Origami Instructions - Getting Started
The birthplace of origami is still a mystery. Paper was
developed in China in the first century A.D., and Buddhist monks
brought it to Japan by the sixth century A.D. However there are
not many written records from that time, so it is not known
whether origami first began in China or Japan. However, no one
will argue that Japan developed origami to a high art form. The
word origami is Japanese: oru means "to fold", and kami means
Many grownups remember making origami items as a child. It was
often a case of watching as another youngster showed how to make
a paper airplane or something similar. After a while, we develop
a set of origami instructions in our head, for making several
airplanes, boats, animals, water balloons and other toys.
As it turns out, there are only so many ways to fold paper.
Developing a "language" of folding helps simplify passing on
origami teachings. Terms like "mountain fold" and "valley fold"
are used over and over again. Basic fold patterns such as "square
base" and "bird base" can be used as starting points for many
different origami pieces. From the basic building blocks, an
effectively infinite number of origami items can be made.
Special origami kits are available. These contain squares of
paper, often colored on one side only. This helps to enhance the
three dimensional effect of the item being folded. The paper is
also very thin, allowing it to be folded many times. Origami
items can also be made from scrap paper, such as standard printer
paper. This is often best for paper airplanes, due to its weight
and size: larger airplanes (of a given design) generally fly
better. True origami is made from one piece of paper without
using scissors, glue or decorative items such as markers.
However, remember that the goal is to have fun, so use what you
The effect of origami as kids is to teach us creativity,
patience and following a process. As grownups, paper folding is a
great stress reliever and an effective way to bond further with
our kids. Whether you'd like to make a simple paper boat or fold
an elephant out of a dollar bill, origami is a fun, simple and
inexpensive hobby. So get a piece of paper and start folding!
If you'd like to know more about origami, including how to
fold specific items, visit our site at www.origami-instructions.com.
This article may be reprinted if proper credit is given and
all links left intact. Copyright©2005
Andre is a contributor to Origami-Instructions.com.
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