Editorial
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Jan 10, 2019

The Fascinating World of Origami

Though origami is associated with the Japanese culture, it's been enjoyed through the centuries by people of various ages all over the world. This paper art folding technique doesn't involve a steep learning curve and requires little more than a paper and the discipline to follow instructions. It's a great way to introduce kids and adults alike into the world of paper craft.

You can buy origami paper of different sizes, colors, and patterns from arts and crafts stores, but you can also use any other type of paper, as long as it's able to hold the creases that result from folding. And when it comes to paper craft ideas for origami, there's no shortage of options. Let's take a look at a few of the most popular origami designs and learn how to do paper art step by step.

Origami Crane

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If origami had a spirit animal, it would probably be the crane. In Japan, this bird symbolizes good fortune and longevity, and one tradition involves folding a thousand paper cranes for ill people in the belief that these will cheer them up and give them hope. Create this most famous of all origami figures and bring a little luck to your day.

Materials:

A square sheet of paper

Steps:

1.  With the colored side down, fold the paper in half vertically, then unfold.

2.  Still with the colored side down, fold the paper in half horizontally, then unfold.

3.  With the white side down, fold the paper diagonally both ways.

4.  Unfold, and turn the paper so that the wide side faces down.

5.  Position the paper into a diamond shape and bring the left and right corners to the bottom corner.

6.  With the open part pointing towards yourself, fold the upper left flap and right flaps to the center crease, then unfold. This will result in a kite-shaped figure.

7.  Fold the uppermost part of the "kite" down, then unfold.

8.  Bring one layer up from the bottom.

9.   Bring the left and right edges towards the center. This is known as a squash fold.

10. Fold the lower right and left edges toward the center crease.

11. Turn the paper over again and repeat step 10.

12. Fold the lower right flap upward to the right, then unfold.

13. Open the flap, reverse the fold, and insert the flap inside the model.

14. Repeat with the lower left flap.

15. Create the crane's wings by folding down the two large flaps.

16. Flatten one of the narrow flaps and make an inside-reverse fold inside to make the crane's head.

Origami Heart

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This is one of the easiest paper craft ideas for decoration. Use it to adorn greeting cards or a Valentine's Day gift.

Materials:
A square piece of paper

Steps:

1.  Place the paper in a diamond position, with the colored side down.

2.  Fold in half by bringing the bottom point to the top, then unfold.

3.  Fold again in half by bringing the right point to the left point, then unfold.

4.  Take the top point and fold it towards the center crease.

5.  Take the bottom point and fold it towards the top of the design.

6.  Fold the right side upwards along the center crease.

7.  Repeat step 6 for the left side.

8.  Turn the paper over and fold the left and right points towards the center of the design.

9.  Fold the top points downward until the tips just about touch the horizontal border.

10. Flip the paper over to see your finished origami heart.

Origami Fan

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Beat the heat with this origami fan, the quintessential example of easy paper craft. You can use origami paper, computer paper, newspapers, or virtually any other piece of paper that you may have lying around.

Materials:

Piece of paper (A4 size or 6 inches square will do just fine)

Steps:

1. Fold roughly half an inch of the paper up from the bottom.

2. Turn the paper over and fold approximately half an inch of the paper again. Ensure that the edges are perfectly aligned at the bottom.

3. Repeat step 2 as many times as you can, until the whole piece is folded.

4. Fold in half so that the two ends meet, and voila, you have a handy origami fan.

There's a vast array of other designs, from flowers to dolphins to hats to jewelry boxes that illustrate how origami is the perfect example of simple craft work with paper. It's a great way to bond with the kids or simply pass the time while creating something attractive at the same time.