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Origami for Kids: DIY origami paper and easy projects

Life of Colour invites you to the age-old wholesome activity of origami! The first steps will be creating your own origami paper, and then we will move onto learning how to fold the custom-made paper into a variety of different origami formations. We will start off with basic ideas, then once your skills are developed in the art of folding you might like to try a more complex design.

 

How to make your own origami paper

Before you start painting designs onto paper it is important to choose the right kind and size of paper because if your paper is too thick and is not an exact square then it will be impossible to fold correctly.

Standard copy paper can be used and cut down to size. The dimensions of ready to use store bought origami paper is 15 cm x 15 cm square, however larger sized squares will also be successful.

For the majority of our handmade designed origami paper we have chosen to use the Life of Colour Gouache Stix and Silky Stix because they are so smooth, quick drying and so easy to work with on paper. We have also included some fun iridescent metallic paper created using the fantastic Life of Colour metallic brush pens!

Rainbow Rose Origami Paper

The Life of colour Silky Paint Stix are paint sticks with poster paint that are used as an alternative to tubes of paint, jars of water and paint brushes, with the same effect. The Life of Colour stix are very quick drying, so they are perfect for making paper craft on the go!

If you would like smooth edges, you can smear the creamy paint with your finger or a damp paint brush.

Step 1- Cut an A4 piece of paper into a 15 cm square. Choose a bright yellow paint stix and towards the corner of the paper, create an “e” shape, this will be the centre of the first rose.

Step 2 - Finish the rose off with curved petals around the edge of the “e” shape.

Step 3 - Add more colours progressing with the colours of the rainbow - orange, red, blue and purple 

Step 4 - Once the paper is dry, you can start using it for origami!

 

Simple lined origami paper

Lemon and lime lined patterns will make perfect paper for a cute origami jumping frog (stay tuned to see how to make one!) The range of Gouache stix from Life of Colour provide a beautiful pastel choice of paints, and they make a great companion for quick crafts because you can easily paint a whole page in seconds!



Step 1- Hold the green paint stix so that the side of the tip of it glides along the paper to make a neat line.

Step 2- Leave a blank space and paint another green line, then continue making lines across to fill the page.

Step 3- Complete the pattern and fill the gaps that are  in between the green with a yellow.

Step 4- Allow the paint to dry and use a fine tip to place "v" shapes and small flies over the top of the coloured lines. The 1 mm fine tips are the perfect tool for adding small details!

Now use the same method to complete a rainbow lined pattern!

Metallic iridescent paper

The Metallic brush pen set is very useful when it comes to using the Life of Colour stencils, you can easily get into the smaller species to get the perfect shape every time! The colours chosen from the Metallic paint markers include gold, green, blue, pink, rust and bronze, placing these colours in a rainbow type combination to gain the iridescent final product. 

Step 1: Plan the placement of the stencil to start at one top corner of the paper - this will assist in making the pattern to be spaced well.

Step 2: Begin to add colour in a diagonal manner with your metallic brush pens, starting with green.

Step 3: Continue with each colour (blue, pink, bronze, rust and gold) planning for the gold to be around the middle diagonal 

Step 4: Work your way backwards through the colours so that green ends in the opposite corner.

Step 5: To complete the metallic paper use the black fine tip 1 mm (perfect for detailing) to trace around the edge of each hexagon it is useful to place the stencil back over the top of each shape to make sure you get a nice neat edge.

Easy Origami tutorials

Origami heart

These Origami hearts are very simple to make, and a great beginners exercise in origami folding. Once you are finished, you will notice that a message can also be slipped into the front of it! 

 

Step 1: Start with a square piece of origami paper with your presented side down, and fold it in half to make a triangle, then unfold.

Step 2: Fold the left corner to the right corner, then unfold.

Step 3: Place the paper in a diamond shape. Fold the top corner to the centre.

Step 4: Fold the bottom corner to the top edge.

Step 5: Fold from the right side up diagonally to align with the centre crease. 

Step 6: Fold the bottom left side up diagonally to align with the centre.

Step 8: Turn the paper over and fold the top and side corners back.



Now the heart is complete and ready for writing messages in, hanging or gifting. Easy, wasn't it? Why not try something a bit trickier!

 

Basic Origami Butterfly 

Butterflies are exquisite and majestic, they are also very symbolic. Some believe butterflies represent spiritual rebirth, hope, life and change. 

The lined rainbow paper that we created using silky stix (because they are so bright and easy to use on paper) create a wonderfully colourful butterfly.

This origami folding is still in the category of being easy, too!


Step 1: Fold the paper in half to make a triangular shape, then unfold

Step 2: Fold the paper in half the other way to make another triangle, then unfold 

Step 3: Fold the paper in half to make a rectangle shape. Unfold

Step 4: Fold the paper in the opposite direction to make a rectangle again.

Step 5: Fold the paper into a “water bomb” formation as shown, the paper now appears to be a small triangle.

Step 6: Turn the triangle around, so the flat edge is now at the top. Fold the top corners down towards the centre point of the triangle point. 

Step 7: Take the tip of the triangle around the back of the butterfly to the top edge and fold the smaller point over the top as pictured 

Step 8: Adjust the wings to bubble out and place it somewhere special. You could even try to glue the rainbow butterfly onto a wood skewer and place it in a vase of flowers!

 

Five Point Origami Star

There are a few different methods for making origami stars, but this method is perfect for the learning novice.

A cute idea would be to make a collection of stars and turn them into a colourful hanging garland!

 

Step 1: Start with a square sheet of origami paper and fold it in half to make a rectangle, colour side up, unfold.

Step 2: Fold the paper in half the opposite way by folding top to bottom, unfold.

Step 3: Fold the paper in half to make a triangular shape, then unfold

Step 4:  Fold the paper in half the other way to make another triangle, then unfold 

Step 5:Fold the paper into a “water bomb” formation as shown, the paper now appears to be a small triangle.

Step 6: Fold the paper flat and crease the edges, and place three triangle shapes together to the left.

Step 7: Bring the top triangle edge to the middle fold and crease the edge.

Step 8: Fold the inner edge of the triangle to bring the crease to the centre as pictured.

Step 9: Repeat steps 7&8 for the remaining top triangle.

Step 10: Turn the paper over and repeat the steps 7,8 &9 

Step 11: fold the paper down and make sure the crease are flat

Step 12: Bring the bottom of two of the triangular shapes upwards until a square shape forms in the centre, when this occurs, neatly press down! 

Step 13: Turn the paper star over and press down to reveal your stunning star!

Jumping frog origami

By now you would have noticed that most of the beginning steps for our origami are the same and that the key to origami is to follow each step exactly before moving on to the next step. Although the jumping frog is slightly more complicated it is still manageable for a beginner plus at the end you will have a squishy jumping companion!



Step 1: Start off by taking your origami paper and fold it in half.

Step 2: Keep the paper folded. Pull the top right-hand corner over to form a triangle on the top half of the paper. Crease this fold.

Step 3: Do the same thing with the left corner. Be sure to crease it.

Step 4: The top corners can be unfolded because they have been creased. Now fold the lower right corner and crease it.

Step 5: Now unfold the lower right corner. It is time to fold the lower left corner just like you have done the other 3 corners. Crease it.

Step 6: Since all 4 corners have been folded and creased you can unfold the paper.

You should have 2 X shapes and a diamond in the center from the folds and creases.

Step 7: The trickiest part of these jumping origami frog instructions are right now!

On the top half, pull inwards from your X shape to form a triangle. Crease it into place. It should like kind of like a little house.

Step 8: Now repeat the same process for the bottom. Your paper will be folded up into a nice little diamond.

Step 9: It is time to fold the top left corner of the top triangle up. Crease this fold.

Step 10: Repeat the same process on the upper right corner of the top triangle. Crease it.

Step 11: Now fold the top part of the left side of the piece you just folded upwards, back down. This will begin to form the frog’s arms.

Step 12: Do the same thing for the remaining triangle by repeating steps 9,10 & 11.

Step 13: Turn the paper over and fold the bottom part of the diamond in between the two bottom legs upward. Crease it.

Step 14: Now take the left side of the diamond and pull it towards the center to form a triangle. Crease this fold. Repeat this on the right side and you will start to see the frog forming!!

Step 15:Find the part of the frog that you folded upwards in step fourteen. Fold the frog in half here and make sure to crease it very well. This will form the “spring” where the frogs jump will come from.

Step 16: Now fold in half back downwards the part you just folded up.

Step 18: You are done making your frog! 

To make the frog jump you need to push down the back of the frog with one finger. Then you pull back your finger until it slips down from the frog. This will make the frog jump high in the air. If you want to make your frog jump really high try to use smaller sheets of paper to fold your frog or fold it from thicker paper.

 

Shop the materials you need to create your own awesome origami paper!

 

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