How to fold your own shirt!

You might not know, but I live in Leeds, and the Tour De France is having le Grand Depart from our beautiful city centre this weekend! I work in the city a couple of days a week, and the arcade is full of Yorkshire sayings paired with images of French and cycling related items, and it’s all a little bit exciting. People I know are tweeting that they’ve seen Brad Pitt in Betty’s (a local tearoom) and Tom Cruise was rumoured to be shopping in Leeds itself.

So to join in the fun, I’ve decided to put up this tutorial. This traditional fold is something you can find almost anywhere online, it’s really simple, but it’s useful for all sorts of occassions. I recently used it for Father’s Day, but you can change it to add other details for a doctor jacket, a ladies shirt, or even Father Christmas’ suit.


The best thing about this fold is that you can do it on any shape of paper, so if you can’t find a piece of ‘real’ origami paper (if such a thing exists) just use a piece of A4 printer paper. If you use a rectangular piece of paper, your shirt will have different proportions which you might prefer anyway.

When folding paper, the most important things are – take time making the initial fold to where you want the paper to eventually be, and then when it’s in place make a GOOD SHARP CREASE with your thumbnail. As you can see by the pictures, I don’t have nails, so I use the side of my thumb. You can also use the edge of a ruler, or just a piece of plastic. Sharp creases make all the difference.


1. To start with, get yourself a piece of paper. I’ve used yellow for the yellow jersey. The paper I use is usually double sided, so this one has a more faded yellow back.


This is the front

2. Turn the paper so that the side you don’t want to see is face up – in this case it’s the paler yellow side. Fold the paper in half lengthways.


Match the corners with each other without pressing down just yet, like so


Then when it’s in the right place, press down on the fold to make the paper flat.


3. Fold each side into the middle, so they both meet at the crease you just made. This is called the ‘cupboard fold’.



It should look like this


4. Fold a little bit of the top backwards.



5. Fold the top corners down towards the middle line. There’s no exact place to do this, but leave a gap between the middle line and where you fold. It should be about a 45 degree fold.


One side folded; make sure the other side matches. It’s easier to do the second one, just make sure it’s a mirror image.


It should look like this


6. Now you need to fold up the bottom to meet where these two folds meet. This isn’t that tricky, but it makes all the difference to how your shirt looks at the end. You want to fold halfway between the two stars shown in the image.


It should look like this.


Now unfold it again.

7. Now you need to fold the flaps outwards. Fold from the bottom corner to a point in the middle, but a little lower than the crease.


One side done


And it should look like this when finished


8. To finish, refold in half and tuck the bottom of the paper underneath the ‘collar’ to hold it in place.


If you use a rectangular piece of paper, it’ll look more like this


This also shows that there is no such thing as ‘proper origami paper’ – any paper can be used, as long as you can fold it. This design in particular is good for any paper because it’s not got too many layers of folds.

So to celebrate the tour, why not stick your shirt onto a wooden stick and wave it around!

If you make a shirt, why not tag a photo of it on instagram, twitter or facebook with #icouldmakethat so I can see how you all did


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