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The Origins Of Origami And The Many Beautiful Projects You Can Try

Who doesn’t love origami? This ancient paper art form has been a beloved pastime for centuries — and we can attest to its timeless fun factor with these family-favorite crafts.

Maria Bailey · 11 months ago

  • art

The roots of its name derive from the Japanese words ori (folding) and kami (paper), but the roots of the craft are still up for debate.

While Japan popularized the art form in the 17th century, historians suggest it began much earlier in China — starting with the most vital origami component: paper.

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Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty Images

Paper was invented in China around 105 AD, and it is believed the art of folding paper — or zhezhi — was created not long after. It wasn’t until the 6th century, when paper was introduced to Japan by Buddhist monks, that the practice of origami was first viewed as a recreational art form. It’s popularity blossomed during the Edo Period in Japan, from 1608 to 1868.

Now origami is known worldwide and is a popular craft for everyone to enjoy! The timeless pastime is just as much fun now and can be enjoyed by kids and adults of all ages and skill levels. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite origami creations that serve as a wonderful activity for the whole family:

Several sheets

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Elmer's Liquid School Glue

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1. Origami Whales

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ArtsyCraftsyMom.com

Having “a whale of a time” is brought to life in this fun and creative project! Whales might be the largest mammals on earth, but this origami project allows you to hold one in the palm of your hands.

Learn how easy it is to make this majestic creature at ArtsyCraftsyMom.com.

2. Origami Birds

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creativejewishmom.com

There are many kinds of origami birds, but this simple and creative project is made easy for the whole family to enjoy. Watch them take flight by hanging your birds from the ceiling, or perhaps perch them on your Christmas tree this holiday season.

Try it yourself at CreativeJewishMom.com.

3. Origami Boats

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kidsactivitiesblog.com

It doesn't get any more traditional than origami boats. Not only do they make for great party decorations, but they’re also functional! Head to KidsActivitiesBlog.com to learn how to make a simple origami boat that is perfect for holding snacks or setting afloat during bath time.

4. Animal Origami Finger Puppets

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origami.guide

Brace yourself for cuteness overload while making these adorable origami animal puppets! Using Origami.guide's method, you can create a variety of different animals; just pick your fave — whether it’s a cat, dog, pig, frog, panda, or another furry friend. The options are endless!

5. Origami Unicorns

super cute origami unicorn directions (1 of 1)

pinkstripysocks.com

Unicorns don’t just live in fairy tales — these beautiful origami creations bring them to life! Add a touch of fantasy to your craft with Pink Stripy Socks' easy-to-follow method to creating your own magical creatures.

6. Looking for more creative ways to make origami?

The Creative & Colorful Origami Kit by Open the Joy is a great place to start, providing you with everything you need to make a variety of origami creations that appeal to just about anyone’s taste. From planes, flowers, boats, animals, and more — you will be a well-rounded origami master after working your way through this set. Follow the step-by-step illustrated instructions and choose from a colorful array of origami sheets for your next creation.