FutureFive New Zealand logo
Story image

Playing with papers

01 Apr 2010

You can cut it, rip it, write on it, draw on it, send it and type on it. But the Japanese invented yet another thing that you can do with paper – fold it! ‘Origami’, which literally translates to ‘to fold paper’, is the art of folding paper into 2D and 3D objects including animals, flowers, clothes and decorative boxes.

If you’re interested in turning paper into art, Origami Club is a great place to start. It has diagrams for origami pieces ranging from easy to expert and covers a number of different models including animals, clothes, numbers, letters, Christmas decorations and Valentine’s Day gifts. And if you’re finding the diagrams a little hard to follow, this Web site also has short animations for most of their models which show you how to do the folds.

If you’re still having trouble keeping up, Peter Budai  explains all of the different symbols used in ordinary origami. If you’re looking for an easy model to begin with, Origami Instructions (tinyurl.com/ yzbdh2n) shows you how to make the most basic of origami models, the crane. This model is so popular that 70% of Japanese citizens know how to fold it.

And once you’ve figured out how to make your first one, check out this Wikihow page: It will teach you how to make a Senbazuru, which is a collection of 1000 cranes, which is meant to give the beholder good luck and exceptionally long life.

Ever found yourself feeling a little bored waiting for your food in a restaurant? Napkin Folding Guide is a Web site dedicated to folding things out of ordinary dinner napkins.

But restaurants aren’t the only places that origami can serve as a great boredom buster. If you’re sick of reading yesterday’s newspaper while using the loo, Origami Resource Centre shows you how to fold –you guessed it – toilet paper! Have fun, and try not to fall to creases!