Origami Bow Cake Topper
A single bow can turn a cake into a showstopper—especially if you pleat the same paper and wrap it around each layer. And while this fold is tricky, it’s worth it. The result is so eye-catching that once you master the technique, you might find yourself making bows to adorn everything from gift boxes to chair backs.
- A square piece of paper (we used a 12-by-12-inch piece to make a 6-inch-tall bow)
1. Fold paper in half diagonally; unfold. Fold diagonally again from the other side; unfold. Flip paper over and fold in half vertically; unfold. Fold in half horizontally; unfold.
2. Flip paper and pinch into a squash fold to make a flat diamond shape. Fold the top point over about 3⁄4 inch. Unfold and fold top point back to reinforce the crease.
3. Unfold paper. Re-crease the resulting center into mountain folds. Then re-crease the two diagonal lines into valley folds.
4. Push the sides of the center square inward into a sink fold.
5. Fold the top layers over about 1⁄2 inch, or until they are flush with the center crease.
6. Flip the paper over and repeat folds to make a diamond shape.
7. Unfold (you should now see the bow's "knot" in the center).
8. Flip paper over to reveal vertical top "wings." Cut along the outer edges of each wing until you reach the middle.
9. Fold down top wing.
10. Fold the side wings in until they meet in the middle, like a paper airplane. Cut both layers of the bottom wing along the creases.
11. Separate the bottom wing into two, and then fold each side over at the top and bottom.
12. Flip paper over and fold each bow loop into the center knot.
Note: To create a gold border as we did in the top photo, use double-sided tape to layer a smaller strip of paper on top of a metallic one before creasing.
Tanabata paper in pink, $5 per sheet, and "Mirri" gold foil wrap paper, $4 per sheet; nycentralart.com.