Origami – So Much Fun from a Single Sheet of Paper!

Origami is an ancient paper craft that can be fascinating as well as fun. Learn how to make origami shapes using basic and advanced paper folding techniques to produce art, gifts or home decorating items. Since its beginnings this craft has grown to include fabric folding and creased paper art. Enthusiasts circle the globe enjoying and sharing their experiences with this fascinating hobby.

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Paper folding is a great hobby that can be learned by anyone. This is a very low cost, easy to learn activity that you can do at any stage of your life. The craft is based on the careful folding techniques that produce a desired result. Beginners usually begin with projects that include a small number of folds. Instructions for most projects use a series of symbols to help you follow the required steps. Here is a link to a site that defines these symbols: Origami Symbols The internet is loaded with diagrams for traditional and more modern designs. These can be downloaded, printed and used to practice your folding skills. You can also pick up books from your local library that will be chock full of designs and illustrative instructions.

Paper Selection

You can use plain white craft paper for your projects but you will quickly find that colored paper adds depth and dimension to your creation. One of the most fun papers to work with is your old gift wrap paper. The designs and colors in used gift wrapping makes for some very interesting effects.

Thinner paper is fun to work with as it is easier to fold and much more forgiving if you happen to make a mistake. Recycling magazines and junk mail can also be a great source of paper for your projects.

Start Simple

There are tons of origami enthusiasts out there that will be happy to help you with your first projects, sharing their work and tips learned through sometimes years of practice. Watching someone assemble and even disassemble an origami creation will give you insight into how to get past those first few confusing steps.

Your first projects most likely should start with a square sheet of paper not more than six inches square. Try making a simple paper cup, using just a few of the more basic folds. First, fold your square sheet of paper into a triangle by bringing the lower right corner up and over to the upper left and make a crease. Now with the base of the triangle closest to you, fold the two base corners over so they meet in the middle of the triangle. Finally, take the remaining top corner and fold it down to meet the two corners you just folded. Separate the upper flap and open your paper cup.

Check out both simple and some slightly more complex designs and you will gain a better understanding of this craft. Using existing design diagrams can be helpful for a beginner as these will usually tell you how big your piece of paper must be.

Using Fabric

Another popular medium for your projects is cloth. A folded cloth napkin is a simple form of fabric origami. For your next fancy dinner, romantic or just some friends dropping by, fold each of your napkins to create a bird of paradise! Your guests will love it.

Fabric folding is just another way to practice your skills. Try different materials to find out which fabric characteristics give you the best results.

Final Thoughts

Origami is a great hobby which will give you hours of relaxing and rewarding activity. Choose your projects carefully in the beginning so you don’t become frustrated. As your skill grows you can begin to design your own creations, increasing your excitement over this hobby even more. As hobbies go, this is about the lowest cost of all of them and if you use recycled paper and fabrics, you are adding to your ability to live green. Enjoy this hobby and have fun!

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