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Origami for Beginners | Three Easy Projects to Get You Started!

Origami for Beginners | Three Easy Projects to Get You Started!

Would you like to learn how to turn simple pieces of paper into artistic origami models? Are you looking for an origami step-by-step for beginners guide? You have come to the right place!

Derived from the Japanese words “oru” and “kami,” meaning “fold” and “paper,” origami is the art of paper folding to create unique and creative models. Due to the inexpensive supply of paper, origami craft has been a popular choice for art lovers since its creation. Origami is used for creative and decorative purposes worldwide. Studies have proved that origami craft helps in educational subjects such as science, geometry, fractions, and more. Want to teach your kids some basic mathematical principles in a fun way? Here is a complete origami for beginners’ guide to getting you started!

Origami for Beginners | Recommended Supplies

To get started with the art of origami craft, it is vital to select the tools and materials that will help you get your desired results. To help you get started with your origami craft, we have compiled a list of recommended supplies that every origamist must have:

Although you can do origami using any kind of paper, using thin paper is ideal for beginners wishing to master the art of origami craft. Originating from Japan, “Kami” is a light and crisp paper sheet that is easier to fold and comes in a full spectrum of patterns and colors. 

  • Pencils and Ruler

When it comes to origami, it’s all about marking and folding the paper according to accurate measurements. This makes having a metal or plastic ruler and some pencils essential to your origami craft toolkit.

Many origami for beginners’ model needs a specific ratio and size paper and not just a square. Thus you will need a pencil and ruler to cut the paper to the required size. Moreover, having a Scoring Tool will help you create the perfect fold without damaging the paper’s structure. 

Basic Origami Folds for Beginners 

Now that you have all the required materials, it’s time to learn the basic yet most essential origami craft folds. Note that you will be using these folds in most of your origami for beginners projects:

  • Valley Fold

The valley fold is the simplest origami craft technique. Do this by folding the paper in half and joining the two endpoints of the paper. When trying the valley fold technique, make sure that the vertex faces downwards while the folds go upwards. 

  • Mountain Fold

The mountain fold is the exact opposite origami craft technique of the valley fold. Make mountain fold by joining the paper’s endpoints in an upside-down way such that the fold is down while the vertex is up. To create advanced origami craft models, you need to use a combination of both techniques.

  • Double Folding

The Double Folding origami craft technique combines the mountain and valley fold (or vice versa). Double folding is usually used to give the origami paper greater flexibility. 

Origami Step By Step for Beginners | Three Simple Origami Craft Ideas

Craft an intricate design with your favorite colored and patterned paper! Here are some easy origami for beginners’ paper models to get you going.

1. Origami Fan

To help you achieve the basic origami principles, we will teach you the most basic and simplest origami craft- the Traditional Chinese Fan. All you need to make an origami fan is a piece of your preferred colored or patterned paper

  • Step 1: Start by spreading the paper down on its decorative side while the plain side faces you. In other words, your paper should be back-side up. 
  • Step 2: Now make a valley fold, followed by creating a fold down the top edge by one-third; use your fingers to set the crease. Keeping your initial fold for the previous step, fold the paper half vertically. Open the fold again, and you will see a sharp vertical crease in the center. 
  • Step 3: Fold the right and left edges towards the vertical center crease, also known as the “gatefold.” Now continue the vertical gatefolds two more times until you have no space left to create an inward-folding flap.
  • Step 4: While unfolding all the vertical folds, ensure that each vertical crease should be approximately 1cm in width. Now rotate your paper 90 degrees and start making valley and mountain folds to sharpen the crease. 
  • Step 5: Hold the horizontally folded end of the paper and mountain fold all the creases. Use your fingers to spread the origami craft paper in the fan shape.
Origami Step By Step for Beginners - origami fan

2. Origami Boat

A traditional origami boat is the ideal beginner’s project. It is also an excellent toy for children as it floats in water. To create an origami craft boat, you need a rectangular sheet of paper. 

  • Step 1: Place the rectangular paper vertically on a smooth surface. Fold the bottom end to the top and fold the bottom right corner to the left corner. Use your finger to create a small crease pinch. Now unfold the paper.
  • Step 2: The next step in making an origami boat is to create a triangle shape. You can do this by folding the paper’s left and right bottom corners and aligning it towards the middle crease. Now flatten the folded pieces down, rotate the paper, and carefully fold one layer from the bottom upwards along the bottom of the front laps. While doing so, you will see that your boat is taking shape.
  • Step 3: Now flip the paper over and fold the bottom edge upwards in the same way. Unfold it and fold the bottom right corner parallel to the crease you made. Repeat the same step for the bottom left flap.
  • Step 4: Refold the boat’s bottom corner upwards and open the bottom of the origami model. Ensure that all corners are flat. Now strategically insert the overlapping left-flap underneath the right section and one layer up the top. Repeat the same step for the backside of the model. 
  • Step 5: It’s time for the origami craft magic! Open the bottom of your model, hold the left and right flaps and pull them apart. As they open, you will see your boat forming while the flap in the middle represents a sail. 
Origami Step By Step for Beginners - origami boat

3. Origami Swan

The Japanese origami Swan is easy to make and looks amazing when folded from double-sided paper. Being a stable model, the Swan is an excellent first origami craft project. To make an origami Swan, you need square paper (15 x 15cm).

  • Step 1: Lay the origami paper on a flat surface and fold it along the diagonal. Then unfold. Now, fold the left side along with the crease you just made and repeat the same step for the right side. This will create a kite shape.
  • Step 2: Turn over the model and fold the sides up to meet the central fold. Repeat the same step for the other side. 
  • Step 3: Now, mountain fold the model in half. To create the neck of the Swan, make an outside reverse fold and slightly open the neck as you bring it up. 
  • Step 4: Fold the head downwards, using the outside reverse fold again. Gently open the head by pulling out the hidden paper on both sides of the head. 
  • Step 5: Create a beak by first pleating the end of the head, then pushing it inside the head. Now squash the head up the crease to give your swan the style you like.
Origami Step By Step for Beginners - origami swan

Origami Step By Step for Beginners – Wrapping It Up!

The best thing about origami craft is how versatile and easy it is to make. With a little bit of strategic paper folding, you will feel like an artistic professional. So, if you’re wondering what to do with your family this summer, try the aforementioned origami for beginners’ projects!

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