Ellipse to Heart

ellipse that transforms into heart

With one cut, you can turn an ellipse into a heart. Cut the ellipse in half, flip one part upside down and you get a heart. In this project you will make a foldable version of this using the piano-hinge techniques developed by Greg N. Frederickson.


  1. Cut out the two ellipses.
  2. Cut the ellipses along the solid lines in the interior of the ellipses and crease along the dashed lines. Each ellipse will be cut in two.
  3. Stack the two ellipses on top of each other with the printing facing up on so the ellipse from the top of the pattern (the one with step one on it) is on top.
  4. Glue the two layers together but don't get glue on the flaps or in the area directly below the flaps.
  5. Lift the first flap and push the flap behind it open.
  6. Tape the two pieces together where marked. The tape will be the hinge that allows the model to flip.
  7. Flip half of the ellipse over and shut the flaps.


  • from ellipse to heartI found that an ellipse that has an aspect ratio of 9:16 cut at an angle of 35° from the major axis makes a pleasing heart.
  • This would make a great Valentine's Day card. Perhaps you can write "Head over heels in love with you." or "I've flipped for you." on it…or maybe not.