General Rules and Suggestions


  • Your paper for these models must be a perfect square. Start practicing with a square measuring 20 centimeters (8 inches). The paper should be thin and crisp to take the folds and creases but strong enough to give body to the models so they will stand. Colored paper makes more interesting models because of the contrast. If you use Japanese paper, it is usually colored on one side and plain on the other. In the diagrams the white parts are the plain side of the paper.

  • At first you may find the instructions a little difficult to follow. Don't give up easily. Mark your own paper with the given symbols so your folds and creases will be easier to make. 

  • Correct folds and creases are very important. If they are not done correctly, you will run into trouble. By pressing your thumbnail along the fold, you will get a sharp crease, and this will keep your fold in place. Work on a hard, flat surface.

  • When folding paper, its is essential to work with great care, making sure that edges and corners are exactly on top of each other.

  • The more precise your folds, the better your finished object will look.

  • Before beginning to fold, study drawings carefully, and read the instructions as you would any book text.

  • Each drawing shows the result of the previous fold and gives directions for the next fold.

  • After completing a folding sequence, return the figure to the correct starting position.

  • If you encounter difficulties, retrace the previous two steps, and compare your work with the drawing and instructions. Reread them until you solve the problem.

  • Origami consists of so called basic forms from which several different objects can be created.

  • Many forms can take on different shapes by simply making small changes in the position of an animal's body.

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