Aina Crew! This week we’re taking on mental illness – did you know that suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people?? Me neither. I’ll be blogging all about why this is such an important issue on Friday (stay tuned!), but in the meantime – let’s make some cards for people who are battling mental illness! This week we’re working with the Mental Health Association of San Francisco, and we’re making some incredibly rad, cherry-blossom inspired cards.

Volunteer at home for a trusted nonprofit charity that is supporting mental health struggles

This has been one of my personal favorite projects thus far – I have loved ones that have gone through the battle with mental illness, so I know how incredible important those reminders of love and support are. So. Let’s get to it!

Supplies Needed:

Volunteer at home for a trusted nonprofit charity that is supporting mental health struggles

Note: Some of these links include affiliate links, which means you won’t pay any more but will support Aina just by clicking!

 

Instructions:

Step 1: Cut your piece of origami paper into 4 equal squares (I just folded it twice and then cut along the folds).

Volunteer at home for a trusted nonprofit charity that is supporting mental health struggles

Step 2: Make three of the squares into Origami Cherry Blossoms following this video: (Trust us, it’s waaaay easier with a video!)

Volunteer at home for a trusted nonprofit charity that is supporting mental health struggles

Step 3: Cut a piece of white tissue paper the size of your small origami paper squares.

Volunteer at home for a trusted nonprofit charity that is supporting mental health struggles

Step 4: Fold this paper into half and then half again, and then cut off all 4 sides – yep, even the folded sides – so that you now have 4 separate, even pieces of tissue paper.

Volunteer at home for a trusted nonprofit charity that is supporting mental health struggles

Step 5: Now, one more time – fold your 4 pieces of tissue paper in half, and then half again. Fold that along the diagonal until you have a triangle, and then round the corners of the end – you’ll want to cut these pretty deeply so it really looks like a flower (this step was inspired by this blog!).

Volunteer at home for a trusted nonprofit charity that is supporting mental health struggles

Step 6: Unfold and separate so that you have two flowers (each of two pieces of tissue paper)

Volunteer at home for a trusted nonprofit charity that is supporting mental health struggles

Step 7: Pinch the middle of the flower, twist a bit, and reopen the petals so it looks like a blossom.

Volunteer at home for a trusted nonprofit charity that is supporting mental health struggles

Step 8: Cut out the branches from gray cardstock. This is freeform – yes, you can do it! If you’re having big problems, drop me a line and I’ll make a template for you!

Volunteer at home for a trusted nonprofit charity that is supporting mental health struggles

Step 9: Fold your green piece of cardstock in half. Cut along the fold. Print off the Greeting Card Template onto your cardstock. You will need to adjust the paper size to be 6″X12″, the size of the cardstock. If this is too hard (and yes, I know that sometimes printing can be ridiculously hard!), print it off onto a regular sheet of paper and cut out to glue onto the card. Even better? Make that paper into a watercolor with this tutorial before printing it off.

Volunteer at home for a trusted nonprofit charity that is supporting mental health struggles

Step 11: Fold your card in half to look like a card and glue on your different parts (Tip: Do the branches first, then the big flowers, then the little flowers). I used Mod Podge, but that’s only because my ridiculous children clog up our normal glue EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Any type of glue will work ;).

Volunteer at home for a trusted nonprofit charity that is supporting mental health struggles

Step 12: Sew in the jewel to the cherry blossoms. Start by sticking it through the front center of one of your big blossoms, then pull it out the back. stick it back through, thread the bead on, and sew it in. Do this a couple of times, then tie off.

Volunteer at home for a trusted nonprofit charity that is supporting mental health struggles

Voila! You’re done!! Isn’t this an awesome project??

Volunteer at home for a trusted nonprofit charity that is supporting mental health struggles

Seriously, I love it so much!! It’s definitely one of my favorites.

Volunteer at home for a trusted nonprofit charity that is supporting mental health struggles

The sparkle in those beads is just so fantastic – and I love the message. IF you’d like, you can also include messages of hope and encouragement within the card – or include a Giving Card so the individual you’re helping knows there’s an actual PERSON on the other end, supporting them and caring for them!

Volunteer at home for a trusted nonprofit charity that is supporting mental health struggles

Now you just have one more step to do….

Final Step:

It’s time to send these to people that need them the most! Send your cards to:

MHASF
Attn: Terri Byrne
870 Market Street, Suite 928
San Francisco, CA 94102

These are SO FUN to make once you get the hang of it! So many colors, so many options. Share your creations with us on  Instagram by tagging us @ainagiving and using #ChangeCrafters!

Carmen Westbrook is the CEO and co-founder of Aina Giving, a socially responsible company that develops craft projects and tutorials for highly screened, trusted nonprofit charities. If you’d like to be a part of the Year of Giving Resolution, join the Aina Crew and get 52 free projects – one per week – to help others with your crafty gifts.

 

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Mamas Aina

Carmen & Kristin

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