Creative Ways to Fold Paper Notes

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Folding notes is a variation of the ancient art of origami, the Japanese tradition of folding paper. With varying degrees of difficulty, from love notes to pull-tabs, the secret square, holiday-themed and kid notes, folding these interlocking messages is an inventive way to quickly add a personal touch to a letter or piece of paper.

Things You'll Need

  • Three sheets of standard A4 (8 1/2-by-11 inch) paper (any color)

  • One sheet of square paper (any color)

  • All paper should be of printer paper weight or thinner; don't use card stock or heavy paper


Write on your paper prior to folding it, and shape custom-sized paper to the correct dimensions before beginning. It's important to know the difference between hot dog- and hamburger-style folding.

Envelope Pull-Tab

The simplest and most traditional note folding method is the pull-tab. This method requires a sheet of 8 1/2-by-11-inch paper.

Step 1

With the paper horizontally in front of you, fold in both of the top corners to form a point, as if to construct a paper airplane. Repeat with the bottom corners.

Step 2

Fold the left and right edges in to meet against each other down the center. Then, fold down the top point and fold up the bottom point to meet at the creases, reforming the piece of paper into a rectangle.

Step 3

Flip the paper over. Fold the bottom edge up a third of the way and fold the top edge down to overlap the previous fold. Tuck each corner into the flap directly underneath.

Secret Square

This interlocking square is small, simple and easy to conceal. Again, you need a sheet of 8 1/2-by-11-inch paper.

Step 1

Fold the piece of paper in half hot-dog style. Fold hot-dog style again, forming one long rectangle.

Step 2

Lay the paper horizontally in front of you. Fold the left edge diagonally upward at a 45-degree angle and fold the right edge diagonally downward at a 45-degree angle; your paper should resemble the state of Tennessee backwards (a parallelogram). With the paper still horizontal, on the left side, about 1 inch inward from the bottom point, fold the triangle upward again at a 45-degree angle; the edge from your first fold should be flush against the top of the paper. With the right side, about 1 inch inward from the top point, fold the triangle downward again at a 45-degree angle; the edge from your first fold should be flush against the bottom of the paper. You now have one parallelogram pointing upward on the left, a square in the middle, and another parallelogram pointing downward on the right.

Step 3

Fold the left parallelogram inward -- one triangle should be covering half of the center square ,and one triangle should be pointing upward above the center square. Fold the upward pointing triangle down, across the triangle below it, to lay over the center square. Now fold the right parallelogram inward, covering the square as you did the left. Finally, fold the remaining triangle upward and tuck the flap into the bottom crease.

For a visual aid, check out this video.

Jumping Frog

When completed, this frog, constructed with a square sheet of paper, can hop to its intended recipient.


This tutorial is best done with thinner paper and by a more experienced crafter. For a simpler version, see the Easy Origami Frog instead. You can also learn additional details.

Step 1

Fold your paper in half, making sure the now-rectangular paper lays vertically in front of you.

Step 2

Fold the top left corner down diagonally at a 45-degree angle toward the right side. Unfold. Repeat with the top right side. Unfold again. There should be an "X" crease on the top half of the paper. Create another crease horizontally across the center of the "X" by folding back the top half portion of the already established "X," and then unfolding it.

Step 3

Pinch the top and bottom of the center crease on either side of the paper and bring the sides together, creating an hourglass shape. Using the creases as guides, press the paper flat, forming a triangle (the entire paper should resemble a house).

Step 4

Fold the bottom of the paper upward halfway, making the bottom edge rest against the bottom of the triangle. Then, fold each corner of the triangle upward at about a 30-degree angle to form a wide "V" shape; the points of the triangle will point up and a little outward, becoming the "arms" of the frog. Then, fold the left and right edges of the bottom rectangle inward vertically to meet against one another down the center, to form a long, thin rectangle; they will lie flat underneath the "V" formed by the triangle above it. Fold the now-thinner rectangle upward halfway, so the bottom edge is against the point of the "V."

Step 5

On the bottom portion, fold each of the corners downward at a 45-degree angle to meet flush against one another down the center to form two triangles. With your index fingers lightly gripping the top points of the triangles, slide the two points apart and flatten, forming an upside-down trapezoid. Fold each pointed side down to form an "X" shape in line with the arms. These become the legs.

Step 6

Fold the legs upward at the center of the "X" -- the legs should lay on top of the arms. Then fold down about half of that (and the legs), forming a spring and enabling the frog to have its hop. Flip it over and press on the backside to make the frog jump.