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Folded corner

Written byPhuoc Nguyen
06 Sep, 2023
The folded corner layout is a popular design element in web design that adds creativity and uniqueness to a website. It creates the illusion of a folded corner on a webpage, giving it a tangible feel.
Using this technique can help highlight important information or sections on a page, making it easier for users to navigate a content-heavy website. It can also be used simply for aesthetic purposes, adding an interesting visual element to the page.
In this post, we will explore various ways to create a folded corner effect. So, get ready to learn some cool techniques!


To begin, let's create the markup for our layout. It's as simple as adding an HTML element.
<div class="box"></div>

Using multiple backgrounds

Let's take a moment to imagine an element with a folded corner. This element is made up of two layers: a rectangle with a curved corner and a triangle placed on top of it.
To create the first layer, we can use the `linear-gradient` function to define the background of the element.
background: linear-gradient(-135deg, transparent 1.7677rem, rgb(226 232 240) 0)
If you're not familiar with the `linear-gradient` function or the number `1.7677rem` in the sample code, don't worry. Here's what's going on:
  • The `linear-gradient` function creates a gradient background for an element. The `-135deg` specifies the direction of the gradient, which in this case is from the top-right corner to the bottom-left corner.
  • The first color stop in the gradient is `transparent`, which means there's no color at that point. The second color stop is `rgb(226 232 240)`, which is an RGB color value for that point in the gradient.
  • The `1.7677rem` and `0` values determine where these colors are positioned within the gradient. `transparent` will be visible for the first `1.7677rem` of the gradient, followed by `rgb(226 232 240)` for the rest.
Wondering how we calculated the `1.7677rem` value? It's actually pretty simple. Just imagine that the folded corner is a square with sides of 2.5rem. But because we rotate the first stop by 135 degrees, the side of the square becomes the diagonal.
Now, a square whose diagonal is 2.5rem has a size of `2.5rem / Math.sqrt(2)`, which is `1.7677rem`. Easy, right?
Let's take a look at how it creates a curved corner:

Creating the triangle

There are several ways to create a triangle, such as using different border colors. However, in this section, we will stick to using the `linear-gradient` function.
.triangle {
background: linear-gradient(to left bottom, transparent 50%, rgb(100 116 139) 0);
In this example, we use the `to left bottom` value to specify the direction of the gradient. It starts from the top-right corner and goes to the bottom-left corner.
The first color stop is `transparent`, which means that there is no color at that point. The second color stop is `rgb(100 116 139)`, which specifies an RGB color value for that point in the gradient.
To create a diagonal line across the box from the top-right to the bottom-left corner, we start with transparency at 50% of this line and then transition into our dark color for the remaining area.
Let's take a look at how it generates a triangle shape:
Next, let's move the triangle to the top-right corner of the box element. To do this, we can simply adjust the position of the background.
.box {
background: linear-gradient(...) no-repeat 100% 0 / 2.5rem 2.5rem;
Let's break down the declaration into its individual parts:
  • `no-repeat` is a keyword that tells the background image not to repeat.
  • `100% 0` sets the position of the background image to the top-right corner of the element.
  • `/ 2.5rem 2.5rem` specifies the size of the background image. The first value represents the width, and the second value represents the height. In this case, both values are set to `2.5rem`, which matches the size of our folded corner square.
Check out the box element with a triangle attached to the top-right corner. I added a simple dashed border so you can see the bounding of the box.

Combining backgrounds

Now that you know how to use the linear gradient to create both layers, it's time to merge them and generate the folded corner.
CSS allows us to use multiple declarations for the `background` properties by separating them with commas. Keep in mind that the order of these declarations is important and can affect the final result.
.box {
linear-gradient(to left bottom, transparent 50%, rgb(100 116 139) 0) no-repeat 100% 0 / 2.5rem 2.5rem,
linear-gradient(-135deg, transparent 1.7677rem, rgb(226 232 240) 0);
Without further ado, let's take a look at the final result of the steps we've taken so far:

Using a pseudo-element

In the previous section, we used a cool approach to generate a folded corner using multiple backgrounds in a single `div` element. However, this approach has some downsides. For example, it's not easy to add more styles to the triangle, like a shadow.
To add more customization to the triangle, we can use the `:after` pseudo-element to represent it. Here are some basic styles to position the triangle:
.box {
position: relative;
.box::after {
content: '';
position: absolute;
top: 0;
right: 0;
width: 2.5rem;
height: 2.5rem;
The `position` property values of `absolute` and `relative` are applied to the box and the triangle, respectively. This ensures that the triangle is positioned absolutely within the box.
Although the triangle doesn't contain any information, we still need to set the content property to an empty `''` for it to appear. The `top` and `right` properties position the triangle in the top-right corner, while the `width` and `height` properties determine its size.
We're using a separate element to represent the triangle. This makes it easy to style it however you want. Want to add a box shadow? No problem!

Questions? 🙋

Do you have any questions? Not just about this specific post, but about any topic in front-end development that you'd like to learn more about? If so, feel free to send me a message on Twitter or send me an email. You can find them at the bottom of this page.
I have a long list of upcoming posts, but your questions or ideas for the next one will be my top priority. Let's learn together! Sharing knowledge is the best way to grow 🥷.

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Phước Nguyễn