Oriland Origami Magic Star

It’s been a very long time since I’ve taken the time to post anything – I’ve missed it.  A lot has changed: we’ve moved states, I’m employed again (Yay!), and I’m still working on going to school online.  I wish I had more time to do origami and post about it.  Sadly, until I’m out of school (not going to happen soon enough) I’ll just have to do it whenever possible.

The latest origami model that I’ve been folding (a little obsessively) is the Origami Magic Star that was created by the amazing creators of Oriland.  A link to the YouTube video of their model in action is here.  You can buy the e-book on how to fold the model here.  The creators have a Flickr page with pictures of fan-folded models here.

The model can be folded in several different ways; from as many as 48 squares of paper to 12 strips of paper to 6 strips of paper all the way to the extremely impressive single sheet of paper (here is a picture of someone that tackled this daunting task).  My favorite way to fold the model is the one that is the most modular: by using 48 squares of paper.

No matter what initial folding method is used to create the units, the final assembly method is pretty much the same.  The model is essentially created through 6 rings that are interlocked (unless the single sheet of paper method is being used).  For myself, the hands-down most difficult point is the assembling of the final ring to the first one.  The creators show a technique that interlocks everything nicely, but I have yet to be able to assemble is without tearing the paper.  Thankfully, the points where the paper tears aren’t seen and don’t seem to affect the model.

So, without further rambling here are the pictures and videos of the models that I have folded.  Normally pictures are completely sufficient to show off origami, but the reason this model is so fantastic is that its an action model.  I’ve got a picture of each of the models followed by a short video clip of them.

This is my first Oriland Magic Star. I already had almost all of the squares cut out that were left over from a different project. When I purchased the e-book and was looking through the various color patterns that were shown I instantly liked the checkerboard pattern and wanted to try it first.

This is my first Oriland Magic Star. I already had almost all of the squares cut out that were left over from a different project. When I purchased the e-book and was looking through the various color patterns that were shown I instantly liked the checkerboard pattern and wanted to try it first.

Shumakov Oriland Magic Star 48 Light Green Teal Light Blue Blue Blue Purple

The next pattern that I attempted was the basic ‘ring’ style. My wife picked out the colors and as a result they go very well together :-)

After seeing the first 2 models that I had made my Mom of course requested one. To make things easier on me she requested the basic rainbow colors. In the video you can see that several of the colors 'walk' around the model as it is rotated (the red is probably one of the easiest to see).

After seeing the first 2 models that I had made my Mom of course requested one. To make things easier on me she requested the basic rainbow colors. In the video you can see that several of the colors ‘walk’ around the model as it is rotated (the red is probably one of the easiest to see).

My oldest son's favorite colors are black and blue. After I made the first magic star he was begging for me to make one for him. So for the pattern here I used the Yin-Yang design that the authors describe. The blue and black colors seemed to chase each other as they rotate around. I will say that I was a little disappointed in the recommended pattern as it rotates one way and then back again instead of continuing to rotate in the same direction.

My oldest son’s favorite colors are black and blue. After I made the first magic star he was begging for me to make one for him. So for the pattern here I used the Yin-Yang design that the authors describe. The blue and black colors seemed to chase each other as they rotate around. I will say that I was a little disappointed in the recommended pattern as it rotates one way and then back again instead of continuing to rotate in the same direction.

My next model was made for my oldest sister who happened to be visiting in the area for Christmas ( I usually only get to see her once or twice a year and so don't get much opportunity to share my folding with her). After making the Yin-Yang model I decided to change the pattern a little to see if I could get the desired effect I was hoping for. Here it is close; not exactly what I was hoping for, but much closer and gave me the direction I needed to continue to try.

My next model was made for my oldest sister who happened to be visiting in the area for Christmas ( I usually only get to see her once or twice a year and so don’t get much opportunity to share my folding with her). After making the Yin-Yang model I decided to change the pattern a little to see if I could get the desired effect I was hoping for. Here it is close; not exactly what I was hoping for, but much closer and gave me the direction I needed to continue to try.

And so the next one I made was for my Dad. He has an office job and displays a few of the origami things I've made for him. Of course when most people see something intriguing on someones' desk at work they have to pick it up to examine it. As a result I don't give anything to my Dad to take to work unless it is solid and durable - as these models are. Here I finally achieved the pattern I wanted. The red color simply 'walks' all the way around the model as it is rotated; endlessly :-)

And so the next one I made was for my Dad. He has an office job and displays a few of the origami things I’ve made for him. Of course when most people see something intriguing on someones’ desk at work they have to pick it up to examine it. As a result I don’t give anything to my Dad to take to work unless it is solid and durable – as these models are. Here I finally achieved the pattern I wanted. The red color simply ‘walks’ all the way around the model as it is rotated; endlessly :-)

Finally, this is the model that I made for my youngest son, who isn't quite 2 yet. My wife tells me that anytime someone has their magic star out he wants to put it on his head like a crown. So, she asked me to make one for him to walk around with. That made me wonder just how large I would be able to make it. The model on the left is my oldest son's and is about 6 or 7 inches in diameter. The other one is considerably larger :-)

Finally, this is the model that I made for my youngest son, who isn’t quite 2 yet. My wife tells me that anytime someone has their magic star out he wants to put it on his head like a crown. So, she asked me to make one for him to walk around with. That made me wonder just how large I would be able to make it. The model on the left is my oldest son’s and is about 6 or 7 inches in diameter. The other one is considerably larger :-)

This last video is for entertainment purposes.  When the models are assembled, there is a certain spot in the rotation that can hold a particular amount of tension (likely due to the faults of my assembly).  So, if you’re not careful they can kind of jump out of your hands 😀

There have actually been a few other models that I have folded and am in the process of folding.  I either need pictures/videos of them or I need to finish them.  Either way, my school work is currently having to come before anything (dang school is always getting in the way of fun).

I totally recommend purchasing this e-book from Oriland.  The instructions are fantastic and all in color.  The directions are very clear and easy to understand.  Be warned, though, that the final assembly does get a little tricky and may take a couple of attempts.  But the end result is totally worth it!

Posted in Katrin and Yuri Shumakov, Modular Origami, Oriland, Unit Origami | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Oriland Origami Magic Stars

I finally buckled down and finished a magic origami star for my middle son.  With this one, I was able to try out another variation of the the ‘walk-around’ pattern; this time with two colors.  The green and red colors both walk around the model.  Even the two spots of green walk around for a lot of the model; although there is a point when the green actually breaks.

This is the Origami Magic Star that I made for my middle son. He's not real picky when it comes to his favorite colors, so my wife just picked some basic colors.

This is the Origami Magic Star that I made for my middle son. He’s not real picky when it comes to his favorite colors, so my wife just picked some basic colors.

Here is a clip of the red and blue walking around the model:

Here is a video of the extra large star:

Here is one more video showing the comparison of the extra large Origami Star & one of the ‘regular’ stars:

Here are the patterns for making the two different models that walk around the model. This is the pattern to use if only one color walks around the model:

If this pattern is used the orange would continuously walk around the model. The models are composed of 6 different rings that assembled together. This is the same pattern presentation that the authors use in the E-book.

If this pattern is used the orange would continuously walk around the model. The models are composed of 6 different rings that assembled together. This is the same pattern presentation that the authors use in the E-book.

Here is the pattern if you want two colors to walk around the model:

Here is the pattern if you want two colors to walk around the model:)

In this pattern both the orange and blue walk around the model.

Here is the link to purchase the E-book for the Oriland Origami Magic Star.  Oriland has done some amazing work. I have a few of their CD’s and am looking forward to folding more and posting the pictures.

Posted in Katrin and Yuri Shumakov, Modular Origami, Oriland, Unit Origami | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Time to Fold Somewhere Else

We’re in the process of moving states in the very near future; hence the reason why I haven’t posted anything new lately.  Today was our last Sunday here.  While here I team-taught the 11-year-old Sunday School class at my church.  I loved it.  The kids are amazing.  Anytime that I could I would bring origami to give them.  In the midst of packing everything my wife and I went through all of the origami that I’ve folded and accumulated while here (and even things we moved here).  So, I decided that I would take everything that I was planning on getting rid of and take it to the kids in my class to see if they wanted any of it. Before church I decided to count everything and take a picture.  Here’s what I gave away:

The collection of origami that I gave to the kids in my Sunday School class.

The collection of origami that I gave to the kids in my Sunday School class.

I decided that I’d let them take turns at picking out what they wanted. In order to decide what order they got to pick things I took a large jar of origami stars that I had been collecting since I was about 18 and had them guess how many there were.  I wasn’t sure if they’d want all of what I brought.  I had 122 separate things for them to pick from; I didn’t come home with a single thing.  I’m definitely sad to move away, but the opportunities will be good.  I’ve been unemployed for over a year now and the move will allow for much better job opportunities.  Until we find work and get more settled it may be a little difficult to post here.  Until next time, Enjoy!

Posted in Heinz Strobl Snapology, Tomoko Fuse, Unit Origami | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tomoko Fuse Origami Quilts #2

I love every chance I get to fold Tomoko Fuse’s work.  Recently my wife suggested that I fold an origami quilt for both of our mothers.  Both of our moms are avid quilters (amazing ones too).  Something fairly unique to their quilting style is that they are part of a dying breed that still hand quilts the final products (the more common option is to have a quilt machine quilted).  I love that they hand quilt; it gives it a decidedly personal touch.  I see origami as something similar – something hand-made and personally made.  So, of course I jumped at the chance to do more of Tomoko’s work and at the same time honor in a small way the incredible work that our mother’s have done for us.  Tomoko Fuse’s book is Origami Quilts.  Here are some of my recent origami quilts with the mothers’ quilts last:

Tomoko Fuse Origami Quilts Windmills + Joints of 180 Orange Black White framed

My little sister-in-law just graduated from high school (with honors). As a graduation present we help put together a freshman “survival” kit; we included this quilt made in her high school’s colors (as a way to take a small part of her high school pride with her). This quilt is titled “Windmills + Joints of 180 degrees”. I used regular origami paper.

With any model that I try the first time (most especially the ones that I will being giving away as gifts), I like to practice the model (so I can see the size, try a color pattern, and simply to practice the actual folding so that the final product will look better). In this case, I found that using colored copy paper made the final model larger than I wanted. Each of the lighter blue are individual pieces of paper, with each of the dark yellow windmills and dark blue windmills being individual pieces as well.

Tomoko Fuse Origami Quilts Star 3-4

This quilt is titled “Star 3” (so as to differentiate it from Star 1 or Star 2 :-). I folded this as a thank you to one of the sets of grandparents of my wife’s. They spend their winter months in the desert, so we figured these colors would work nicely (origami paper).

Here is the practice version of the quilt I folded for my mother-in-law. One of the other advantages to folding practice versions of models is to try out color combinations. I try to find combinations that I think will look fairly good (for the instances that the practice version is good enough to hold on to or give away), but don’t always succeed. This combination is fine, but seems a little busy to the eye. This is probably the main reason that I enlist my wonderful wife’s help in picking out colors; she has a great talent for it. Another point I learned with this model is that by using colored copy paper there are points in the model that become very thick and difficult assembly (specifically the final step of adding the orange units). The CD is there for a size reference; the final quilt is right at 12 inches square. Once again, the CD is from Oriland (Yuri and Katrin Shumakov) and is fantastic; I highly recommend their work.
This is the final quilt folded for my mother-in-law (prior to framing it); again with a CD for size reference. My wife chose the colors for this and succeeded where I think I fell short. The colors were chosen to coordinate with the quilt/craft room my mother-in-law has. By using origami paper instead of colored copy paper (my favorite choice) I was able to make it a size that was easier to frame; this is 9 inches square as opposed to the 12 inches squared in the last one. However, by going with smaller paper it did make some of the units fairly small and a little more difficult for my large hands to work with.
The final framed version of my mother-in-law's quilt. This design is titled "Double Crosses + Joints". Something that I've found that I love about these most recent quilts that I've folded is that they can be framed and hung either on the diagonal (as the quilt is pictured here) or on the horizontal (as in the previous picture). (If you look closely, you can see the reflection of me holding the camera as I take the picture :-)

The final framed version of my mother-in-law’s quilt. This design is titled “Double Crosses + Joints”. Something that I’ve found that I love about these most recent quilts that I’ve folded is that they can be framed and hung either on the diagonal (as the quilt is pictured here) or on the horizontal (as in the previous picture). (If you look closely, you can see the reflection of me holding the camera as I take the picture :-)

This is the quilt that I folded for my mom. Its titled "Flower Crosses + Crosses". Again, my wife chose the colors (with the knowledge of my mom's favorite colors). Sadly, I don't have a picture of this quilt arranged on the diagonal; I think it looks even better that way personally. This was folded out of origami paper and is framed in a 12 inch x 12 inch frame.

This is the quilt that I folded for my mom. Its titled “Flower Crosses + Crosses”. Again, my wife chose the colors (with the knowledge of my mom’s favorite colors). Sadly, I don’t have a picture of this quilt arranged on the diagonal; I think it looks even better that way personally. This was folded out of origami paper and is framed in a 12 inch x 12 inch frame.

Another shot of the quilt for size reference.

Another shot of the quilt for size reference.

Tomoko Fuse Origami Quilts Flower Crosses + Crosse Green Blue Purple back

This is the “back” side of the quilt. One of the biggest problems that I have at times with folding origami quilts is that the reverse side often looks every bit as amazing as the front. In this case there is a pointedly designated front and back. Since origami paper was used all of the green and blue units have the same white back, so the coloring isn’t nearly as impressive. However, if you look at the actual design of the unit there is a fantastic twisted pinwheel design that I love. I’ll definitely need to fold this one again with colored copy paper with the intent of having this side be the predominant one.

Folding origami quilts is something particularly special to me.  These were folded as gifts for Mother’s Day (although they were belated in their reception).  My mom is amazing.  She has and continues to teach me more than I’ll ever be able to express.  She is the best mom that myself and 3 sisters could have ever had.  She continues to be amazing as an awesome grandmother to my children (she knows just how to “spoil” them :-).  My mother-in-law is also fantastic.  She raised an amazing daughter to be an incredible wife (along with 4 other great children).  She is a wonderful second mom to me and is also an awesome grandmother.  Quilting is one of the largest (if not the largest) hobbies for these great women.  Origami is mine.  The ability to combine the two is a great treat for me.  I look forward to continuing to fold all of the quilts I can.  Until next time, Enjoy!

Origami Quilts by Tomoko Fuse

Posted in Modular Origami, Origami Quilts, Tomoko Fuse, Unit Origami | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Origami Internet Gems, Tomoko Fuse Unit Origami & Origami Tessellation Display

One of the things that I absolutely love about the Internet is the vast array of free origami diagrams.  I am always willing and desirous to purchase good origami books; not only to have a wonderful library available, but also to support the incredible work of the great origami masters.  However, some of my favorite models have come from free diagrams found online.  Probably the best resource that I’ve used is Flickr; it allows for posting fantastic pictures of the models along with a place to share the instructions on how to fold them.  One of the newest contacts that I’ve found goes by the name credo_vsegda, whose name is Maria Sinayskaya.  She’s designed a great variety of origami kusudama models and has diagrammed and shared several of them.  The one that caught my eye to try the first is titled Lotus Crown.  Here was my first attempt:

Maria Sinayskaya Lotus Crown 24-unit Green Blue Purple 4 handMy first attempt at the Lotus Crown (24-unit assembly) designed by Maria Sinayskaya.  I love the color combination here, but sadly since it was my first try it doesn’t look quite as nice as it could.  Some of the individual units are fairly loose a sloppy.  Also, after several attempts of trying to get the color pattern correct (where no 2 units of the same color connect directly to one another), I finally gave in to “good enough” and decided I’d try again at a later date.
Maria Sinayskaya Lotus Crown 24-unit Yellow Blue Blue 3 handHere is my second attempt at the 24-unit assemply of the Lotus Crown designed by Maria Sinayskaya.  I like the color combination of this one less than the first, but the final model is much tighter and looks much crisper and cleaner.
Maria Sinayskaya Lotus Crown 24-unit Yellow Blue Blue 1Another angle of the second attempt at the Lotus Crown (24-unit assembly). With this model,  I not only held to the author’s directions when it came to folding the individual units, but I was also able to assemble the model with the proper color pattern (none of the units of the same color connect to another unit of the same color).  The assembly of this model was infinitely easier by using office binder clips to hold the units together until I was done.  This was one of the main reasons the final model was so tight when done.

I think one of my all time favorite origami books (if not THE favorite) is Tomoko Fuse’s Unit Origami.  Personally I kind of consider it to be the “bible” of modular origami.  It was the first modular book I purchased and has a vast diversity of models.  I love it.  Modular origami is great because it’s like playing with building blocks, except you get to have the fun of making the blocks yourself.  Recently there was one of the kids in the Sunday School class that I teach that had a birthday.  Just about every week I fold things for the kids and give them to the kids that are particularly well-behaved.  For their birthdays I wanted to do something a little different.  So for the first birthday of the year I decided to fold something from Unit Origami.  Here it is:

Tomoko Fuse Unit Origami Dual Triangles 4-unit Yellow Green Black 3Here is the model that I folded for one of the students in the Sunday School class I teach at  the church I attend.  In the book it is titled ‘Dual Triangles’ and can be folded into 3-unit or 4-unit assemblies.  Here is the 4-unit assembly, which creates an octahedron (8-sided).  In this model there are 8 octahedrons connected together in a type of cube fashion.

Tomoko Fuse Unit Origami Dual Triangles 4-unit Yellow Green Black 4 hand
Another angle of the ‘Dual Triangle’ model given as a birthday present.  This particular assembled pattern is very sturdy and can be stood at several different points for display.  There are a total of 64 individual pieces of paper folded and assembled here.
Origami Tessellation acrylic panel displayHere is a display of some of my favorite origami tessellations that I’ve folded (all from the book by Eric Gjerde Origami Tessellations:  Awe-Inspiring Geometric Designs).  The picture isn’t a particularly good one to show the tessellations themselves, but to instead show the idea behind displaying them.Another gem that I found through Flickr is that from Daniel Kwan and displaying origami tessellations.  He had the brilliant idea of putting origami tesselltions between two sheets of acrylic panels and clipping them together; the picture is here.  Here is a few pictures of my application of the idea:
Origami Tessellation acrylic panel display small 2There are several sizes that the acrylic panels can be purchased in.  Here is a smaller size that can be used to display a single tessellation.  This picture is a little better at showing the actual tessellation; a little difficult to fold, but looks fantastic when done.  The tessellation is titled Chateau-Chinon.

Origami Tessellation acrylic panel display small 3
A final view of the smaller panels with a show of the back of the tessellation.
Origami Tessellation acrylic panel display small 1Another view of the smaller panels to give a better show of the size.  This is the front of the tessellation.

I’ve been unable to post for quite some time due to the demands of my school work.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to start posting a little more frequently!  Until next time:  Enjoy!

Unit Origami by Tomoko Fuse

Origami Tessellations:  Awe-Inspiring Geometric Design by Eric Gjerde

Posted in Daniel Kwan, Eric Gjerde, Modular Origami, Origami Tessellations, Tomoko Fuse, Unit Origami | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Origami Flowers for Valentine’s Day

In continuing with the Valentine’s Day theme, now I’d like to show some of my favorite origami flowers.  Without further adieu here are some of my favorite to fold and give:

The Magic of Origami Iris Purple 4This is a common origami flower, the Iris.  Its a traditional model, so the diagrams can be found in many places.  I first learned it in the excellent book The Magic of Origami.  The model by itself is very fun to fold, nice and simple, but at the same time seems to lack a certain completeness that some origami flowers lack.  I took this model a step further for my wedding reception.
The Magic of Origami Iris Wedding ReceptionHere is an incredible picture taken by my wife’s uncle, Vaughn Tanner (check out his awesome photography on his flickr page) at our wedding reception.  With the help of my wife and mother-in-law I was able to get the leaves looking good and have the whole centerpiece looking really good for the tables.
Tulip Blue 1This is another favorite and common flower (also a traditional model).  The tulip is the first flower that I learned how to fold.  Having never had any experience with origami and thanks to the very basic instructions that I had, it took me a while to get this model down.  I first picked up origami by purchasing a small kit with paper and hard to read instructions on a trip to Hawaii with my family.  This was one of the models diagrammed in that kit.  Here is a link to instructions very similar to the ones I first learned from here :)  As with the origami Iris I’ve taken this model and attached it to a piece of wire with paper leaves and wrapped them in floral tape making it a little more realistic.  Sadly, I can’t find any pictures of these flowers fully assembled :(
Yamaguchi-Kasahara The Magic of Origami Tulip Yellow 2This model is a really fun one for beginners to learn, the Tulip.  The flower portion was designed by Makoto Yamaguchi with the leaf portion designed by Kunihiko Kasahara; found in the awesome beginners book The Magic of Origami.  The Tulip itself is based on the water bomb model, with a simple twist.
Katrin Shumakov Matthiolis Bicornis Blue and Purple 2This model was designed by one of the great authors of Oriland, Katrin Shumakov; the model is a Matthiolis Bicornis.  If you’ve never had the opportunity to visit their website, its incredible.  The site is http://www.oriland.com/.  I love the diagrams that Katrin and Yuri Shumakov create, they are very detailed.  I’ve got 3 of the cds that they sell at their website; I love everyone of them.  This flower model is found the Origami Land cd.  I highly recommend their work.
Katrin Shumakov Matthiolis Bicornis Blue and Purple 3Here is another angle of the Matthiolis Bicornis by Katrin Shumakov.  Its such an incredible model and its hard to appreciate it from just one angle.  One difficulty with this model is that the center point of the paper has a lot of folds going through it and gets a lot of movement; its easy for the paper to get a hole worked in the middle of it.  Thankfully, you can’t see the hole that I worked in this flower from these pictures :)
Toshie Takahama The New Origami Steve and Megumi Biddle Rose Brooch 1This model is titled the Rose Brooch, designed by Toshie Takahama.  The diagrams for the model are found in The New Origami by Steve and Megumi Biddle.  Not a terribly difficult model to fold, but not completely basic; which makes it really fun to fold.  When folded from origami paper the has colors radiating from the corners (such as here) it looks a lot better.
Valerie Vann Magic Rose Cube Red Closed 1This incredible model was designed by Valerie Vann, titled the Magic Rose Cube.  In this form, the model looks fairly plain.  From the picture you can’t see that the other 3 sides of the cube are green.  The next picture shows how neat the model truly is.
Valerie Vann Magic Rose Cube Red Open 1Here is the model opened.  I absolutely love this model for the angular look, but still looking so much like a rose.  There is a video showing how to fold each of the 6 pieces and how to assemble them here.  Side story:  I work with one of the youth classes in my church team-teaching each week.  I love working with the kids and especially enjoy bringing origami to them for them to pick through and enjoy.  Last week I had one of these cubes in the mix and one of the girls picked it out thinking it was just a neat box.  After I showed her what it did, her face lit up and she was all the more excited to have picked it :)
Toshikazu Kawasaki Origami for the Connoisseur Kasahara-Takahama Rose Red 1This last flower is easily the hardest to fold (of the flowers featured here), but I also think is the most rewarding once done.  This is the Rose by the great Toshikazu Kawasaki; the diagram can be found in the book  Origami for the Connoiseur by Kunihiko Kasahara and Toshie Takahama.  The book is definitely one for the more advanced folder, as is this model especially.  With some practice, and probably a couple of attempts, it is possible to fold it though; and extremely rewarding when done.
Toshikazu Kawasaki Origami for the Connoisseur Kasahara-Takahama Rose Red 2Here is another shot of the same model to give a better look at the side.  I used an 8 inch sheet of colored copy paper to fold to get this size.  Visually speaking, this is my favorite flower to fold because it looks so amazing when done.  I love it.

Origami flowers are every even more popular and prevalent than origami hearts.  They are fantastic to fold and give as a gift, especially for Valentine’s Day, because unlike real flowers they don’t wilt and die.  (Granted a paper flower doesn’t have the aroma of a real one :)

This was a glimpse into what I enjoy giving for Valentine’s Day each year.  I’ll close with some further links to the books and diagrams that I mentioned.  Until next time, Enjoy!

The Magic of Origami (the Iris and Tulip models)

Again the link to the origami Tulip here.

The link to Oriland and the page for the Origami Land cd.

The New Origami (the Rose Brooch model)

The video showing Valerie Vann’s Magic Rose Cube here.

Origami for the Connoisseur (the Kawasaki Rose)

Posted in Oriland, Steve Biddle, Valentine's/Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Origami Valentine Hearts

With Valentine’s Day about a month away I’ve been practicing some of the heart and flower models that I love to fold and give away.  Here I’ll show my favorite heart-shaped models.  There are entire books on heart-shaped origami, so this is but a small sample of what’s out there.  But these are some of my favorites:

Gray-Shall The Magic of Origami Valentine Letterfold 3This first model is a letterfold.  I love letterfolds; they’re a fun way to pass a small note to someone.  This one is particularly fun since its heart-shaped, making it a great way to give a love note to someone for Valentine’s Day.  (You could even put something a little more sappy on the front instead of “open me”; something to the effect that the giver of the note is opening their heart to the receiver :)
Gray-Shall The Magic of Origami Valentine Letterfold 2Here is the heart-shaped letterfold opened up.  This model was designed by Alice Gray and Michael Shall.  The diagram can be found in the book The Magic of Origami by Alice Gray and Kunihiko Kasahara (with cooperation of Lillian Oppenheimer and Origami Center of America).
Change of Heart 2This model is called ‘Change of Heart’.  When dining out and leaving a tip for the waiting help, I always enjoy folding the tip into something fun.  This is a fantastic model because a US quarter fits into the center perfectly.  I can’t remember exactly where I got the PDF form of the diagram that I have, but this model is found in several different places on the Internet by searching “Change of Heart Origami”.
Steve Biddle Essential Origami Double Heart Red and White 2This model is called ‘Double Heart’ and designed by Steve Biddle.  It can be found in the book Essential Origami: How to Build Dozens of Models From Just 10 Easy Bases by Steve and Megumi Biddle.  Its folded from a single sheet of square paper with no cutting required; one of the reasons I love this model so much.  The folds are very basic and simple, making it a great model to start with and learn.
Francis Ow The New Origami Steve and Megumi Biddle Double Hearts Pink and White 2This model is designed by Francis Ow, who has an entire book on origami hearts; he has some incredible models.  The model is called ‘Double Hearts’.  Again this is folded from a single sheet of paper with no cutting needed.  The diagram can be found in the book by Steve and Megumi Biddle, The New Origami.
Francis Ow The New Origami Steve and Megumi Biddle On The Wings of Love Purple 2This model is also designed by the great Francis Ow and the diagram can also be found in The New Origami by Steve and Megumi Biddle.  Its titled ‘On The Wings of Love’.  This model is probably the most difficult of the ones I’ve shown here, but still not terribly hard; the wings being the hardest part.
Origami Heart CollectionHere is a shot of the origami heart collection just shown to give a size comparison.

I love giving origami for any occasion, and Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to do just that.  Enjoy :)

Here are some further links to find the books or diagrams to the models:

The ‘Valentine Letterfold’

A video for the ‘Change of Heart’ can be found here.

‘Double Heart’ by Steve Biddle:

‘Double Hearts’ & ‘On The Wings of Love’ by Francis Ow

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Origami Christmas Decorations – Origami Wreath

Tomoko Fuse Unit Origami Open Frame II Christmas Wreath 2Origami Christmas Wreath using open frame II units from Tomoko Fuse’s book, Unit Origami: Multidimensional Transformations.

One of the first origami Christmas decorations that I made (and one of the first things I had thought up on my own) was this Christmas wreath.  The concept to chain the boxes together is one that I saw elsewhere, but I don’t remember seeing the idea used to connect them together in a continuous ring.

The first unit/modular origami book that I got was by Tomoko Fuse titled Unit Origami: Multidimensional Transformations.  I love this book.  In my mind, I see this book as the “Bible” of unit origami or as the standard for unit and modular origami (probably because its my first and favorite of unit origami books).  It has a few more complex models to fold and create, but the vast majority are so simple in the folding and even in the assembling of the models that its easy to pick up and learn.

Tomoko Fuse Unit Origami Open Frame II Christmas Wreath 4A little closer look at the origami Christmas wreath.

One of the reasons that I love unit origami is that its a lot like playing with building blocks as a kid.  All you have to do is learn how to fold the base units, practice a few models to learn how they interlock, maybe try a few variations and then the sky is the limit.  I’ve found a lot of times that if you can think up the shape or structure in your mind, you can build it with unit origami.  This book offers so many different type of models and the angles in which they connect that the options are huge.  (I plan on posting a great deal of my older pictures that are models from this book.)

The first wreath that I folded with a Christmas theme was a little different, I simply alternated the green and red cubes all the way around.  My next idea was to see if I could make one that looked more like a traditional Christmas wreath by using mostly green with a few red to make it look like the typical red bow.  I think it worked out quite nicely.  The above pictured wreath is actually the third wreath I’ve folded (including the very first I just mentioned).

Tomoko Fuse Unit Origami Open Frame II Christmas Wreaths 2These are the first two traditional wreaths that I folded.  The one on the left is the first attempt and was too large.  I used squares that were 4 inches which made for easy folding and assembly, but made the wreath too large and heavy for the strength of the paper.  What’s more is that I originally had 2 additional cubes in it which added to the problem.  As a result, with so many cubes it made hanging the wreath difficult due to the fact that the wreath wouldn’t hold a circular shape and the connections tended to pull apart.  The one on the right is the one I folded for this season and both my wife and I like it a lot more; much more compact and easier to hang.

One of the main reasons for creating another wreath was due to the fact that the old one had seen a few Christmases and had been moved more than once, so it was a little worn out.  Not to mention before we put it away last year I think one of my kids got a hold of it :)  Having to make another one is always fine by me because I love the process as much if not more than the finished product.  This last wreath took me about 5 hours to fold and assemble (I can’t remember how long it took to cut the paper).  It includes 144 sheets of 3 inch square paper (each cube has 12 sheets and there’s 12 cubes).  There is no glue or any adhesive holding it together, the unit lock together very nicely.

Once again, I love Tomoko’s book.  I highly recommend it, probably my favorite origami book to date.  Enjoy!

Unit Origami: Multidimensional Transformations

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Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial

Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 36 copy(pmowatermarked) (2)In one of my previous posts about origami sonobe balls I posted a picture of how I had used some of the balls that I had folded as Christmas tree ornaments.  The post is here.  The tree is made from regular poster board that you can find at just about any store that sells any kind of office supplies (I’ve found it in grocery stores and pharmacies as well as the more conventional stores like Walmart).  It had its own challenge in folding due to the fact that poster board does not fold nice and neat.  I had to score all of the folds before trying to manipulate the poster board.  Smaller trees made from colored copy paper are much easier to make and work with (but substitute poorly in replace of a traditional Christmas tree :)  I recently had someone post that they would love to know how to fold this model (they also pointed out that there are conveniently 24 compartments & a star on top that would work great for an advent calendar leading up to Christmas).  Since I’ve been thinking of posting a tutorial on how to fold something, this seemed like a great time to do it.

Please note:  I did not design this model.  Please do not give me credit for the design.  Credit should be given to Rae Cooker (USA) and Makoto Yamaguchi (Japan), who apparently both developed this model independently of one another.  The book that I learned it from is The Magic of Origami by Alice Gray and Kunihiko Kasahara with cooperation of Lillian Oppenheimer and Origami Center of America.  This book is fantastic for beginners, it was one of the first books I got.  It has a fairly decent range of very simple to a little more challenging models for those just learning.  It has models just for show and aesthetics as well as functional models to play with and decorate with.  An excellent book for learners.  So, here goes my first attempt at an origami photo tutorial.

Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 1 copyTo begin, you will need 7 different sheets of paper.  For the tutorial I’m using white for ease of photographing, this will be the trunk and so should be out of either brown or black (I’ve never found brown copy paper, so I use black).  The remaining 6 sheets should be varying sizes.  For the trees I make I start with an 8 inch piece of paper and go down 1 inch for each additional sheet; so here I have an 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, and 3 inch squares of paper.  Also, the largest green square and the square used for the trunk (the white sheet here) are the same size – 8 inches.  Note: any number of green sheets can be used, I am using 6 for the benefit of giving 24 compartments for an advent calendar.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 2We start with the largest green square.  The dotted lines indicate a valley fold while the solid lines indicate mountain folds.  A valley fold is created by folding the sheet of paper and then unfolding it.  As it sits on the table the paper should slope up as it moves away from the fold; thus creating a “valley”.  The reverse is true with a mountain fold.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 3This next step is often called the preliminary base or bird base in origami books.  The easiest way to describe it is that all 4 corners of the square come to the same point when folding along the pre-creased lines.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 4
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 5 copyHere are 2 more pictures to try to help show what you should have.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 7 copyThe next step is to add a valley fold that goes between the center and the lower right edge.  Also notice that a valley fold is turned to a mountain fold that extends from the center and goes to the right corner.  The stars in this picture are to help illustrate the next step.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 8 copyIn this step the small triangle flap is then tucked down and away into a pocket.  Notice the stars are no longer visible.  This step is a little difficult to show in a picture.  In the picture 2 steps up there was a valley fold that was changed into a mountain fold.  The triangle flap will slide into a pocket by means of those folds.  After completing this step, perform the same steps on the remaining 3 flaps to create and tuck away the small triangle flap (or in other words, repeat the last 2 steps again on each flap).
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 9 copyIn this step the small triangle flap is then tucked down and away into a pocket.  Notice the stars are no longer visible.  This step is a little difficult to show in a picture.  In the picture 2 steps up there was a valley fold that was changed into a mountain fold.  The triangle flap will slide into a pocket by means of those folds.  After completing this step, perform the same steps on the remaining 3 flaps to create and tuck away the small triangle flap (or in other words, repeat the last 2 steps again on each flap).
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 11 copyThis is what the model looks like with 2 flaps tucked away.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 12 copyHere is what the model looks like with 3 flaps tucked away.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 13 copyThis should be the result once all 4 flaps are tucked away.  This is the bottom of the model.  Notice that there are now 2 pockets that are intersecting to form a cross.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 14 copyThis is model as shown from the top.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 15 copyNow move on to the piece of paper for the trunk.  The pre-crease folds are similar to the first piece, with fewer folds.  Again the dotted lines are valley folds while the solid lines are mountain folds.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 16 copyOnce again bring the 4 corners to the same point to form the preliminary or bird base.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 17 copyAt this point, take the right flap and create a valley fold.  This is done by taking the top edge of the flap and laying it along the center line.  Repeat on the remaining 3 flaps.  Notice that flap on the left has a mountain fold when looking at the model from this angle.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 18 copyThis should be the result after the valley fold on the right flap.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 19 copyThis is the result with all of the flaps folded into the center.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 21 copyThe next step adds a valley fold by taking only the bottom flap and folding it up along the edge of the previous step.  Also, add a mountain fold that extends from the center vertical line to the lower right edge.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 22 copyThis picture shows the pocket that will be used in the next step.  The mountain fold in the previous step will be used to create a flap that is tucked into this pocket.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 23 copyHere is an intermediate picture of tucking the triangle flap into the pocket.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 24 copyThis is the end result with the flap tucked in.  Repeat on the remaining 3 layers.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 25 copyThis is a picture of all 4 layers tucked in, looking at the bottom.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 26 copyA picture of the top of the trunk piece.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 27 copyHere is the bottom of the largest green piece and the top of the trunk piece.  Notice that looking down on the top of the trunk piece it forms a cross or a plus symbol (“+”), and that looking at the bottom of the green piece it has a corresponding shaped pocket.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 28 copyHere is a picture of how the trunk inserts into the bottom of the largest green piece.  Insert is as far as needed for the desired look.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 29 copyHere is what the trunk and first piece look like standing up.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 30 copyAfter folding the remaining green pieces it is ready for final assembly.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 31 copyStart with the next largest green piece and insert it on top of the tree that has already been put together.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 32 copyThis should be the result with all the pieces assembled.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 34 copyThis is the result of the tree standing.  The height can be varied a great deal simply by pushing the pieces together or pulling them apart.
Origami Christmas Tree Tutorial 36 copy(pmowatermarked) (2)Note:  The star pictured here is also found in the same book, The Magic of Origami it is folded from a pentagon of paper, not a square.

A few years ago I was asked to make center pieces for a church Christmas party and was glad to oblige.  Here a couple of pictures from that.  Several of the people asked if they could take them home and so I didn’t come home with any of them.  That was fine by me because I love sharing what I make.

Cooker-Yamaguchi The Magic of Origami Christmas Tree pieces 2 copyHere are all of the individual pieces folded and arranged before assembly.
Cooker-Yamaguchi The Magic of Origami Christmas Trees forest 2 copyHere is a picture of the completed trees arranged to look like a little forest.

Well, I wish you luck with attempting this model, its a really fun one to fold.  As this was my first attempt at a tutorial, I hope it was sufficiently clear and helpful.  Please let me know if it is confusing or unclear at any point.  If you have any questions or run into problems, feel free to leave a comment and I will help in any way that I can.  If it turns out that this was a poor tutorial, maybe I will have to do a video showing how to do this; just let me know.

Once again, the book that I got this from is a great book to start learning.  Even if you’re fairly experienced, its still has some really fun models in it to try.  Enjoy :)

The Magic of Origami by Alice Gray and Kunihiko Kasahara with cooperation of Lillian Oppenheimer and Origami Center of America.

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Origami “Turkey” and other Birds

When I tell people that I fold origami and show them what I fold (and usually it’s something geometric or modular) they often reference having tried origami at some point earlier in their lives and usually they had tried the classic crane.  Admittedly that was one of the first things that I learned, though it’s a model that doesn’t interest me a great deal (since it seems to be so common).  Most of the time I prefer to fold something geometric, but there are a few animal models that I enjoy folding.  There seems to be a very large variety of origami bird models.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Steve and Megumi Biddle Essential Origami Congratulations Crane 4 OrangeThis model is titled ‘Congratulations Crane’.  I found it in Steve and Megumi Biddle’s Essential Origami book.  The model’s author is unknown so it’s considered a traditional model.
Steve and Megumi Biddle Essential Origami Congratulations Crane misc 1A collection of the Congratulations Cranes that I’ve folded recently.
Steve and Megumi Biddle Essential Origami Congratulations Crane Yellow and Brown 1I love this particular model folded from this brown and yellow corner radiation origami paper; by folding it this way I think it looks like a turkey.
Steve and Megumi Biddle Essential Origami Sisters Crane 2 Green and BlueAlso a traditional model and also found in Steve and Megumi Biddle’s Essential Origami book this model is titled ‘Sisters’.  It’s folded from one sheet of paper that is 2:1 ratio.  Since you have to make one slight cut in the paper, it technically breaks one of the rules of “traditional” origami.  In order to really appreciate this model it needs to be folded from paper that is a different color on each side.
John Montroll North American Animals in Origami hand holding blue Bald EagleThis Bald Eagle model is from John Montroll’s North American Animals in Origami book.  One of my favorite bird models, though a little on the difficult side to fold the first few times (probably not something for a beginner).  I was silly enough to purchase the book (after seeing the cover and loving this model) and trying to learn this model first.  I was still barely learning origami and as a result the final model looked little like this :)

There are a couple of other birds that I love to fold, but sadly don’t have any pictures of them at the present; a simpler eagle and a celebration crane.  Since it is getting close to being Thanksgiving as the end of November approaches I think that the model that catches my eye the most is the brown and yellow Congratulations Crane; it would be a fun decoration to put on the table during Thanksgiving dinner.  I’ll have to do another post about some of the other animals that I enjoy folding and include the missing birds.

Here is the links to the books that I referenced :

Essential Origami by Steve and Megumi

North American Animals in Origami by John Montroll

Both goods books. Essential Origami is more for beginners and takes it very step-by-step in the instructions, whereas North American Animals in Origami goes with the assumption that you already know how to read origami diagrams and much more difficult as a whole (although it does have a page at the front of the book describing all of the symbols as almost all origami books do).

Try some of these out.  Feel free to contact me with any comments or questions; I’m considering doing a tutorial post one of these days (any input on what to do is welcomed :)  Enjoy!

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