Ready to get your creative juices flowing? Origami is a great way to stretch those brain muscles with a new skill, beat boredom and make beautiful art! Plus, research shows that engaging with the arts — whether it’s creating your own, visiting an art gallery, or even browsing a museum virtually — can lower your risk of death. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a consensus best list of the easiest origami crafts for beginners, according to 10 experts.
The art of paper folding has its origins in China, Europe and Japan following the invention of paper. Over the centuries, it has grown in popularity as a hobby and a form of art. And it’s still making its mark in new ways today, even inspiring Stanford University scientists to create the shape-shifting “origami millirobot,” which travels through the body diagnosing and treating diseases! Who knew origami could benefit our health in so many ways?
Whether you’re hosting a Chinese New Year party, making Valentines, or entertaining the kids on a rainy day, origami makes a fun and unique addition. Some people even use them as wedding decorations or party favors. So let’s get folding! Below are the top five expert-recommended beginning origami crafts for you to try.
The List: Top 5 Easy Origami Crafts, According To Experts
1. Fortune Teller
Choose this simple craft for long-lasting fun and entertainment! Origami Guide notes, “This easy origami model can be used in a fortune telling game.”
You may also know it by another name from your childhood. “Some call them cootie catchers, others call them fortune tellers (and I’m sure they have a few more names) — whatever the name the fun stays the same!” enthuses Easy Peasy and Fun.
Making this an even easier origami choice for beginners, Upparent points out, “Using a full-sized sheet of paper leaves more room for writing fortunes, so this is a good one if you want to make easy origami with regular paper.”
2. Paper Crane
Many are familiar with the delicate and beautiful paper crane. The Spruce Crafts writes, “The traditional origami crane is perhaps the most popular example of origami.”
Looking for a little wish fulfillment? Who isn’t! In Japanese culture, the crane represents happiness and long life. “There is an ancient Japanese legend that says, whosoever folds 1000 paper cranes, will be rewarded with a wish from the gods,” shares Gathered.
3. Corner Bookmark
Another great way to begin your origami journey is with one of these delightful bookmarks, which come in many varied designs, all of them easy to make! “Starting off and learning origami is all about the RIGHT projects to begin, for example making Origami Corner Bookmarks is a great way to get beginners started to learn how to do Origami!” writes Red Ted Art.
“These origami corner bookmarks are a great project for beginners (of all ages as they are sooo fun to make),” says Easy Peasy and Fun.
4. Jumping Frog
Make a few of these folding frogs, and you’ve got an old-fashioned fidget on your hands! “We love a craft activity that kids can play with afterwards — and this origami frog certainly fits the bill!” writes BBC Good Food.
And Tiny Beans agrees, “Once you’ve made them, you can get a competition going to see who can make them fly the furthest.”
Valentine’s Day is near, and paper hearts make the perfect card, gift tag, or even decorative garland for your home! All you need is a piece of paper to get started. “While specially designated origami paper exists to make the process easier, you can also cut printer paper into squares to use prior to starting your particular project. Even without using any techniques besides creasing and folding paper, it is possible to create incredibly intricate figures like cranes, frogs, sunglasses, and more!” says Parade.
It’s a great way to increase your child’s fine motor skills while they make cards for friends. Kids Activities Blog shares, “We love craft activities that enhance children’s fine motor skills — especially when they are as awesome as these origami crafts.”
We’d love to hear your favorite easy origami crafts! Share in the comments below which of these you’ve tried, or if you have other ideas for us.
- Origami Guide
- Easy Peasy and Fun
- The Spruce Crafts
- Red Ted Art
- BBC Good Food
- Tiny Beans
- Kids Activities Blog
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