Hello Japan! August mini-challenge: Origami

Tanabata’s August theme for Hello Japan is origami.
Woo hoo! I love origami. I’m passionate about origami. I use it to reward children in my class, both with objects I’ve folded and with lessons on how to create it. I decorate my classroom with origami, and I decorate Christmas trees in our home with origami. (My favorite is the white cranes which I’ll have to show you when Christmas next rolls around.) I fold it whenever I need to calm my nerves because to me it’s very relaxing to work with my hands while emptying my mind. Plus, I haven’t the faintest idea how to knit.
Here are a few of the things I have to show you:
Fruits of Love”

miniature boats…

a bottle of miniature stars…

a few of the cranes which will eventually amount to 1,000…


and origami bookmarks which when placed over the page of a book look like this:
It’s so much fun to fold. I only caution you against ordering special paper on eBay; while the packages may be less than $2.00? One must take into account the shipping from Tokyo to Illinois.
(Since publishing this post, I have added photographs and directions for how to fold two kinds of bookmarks here. Also, the text stars I folded are here.)

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18 thoughts on “Hello Japan! August mini-challenge: Origami”

  1. These are lovely! My boyfriend got a book of fancy paper for his birthday a couple weeks ago, from the Museum of Contemporary Art gift shop, and we've been delaying gratification–those bookmarks seem like a very good reason to use a few sheets.

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  2. Nicole, let me know if you'd like step by step directions on how to fold them. They're very easy; I once had photographs with directions on my WordPress blog, but it's since been erased. At any rate, easy to duplicate.

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  3. I once decorated a Christmas tree entirely in origami ornaments. It was the most beautiful tree I've seen. I started making the ornaments in October, that year.I love the book marks. I'll have to look for those. Looks like a good project for my students.

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  4. I love origami; have a few cranes & flowers & such as mementos of some very special people. And yes, those bookmarks would make an excellent class project. I found instructions online over the summer…they should be easy to locate.Bellezza, I howled at "besides, I can't knit." Me, either!Happy Sunday.

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  5. C. B. James, I've folded the bookmarks with my third graders; they had no trouble at all following the directions, and they loved decorating the plain paper we used themselves. (Would I use my expensive origami paper with them to practice? Not on your life!) Did you see I've since posted the directions? I hope you and your class have fun folding them, and remember you can also use favorite magazine pages, too. Or, any other kind of paper you have lying around.

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  6. I could never figure out the stars! I have a few books, but sometimes the directions are hard to figure out. My mom had a fancy dinner party and I jokingly folded all her cloth napkins into swans and placed them on the plates. They actually looked pretty good (if a little floppy). 🙂

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  7. And I am one of the lucky recipients of your beautiful origami! I have the star necklace draped over my computer monitor and use your bookmarks on a regular basis. They are so lovely.I really should learn Origami. My nerves could use a little calming this week!How was your return to school?

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  8. One more hint that I should start discovering the beauty of origami, since I also lack any skills when it comes to knitting or other thread related hobbies, but I love paper :))

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  9. I used to do origami to relax, many long years ago. You seem to do it a lot!! Those are beautiful creations! Someday, I hope to get back to origami, but I cannot seem to keep a clean surface around here, now that my husband is traveling a bit less. I need to work on that. My heart is not happy if I can't create.

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  10. It's been ages since I've done any origami, but I've always enjoyed it. My fifth grade math/spelling/history teacher taught us origami. If I remember correctly, we even had a class project to make 1000 cranes. Fun!

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  11. Wonderful origamis Bellezza. I was planning to do the same, making all the origami I can do…but change my mind and only showed one with step by step instruction. If I had time before August ends, I will do like yours :)The stars and the crane are my favorite activity when I have no book in my hand and waiting (or queueing) is getting boring by the minute. I used any paper available.ing to do the same, making all the origami I can do…but change my mind and only showed one with step by step instruction. If I had time before August ends, I will do like yours :)The stars and the crane are my favorite activity when I have no book in my hand and waiting (or queueing) is getting boring by the minute. I used any paper available.

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  12. I'm so glad you posted for Hello Japan! this month. I was secretly hoping you would since I know how much you love origami. I need to try making the bookmarks soon. So pretty and practical for us book lovers. 🙂

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  13. I still have a bookmark that I made after one of your blogposts Bellezza! I'm afraid I'll need to refresh my memory though, 'cause I can't remember how to duplicate it. But immediately after reading about this month's Hello Japan! task it came to mind. 🙂

    I'm already looking forward to a picture of your white Christmas cranes. One of my x-mas decorations is a set of shiny golden pine trees (& one green) that I made as a teenager; I always hang them in the window. I'll try to remember to take a photo as well!

    Wouldn't it be fun to have an origami session together at Nat's place? ;P

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