The Makermet x pebble low-waste origami Christmas card

By Alex Traska on 6th Dec

300,000 tonnes of waste paper and packaging is produced by the UK during the festive season each year, which had Makermet and pebble magazine thinking about how we can reduce and re-use, by re-designing the traditional Christmas card.

A year since we contributed to the launch of, we've been considering how to reduce the waste produced by our business with the help of pebble's founder, Georgina Wilson-Powell. When GFSmith papers paid Makermet a visit this year to show off their new 'Extract' range of creative papers - made from 50% recycled coffee cups; a huge contributor to global waste - it had us thinking about how we could use the stock to produce this year's greetings card.

Xmas Card 17 3 Crop

From cup to card to Christmas tree...

Once the joy of receipt has faded, greetings cards end up on a shelf, wall and - eventually - the bin. Considering 'reuse' as well as recycling, we thought of ways to help the card avoid the trash can in Jan. After some weird and wacky ideas, we settled on printing single sheet 'cards' that doubled as origami folded tree decorations. To reduce the amount of paper required, we directed those receiving our cards to this blog post and the folding instructions below.

Our friends Dizzy Ink screen printed our design on 130gsm Extract Flint. GFSmith supplied Extract Aqua or Coral via their bespoke envelope service.

Into the fold...

Now it's your turn to get creative. Don't lose the string we provided to hang your unique and double-recycled decoration on your tree, ceiling, cat or unicycle.

We used the origami instructions for this pine tree from Origami Fun.

Instructions 1

1. Start with the square card, pattern side up. Fold in half in 2 directions.

2. Turn the paper over to the written side. Fold the paper in half, crease well and open, and then fold again in the other direction

Instructions 3

3. Using the creases you have made, Bring the top 3 corners of the model down to the bottom corner. Flatten model

Instructions 4 5

4. Fold toward centre line and unfold

5. Using the crease you have just made, open and flatten this flap.

Instructions 6 7

6. Repeat step 4 and 5 on the other 3 sides, so your model looks like this.

7. Now make sure there are equal flaps underneath the model, and that the top flap is showing the pattern, like this.

Instructions 8 9

8. Fold whole model along this crease and unfold

9. Fold each patterned flap backwards underneath itself.

Instructions 10 11

10. Now you can adjust your pine tree so it is even all the way around, and it stands up by itself.

11. To use the tree as a hanging decoration, snip off the top and thread the loop through from the inside out. The knot should now be on the inside of the tree, under the hole you just made.

Now hang it up or place it on your desk!

These origami instructions were originally created by Origami Fun

About the author


Alex Traska

Founder / Creative Director

Alex's works with clients as brand consultant and strategist, and with the in-house team and a large network of collaborators as creative director and art director.

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