One thing about origami is that it’s precisely what it means in Japanese. “Ori” actually translates to “folding,” and “gami” in most cases is the voiced version of “kami,” which, of course, means paper. To sum it up, origami literally means folding paper—a craft any paper crafter must have tried at one point in their lives.
Have you tried origami? Do you want to learn more about this craft? Then you’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, let us learn the art of origami. We will even share some origami craft ideas that are beginner-friendly!
A Brief History Of Origami
Origami is the Japanese craft of making art with paper. But have you ever wondered how many folds one piece of paper could take? Well, you’re in for a treat. Origami is all about exploring and pushing your imagination to the limits. This kind of art requires adorning a blank sheet of paper with anything you can think of. It might be a flower, a toy, an animal, something beautiful, or even something as simple as an envelope.
But when did this whole paper-folding business begin? The sixth century saw the introduction of paper to Japan. At this point, paper folding was used for ceremonial and religious purposes.
Origami didn’t become famous as a pastime or art form until Japan’s Edo Period (1603–1868). At this time, the history of origami was influenced by introducing foreign paper-folding techniques into Japanese culture.
Today, more people realize the value of paper crafting and origami for developing mindfulness and enhancing well-being. There’s something about the exact folds, creating straight lines, and following the flow that makes paper into art.
Origami can be a hobby, but it is also an art that allows the crafter to bring models to life with single-minded attention. Even better, origami craft is for everyone! Beginners, enthusiasts, kids, and kids-at-heart—you name it, they can try it.
Origami is all about pattern and form, so it’s easy for beginners to pick it up. If you get yourself familiar with the following basic folds, you’re all set to tackle easy to challenging origami patterns:
- A mountain fold is when you bend a paper downward, creating a summit—or a tent.
- The valley fold is the opposite of the mountain fold; what you’ll create looks like the letter V.
- The inside reverse fold is when the paper is folded inside the model. Its exact opposite is the outside reverse fold.
- The squash fold is when you flatten a flap of paper.
- A pleat is a particular kind of fold created by folding fabric back on itself and fastening it.
- The crimp is just like the pleat fold, but it is done on the outside of the paper.
- The petal fold combines two mountain folds and a valley fold. This fold transforms a square base into a “bird base” (because it looks like the beak of a bird or its flapping wings).
Easy Origami Ideas for Beginners
Roll up your sleeves and get paper at the ready! That’s how easy it is to begin an origami. All you need is good quality paper and maybe some embellishments like washi tape, sequins, and beads to decorate your papercraft.
Origami Paper Crane
Now this is a classic! A square base and two folded petals make up this iconic bird shape. Did you know? There’s a legend surrounding the paper crane origami. They say anyone who folds a thousand paper cranes will live a happy life, get good luck, or be granted one wish.
Origami Boat and Airplane
For several reasons, origami boat-making is a delightful and engaging activity, especially for children. Firstly, it allows kids to exercise their creativity and imagination as they transform a flat piece of paper into a three-dimensional boat. Folding the paper requires precision and attention to detail, which can help improve a child’s fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
The true joy of origami boats lies in their functionality. Once folded correctly, the boat can float on water, making it a unique and interactive plaything for children.
Origami airplanes are equally captivating, as they get to create flying machines that can glide through the air. Like the origami boat, airplane-making involves precise folding techniques encouraging focus and attention to detail.
The most exciting aspect of origami airplanes is the thrill of testing their flight capabilities. The crafter can experiment with different folding styles and designs to see how it affects the airplane’s flight path and distance.
In Japan, butterflies are good omens for little girls and aspiring brides. The original design uses folds to tuck in the paper like butterfly wings. However, if you’re looking for a twist, you can create one with the help of a thread or ribbon!
This pleated butterfly origami version uses accordion folds to create unique wings. The two “wings” are then attached with a piece of string.
Fun Origami Project Ideas
Incorporate origami into your cards! The beauty of origami is that the final output looks pretty, but you can take it to the next level and use it to elevate your card game. How? We’ve rounded up some ideas for special occasions below:
A Congratulatory Card for Expecting Parents
A stork is often associated with the coming of a new baby. And guess what? You can easily make a stork with origami! Craft one and decorate your card with the stork to make a cute congratulatory card for family or friends who are anticipating the arrival of their bundle of joy. You can also add cute designs like this onesie die set.
Make It Romantic With Roses That’ll Last Forever
At Altenew, we have stamps, dies, and stencils featuring the rose. But if you want to go the extra mile, creating paper roses and decorating your card with them is one romantic way to express your love. If you have the time, why not create a matching paper roses bouquet?
Bring in the Holiday Cheer
A cute way to incorporate origami into your holiday cards is by crafting famous elements and decors we use to mark the festivity. From Christmas trees, stars, candy canes, and Santa Claus—make your card come alive with this origami art!
Start Crafting With Origami
Learn this traditional art to create timeless designs. Origami is a beautiful reminder that something blank like paper can transform into a work of art if you let your creativity fly. Want to give it a try?
Shop for quality paper and some extra embellishments to create or design with origami today! You can even take inspiration from our design team’s outputs. Just visit Altenew to browse our catalog and creative resources. We can’t wait to see your crafts!