The Wonderful Art of Origami

The Wonderful Art of Origami

For some reason, the latest craze in my house is origami. It really comes as no surprise; it follows The Chalkboard Period (during which we painted a chalkboard on our hallway wall—we still use it, though not as often), the Great Fingerpainting Age (which my daughter’s just not as interested in anymore since she discovered brushes, sadly enough), and the Paper-Cutting Times (which are actually still going on).

We just love folding paper. My daughter particularly loves it when I make animals—especially the one where you blow into the bunny’s butt to make it pop up into a 3-D creature. (I had so much trouble with the blowing air part until my husband simply blew into the front. That just goes to show how outside the box I think!)

Me, I’m into making origami stars. You can bet that if you call me, instead of doodling bizarre allegorical cartoon characters or comic book creations, I will now be folding origami stars. They are all over the house, and I like it that way. You can even get special paper designed just for this; the foil kind is just out of this world.

If you’re new to origami, there are a lot of ways to get into it. I made the mistake of getting some “expert” books about the subject and felt like a complete reject when I couldn’t make a twenty-five foot intricate Chinese dragon out of one sheet of origami paper. I kid, but really, you have to start simply when you’re new at stuff.

I bought the origami calendar to use every day, but not only has it frustrated me—it’s also helped me to make some pretty lame stuff. I get that it’s totally for beginners, but I really like the 3-D stuff, and there really is plenty of 3-D stuff out there for beginners.

I also tried library books on the subject. Most of those sort of intimidated me. The best one I’ve found so far is Easy Origami, by Didier Boursin. It’s got plenty of easy stuff to create, including 3-D animals and stars as well as functional items like boxes.

The best way I’ve found to learn origami, however, is actually via YouTube! All you have to do is search for “origami,” or even whatever origami creation you want to make—rabbit, fox, dragon, flower, whatever—and it will give you tons of video results (see the two I added above). I actually recommend following the kids’ videos before the adults or the “professional” ones, however, as they will move at a slightly slower pace and provide entertaining commentary.