such as Spirelli and stencilling. This is a very cheap and highly addictive craft with the added bonus of recycling something that would otherwise get thrown away. Sites dealing with this hobby are not plentiful and there isn't much you need to buy which makes a refreshing change.

In the UK, try Cardcraft Plus,Unit 1, Oxheys Industrial Estate, Greenbank Street, Preston, Lancashire PR1 7PH Tel: (01772) 466157 Email: This company ships worldwide.

In the US / sells templates and booklets has some helpful diagrams
Or try for a list of suppliers.