Gum chewers who like to keep their hands busy, rejoice: Turning those gum wrappers into hearts is the perfect way to make use of productive fidgeting while you blow bubbles and maybe also make a sweet gesture toward someone you love. Gifting a special someone with a gum wrapper origami heart is a simple yet romantic way to say you were thinking of him.
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If you have ever folded a dollar bill into a heart, you might be familiar with the process for making a gum wrapper heart. It is simple enough for even a total origami novice to master.
Create the Shape
Turn a rectangular gum wrapper into a square by carefully trimming or tearing away one end of the paper. If the wrapper is about twice as long as it is wide, simply fold it in half to create a square. Determine where to cut by folding and creasing the wrapper in half on the diagonal so the short side of the wrapper is lined up with the long side. Cut off any excess to create a square and then fold the square in half the other way to create a second crease that dissects the paper into four triangles.
Make the First Folds
Place the unfolded square wrapper in front of you (corner pointed up) with the side of the paper that you want to show in the finished heart facing down. Fold down the top corner to meet the crease in the middle of the wrapper and crease the fold to keep the corner in place. Fold the bottom corner up to meet the very top of the paper and crease the fold. The wrapper should look like a squashed hexagon with six points.
Create the Heart Shape
Take the bottom edge of the right side of the wrapper and fold it up on the diagonal so this edge of the paper is flush with the center crease. Repeat this fold on the left side, bringing the bottom edge up to meet the center crease. At this point, the wrapper should look like a boxy heart with a slit running down the middle.
Finish the Gum Wrapper Heart
Fold down the corners of the wrapper with the exception of the bottom to create a softer heart shape. Sharpen the creases using a plastic card if necessary, but a gum wrapper should hold this shape without much help. If you would like to preserve the heart for a long time and don't want it to start coming apart, put small dots of glue under the corners.
Uses for Gum Wrapper Hearts
Once you have mastered this easy method for making gum wrapper origami hearts, you may find yourself folding every empty wrapper into one. If you end up with a bunch of these gum wrapper hearts on hand, there are any number of sweet ways to use them.
Use a needle and thread to make a garland of hearts to display for Valentine's Day or to hang above your desk. Use a few handfuls of hearts as cushioning material in small gift boxes. Glue them to greeting cards or make a DIY pop-up card with the hearts springing forward when the card is opened.