IRIS MAKING is an easy paper-folding technique that can be used to make greeting cards, scrapbook pages or designs.

My first experience was conducting this activity with a group of adults with psychosis + Intellectual Disability, during Creative Arts group. The second time was done with a group of teenagers with high-functioning Autism during a Leisure group. Gradation can be done to make this activity simpler or more challenging.

Items and Materials

  • Pencil
  • A pair of scissors
  • 1 plain paper (Black or White)
  • 3 coloured papers (Of different colours)
  • Clear scotch tape
  • Iris template, downloadable below


STEP 1: Trace an outline of the Iris template on plain paper using pencil

STEP 2: Cut out the shape of the Iris template, leaving a hole in the middle of the plain paper (This is your cut-out sheet)

STEP 3: Place the cut-out sheet over the Iris template

STEP 4: Cut the 3 coloured papers into long strips

STEP 5: Place the first strip fully over the box labelled “1”, be careful to follow the outline of the box. Paste the strip down with scotch tape, ensuring that the tape is stuck onto the cut-out sheet and not on the inner Iris template.

STEP 6: Continue with ascending numbers, each time ensuring that the coloured strip overlaps the previous one. Boxes on the same side can be of the same colours.

STEP 7. Once finished, turn the cut-out sheet over and the true design (neater version) can be seen! Tadaa!

Therapeutic Potential

  • To encourage creativity with the usage of simple materials to make art.
  • To facilitate the use of the following cognitive skills: Attention span, sequencing, problem solving, learning, instruction comprehension
  • To facilitate the use of the following motor skills: Bilateral integration, praxis, fine coordination, visual motor integration
  • To facilitate the use of the following perceptual skills: Spatial relations


To up the challenge:

  • More complicated templates Eg. square, pentagon, butterfly (Click here for downloadable templates)
  • Instructions provide all at-once in printed or written form, with picture cues
  • 1:10 facilitator to participant ratio if in a group

To simplify:

  • Pre-cut paper with contrasting colour (Black cut-out sheet against white Iris template)
  • Pre-cut paper strips to desired length
  • Paper strips are numbered to match numbers on Iris template
  • One-step instructions, with repeated demo and doing part of task for participant
  • 1:5 facilitator to participant ratio if in a group

Have fun trying! Leave a comment if you do, would love to know how the activity worked out for you.

What's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

About Nani Adilla Zailani

Essentially, living in the moment and loving all things beautiful.


DIY & Crafts


, , ,