Over the last little while I’ve noticed more and more people folding origami playing cards.

These models are super impressive because usually they use paper that’s white on one side and red or black on the other side. The designs use colour changes so you end up with a white card background and red hearts and diamonds or black spades and clubs.

The final models are nice and flat and 2 dimensional too so you could almost use them as actual playing cards too.

Since these models are so interesting I’ve decided to do a post all about them.

There wasn’t quite enough to do a full post though so I’ve decided to also include some origami chess pieces and chess sets. I’ve seen some pretty impressive chess themed models out there too.

First up we have 3D versions of each of the four suits.

All 4 Playing Card Suits
https://www.flickr.com/photos/cahoonasorigami/10263484885/

Card Suits, Designed and Folded by Cahoonas

Instructions not available

 

Here are some actual 2D cards now, the kings from each of the four suits.

4 King Cards from Each Suit
https://www.flickr.com/photos/97832512@N04/29043926804/

King Cards, Designed by Jared Needle and Folded by Green Paper

Instructions not available

 

For the first chess set in this post we have this beautiful fairy themed chess set.

Fairy Chess Set

Chess, Designed and Folded by Melina Hermsen

Instructions not available

 

Mi Wu designed an amazing 10 of diamonds card. Folding it was one of the tasks for the 2017 International Origami Olympiad so you’ll see that a lot of people folded this model.

10 of Diamonds Card
https://www.flickr.com/photos/origamiru/36823876262/

10 of Diamonds, Designed by Mi Wu and Folded by Andrey Ermakov

Diagrams available in Olympiad 2017 – Round 2

 

Here’s another absolutely beautiful fold of this model. If you look closely you can really see the layers of paper and how the paper is folded back and forth over itself to make the individual diamonds. It’s a pretty genius design actually.

10 of Diamonds Card
https://www.flickr.com/photos/-adri79-/38813598972/

10 of Diamonds, Designed by Mi Wu and Folded by Adriano Davanzo

Diagrams available in Olympiad 2017 – Round 2

 

Here’s another similar design that also apparently uses a similar folding sequence as the 10 of Diamonds card.

Ace of Diamonds
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zephyr_origami/27005132009/

Ace of Diamonds, Designed by Wu Mi and Folded by Zephyr Liu

Crease pattern available from Wu Mi’s Flickr

 

There’s also an incredible King of Diamonds also designed by Wu Mi. The shapes and folds to make the head of the king are quite impressive.

King of Diamonds Card
https://www.flickr.com/photos/129587911@N03/38396446215/

King of Diamonds, Designed and Folded by Wu Mi

Instructions not available

 

Next is another beautiful chess set. The designs of the pieces here aren’t too complex but they look very elegant. The actual paper board is a nice touch too.

Chess Set
https://www.flickr.com/photos/95620469@N02/27020779556/

Chess Set, Designed by Raffaele Leonardi and Folded by Andrea Borsa

Instructions not available

 

Wu Mi has designed several other fantastic Diamond suit cards. Here’s the Ace, Two and Three and Four. It sounds like the 5 of Diamonds is pretty difficult to design while the Six and Eight would follow the same sort of pattern as the Four.

Ace, Two, Three and Four of Diamonds Cards
https://www.flickr.com/photos/129587911@N03/33505325111/

Ace, Two, Three and Four of Diamonds, All Designed and Folded by Wu Mi

Ace Crease pattern available from Wu Mi’s FlickrFour of Diamonds Crease Pattern available from Wu Mi’s Flickr

 

The 10 of Diamonds card also uses the same sort of foundation as the other ones.

Ace and 10 of Diamonds Cards
https://www.flickr.com/photos/129587911@N03/33566970951/

Ace and Ten of Diamonds, Both Designed and Folded by Wu Mi

Ace Crease pattern available from Wu Mi’s Flickr – 10 of Diamonds Diagrams available in Olympiad 2017 – Round 2

 

Here’s another beautiful fold of the Ace. It comes with an excellent video tutorial as well.

Ace of Diamonds
https://www.flickr.com/photos/marianozavala-origami/28229174009/

Ace of Diamonds, Designed by Wu Mi and Folded by Mariano Zavala B.

Video Tutorial available from Mariano Zavala B.’s YouTube channel

 

This is another gorgeous origami chess set in another completely different style.

Blue Paper Chess Set
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bluedandelion95/14461692530/

Chess Set, Designed and Folded by Ying Lan (Blue Dandelion the Creator)

Instructions not available

 

Here’s a very cool inverted version of the 10 of Diamonds card. It looks very high-end in those blue and black colours. According to the folder the paper gets very thick around the 10s making them quite difficult to fold. This one turned out really great though I think.

10 of Diamonds Card with Inverted Colours
https://www.flickr.com/photos/90074897@N06/38108110044/

10 of Diamonds, Designed by Wu Mi and Folded by Helyades

Diagrams available in Olympiad 2017 – Round 2

 

These four Aces from each of the four suits (Clubs, Hearts, Spades and Diamonds) were on display at the 7th Korea Origami Convention in 2016. The designs of all 4 of them are super impressive but I’m not sure who the designer or folder is. If you know let me know and I’ll update the post.

4 Ace Cards
https://www.flickr.com/photos/m_fung/32776060810/

Four Aces, Designed and Folded Yoon Yeong Seo (Photo by Michelle Fung)

Instructions not available

 

Daniel Brown designed this fantastic collection of chess pieces. They’re all 3D and instantly recognizable from any angle. They’re also designed to hold a small coin in the base to weigh them down and make them a bit easier to play with.

Each of these is folded from a single square of paper and they all took 3 months to design.

Chess Pieces
https://www.flickr.com/photos/danielbrown/26452965937/

Chess Pieces, Designed and Folded by Daniel Brown

Instructions not available

 

Here’s that fantastic 2 of Diamonds card again folded by another excellent artist.

2 of Diamonds Card
https://www.flickr.com/photos/zephyr_origami/39966962550/

Two of Diamonds, Designed by Wu Mi and Folded by Zephyr Liu

Instructions not available

 

Here are all the 4 suit symbols again with a completely different and great looking design. Each of these is folded from a single square sheet of paper and they look really good with red and white or black and white paper.

4 Suit Symbols
https://www.flickr.com/photos/62572859@N08/8627559846/

Four Suit Symbols, Designed by Meenakshi Mukerji and Folded by Rui Roda

Diagrams available from Origami USA

 

This is one of the best versions I’ve seen of this 10 of Diamonds card.

10 of Diamonds Card
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jairorigami/38855057951/

Ten of Diamonds, Designed by Wu Mi and Folded by Jairo Oliveira

Diagrams available in Olympiad 2017 – Round 2

 

Here’s an absolutely beautiful unicorn knight chess piece. I love the photos from all the different angles, it looks amazing no matter how you’re looking at it.

Unicorn Knight Chess Piece
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bluedandelion95/9427483153/

Unicorn Bust, Designed by Eileen Tan and Folded by Blue Dandelion the Creator

Instructions not available

 

I love the high-end colour scheme with the gold and black on this 10 of Diamonds card. It’s folded really nice too.

10 of Diamonds Card
https://www.flickr.com/photos/55093505@N08/38119217614/

Ten of Diamonds, Designed by Wu Mi and Folded by Carla Godoy

Diagrams available in Olympiad 2017 – Round 2

 

Here are those awesome King cards again this time folded by their creator. Each of them is folded from a single square of paper.

King Cards
https://www.flickr.com/photos/oriholic/10954501626/

King Cards, Designed and Folded by Jared Needle

Instructions not available

 

While looking up models to include in this post I came across this actual spade. Not only is it a great looking model but I knew it would make some people groan so I had to include it.

These were designed for a garden themed challenge and both tools are folded from a single square of paper.

Actual Spade
https://www.flickr.com/photos/petr-stuchly/8893407447/

Tools, Designed and Folded by Petr Stuchlý

Instructions not available

 

Jared Needle designed and folded this beautiful king and queen card pair as a commission for a wedding. This would certainly make a wonderful gift for any couple that loves origami.

King and Queen Cards
https://www.flickr.com/photos/oriholic/13792335253/

King and Queen, Designed and Folded by Jared Needle

Instructions not available

 

Here are those Ace, Two, Three and Four of Diamonds cards again being held just like regular cards.

Ace, Two, Three and Four of Diamonds
https://www.flickr.com/photos/129587911@N03/32820644113/

Ace, Two, Three and Four of Diamonds, All Designed and Folded by Wu Mi

Ace Crease pattern available from Wu Mi’s FlickrFour of Diamonds Crease Pattern available from Wu Mi’s Flickr

 

Andrey Ermakov designed this fantastic chess board that’s folded from a single square of paper.

Papercraft Chessboard
https://www.flickr.com/photos/origamiru/34515889371/

Chessboard, Designed and Folded by Andrey Ermakov

Crease pattern available from Andrey Ermakov’s Flickr

 

Here it is in use with real chess pieces.

Chessboard in Use
https://www.flickr.com/photos/origamiru/34646601125/

Chessboard, Designed and Folded by Andrey Ermakov

Crease pattern available from Andrey Ermakov’s Flickr

 

Our final model for this post is this absolutely beautiful chess set photographed at an exhibition in South Korea.

Chess Set
https://www.flickr.com/photos/origami_mhg/17109245814/

Chess Set, Designed and Folded by Park Jongli (Photo by Maeng Heung Gue)

Instructions not available

 

What did you think about all these origami cards and chess sets? Let us know in the comments!