New This Month

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.

Photography by: THUSS+FARRELL


  • A square piece of paper (we used a 12-by-12-inch piece to make a 6-inch-tall bow)
  • Scissors
Photography by: Bryan Gardner


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.

Photography by: Bryan Gardner

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.

Photography by: Bryan Gardner

3. Unfold paper. Re-crease the resulting center into mountain folds. Then re-crease the two diagonal lines into valley folds.

Photography by: Bryan Gardner

4. Push the sides of the center square inward into a sink fold.

Photography by: Bryan Gardner

5. Fold the top layers over about 1⁄2 inch, or until they are flush with the center crease.

Photography by: Bryan Gardner

6. Flip the paper over and repeat folds to make a diamond shape.

Photography by: Bryan Gardner

7. Unfold (you should now see the bow’s “knot” in the center).

Photography by: Bryan Gardner

8. Flip paper over to reveal vertical top “wings.” Cut along the outer edges of each wing until you reach the middle.

Photography by: Bryan Gardner

9. Fold down top wing.

Photography by: Bryan Gardner

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.

Photography by: Bryan Gardner

11. Separate the bottom wing into two, and then fold each side over at the top and bottom.

Photography by: Bryan Gardner

12. Flip paper over and fold each bow loop into the center knot.

Photography by: Bryan Gardner

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. 

Photography by: Bryan Gardner


Tanabata paper in pink, $5 per sheet, and “Mirri” gold foil wrap paper, $4 per sheet;