I recently got a chance to play around with the new book “Practical Origami“. Sometimes with origami you find that you’ve made something really pretty but then what do you do with it? Well, this book is filled with nearly 70 different projects and ideas (with extra variations) for making origami that is actually useful, functional and as the name says, “practical”. There are wonderful patterns for making boxes, cards, envelopes, drawers, gift bags, napkins rings and loads more.
The book has instructions for the three most basic fold techniques, which are used throughout the book and some helpful tips and tools to use. It’s separated into five sections, Everyday Containers, Table Top Decor, Gift Wrapping, Desktop Accessories and Decorations for Every Occasion. Each project has lovely photos and tells you which page the directions can be found on. The directions are easy to follow with step by step drawings and include paper dimensions and finished project sizes. Note: the dimensions are in centimeters (I used a ruler to convert to inches since I’m terrible with cm. )
I found a lot of the projects were pretty good for beginners, if you have some experience working with paper or have done some simple folded projects you’ll be able to jump right in. There were several project that looked better for those a little more experienced, if you’ve done origami in the past you’ll find many detailed, advanced projects too.
While making my projects here are a few tips I noticed that helped me along the way:
- Measure and cut carefully, straight lines and correct dimensions will help your finished projects turn out perfect. I used my paper trimmer and it helped a lot.
- Get crisp folds, I used a bone folder. And a skewer will help get neat corners.
- Use a nice weight paper so you don’t get any rips or tears. Some project will need a heavy paper to hold up.
- Some projects call for large sheets of paper (bigger than 12″ x 12″) but some of them have notes for resizing the pattern to make it smaller.
I thought since Father’s Day is coming up I’d make some items that would be great for dad.
I followed the shirt bag and tie directions and turned a plain old brown bag into a fun gift bag. I added small buttons and an alligator sticker to jazz it up.
I also made a gift card wallet, it would be nice for tucking in some money or a tiny greeting card too.
Practical Origami, Folding Your Way to Everyday Accessories is available here from Random House and Vertical Ink.
Also be sure to check back later in the week, I’ll have a couple of copies of this awesome book to giveaway!
By Heather Holbrook