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Origami is a fascinating, fun, relaxing and rewarding pastime. It has been called Yoga for the mind. Paper folding engages the hands in a focused, mindful way. Concentration on the project and the feel of the paper in one’s fingers keep thoughts in the moment, away from distracting worries. Because it requires nothing but paper and attention, origami can be done anywhere, any time. Almost any kind of paper can be used.

For learning and practice, cheap print and copy paper works very well. It’s easy to cut it into squares and it folds crisply. You can also use gift wrap, magazine pages, and colorful junk mail! Precut squares are handy, of course, but they do cost more. There are many origami patterns that call for rectangles. Sometimes you can find square paper in stationery stores. And then there are post-it notes.

Advanced folders may develop a craving for some of the beautiful Japanese printed papers. The best paper can be quite expensive, but it is possible to find small quantities of affordable paper that is pleasing to hand and eye. You can hand-color plain paper, or, if you have a printer, you can create your own origami paper in any size. Some origami websites have downloadable images for printing. Or you can use your own photos. Take pictures of clouds, old wood, leaves — anything. Fold selfies. Your imagination is your only limit.

Here are some links to websites with information and printable folding diagrams. Search Youtube for origami videos too. It is helpful to watch someone else fold; for some easier than using printed instructions.

Origami Instructions

Happy Folding

Origami Club — Most awesome!

Origami with Rachel Katz — so much fun!

Origami Resource Center


Amazing Paper Airplanes

These are a few of the printable paper patterns from Origami Club