11 Best Origami Supplies and Tools 2020

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Photo: Quentin Tyberghien/AFP via Getty Images

Now that we’re all spending a lot more time at home, it’s a good time to try a new craft, whether it’s learning to weave a rug or knit a scarf. Origami is one such activity, and if you’re thinking of folding your first flower, swan or frog, there are plenty of resources available – from the free comprehensive step-by-step diagrams offered by OrigamaUSA (the national origami and paper-folding company located at the American Museum of Natural History) to helpful instructional videos from Taro’s Origami, a studio based in Brooklyn and San Francisco. To find out what supplies you need to work on your first piece, we spoke to origami artist Talo Kawasaki, co-designer of the American Museum of Natural History’s annual origami holiday tree and origami teacher. reside at Resobox, a Japanese cultural center. in the East Village.

Muji Japanese Origami Paper

Basically, all you need is origami paper: “origami paper” just means it’s square, and traditionally has a color (or pattern) on one side and white on the other. side, and that it measures approximately 6 inches by 6 inches. The best deal for origami papers – and we don’t like to talk too much about it – can be found at the Japanese store Muji. You can buy a pack of origami paper, traditional six inches, in several colors, in an 80-sheet pack for 90 cents. And they’re made in Japan, which often means they’re perfectly square (there’s nothing more boring than a square that isn’t enough a square). You can also find plenty of origami paper, supplies, and books at Kinokuniya, the Japanese bookstore across from Bryant Park. [Editor’s note: If you prefer to buy patterned paper, many options are available for order on OrigamiUSA’s website.]

Here are some general tips that I always keep in mind when folding origami. (1) When you begin to fold, use your fingertips and fingernails to create the folds (not your palm or elbow), and always press along the folds, not in the middle of the paper. (2) When folding, be patient when aligning your tips and edges – go slow so the paper is aligned as exactly as possible. (3) Your first time will probably be less than perfect. This is normal, even for experts.

Midori letter opener and letter opener,

Often I will need to start with a 1:2 rectangle or half of a square, like a two part ninja star. With a handy Midori cutter, I just need to fold the square in half, then slice the halves by pulling the cutter along the fold. This blade catches the crease and cuts it very cleanly.

Fiskars The Original Orange Handle Scissors, 8 Inch

Sometimes I use scissors, just to cut down a larger sheet of paper, if that’s what the project calls for. I like to use Fiskars scissors because they have a very sharp cutting edge.

US Art Supply Self-Sealing Cutting Mat
X-Acto Precision Knife #1
Office Mate Classic Stainless Steel Metal Ruler

If you’re creating a long cut of paper that’s hard to cut straight with scissors, so I’ll use an X-Acto knife and a metal ruler. I always do this on a self-sealing cutting board – they allow you to cut cleanly with a sharp blade without cutting the table.

Aleene Original Sticky Glue

Acid-free glue is great if you’re worried about your piece being durable or archival. But otherwise, I often use a liquid white glue, like Elmers or Aileen’s Tacky Glue.

Bottle of Lineco methylcellulose adhesive

In more serious origami, you’ll hear about artists using a glue called methylcellulose. It sounds more scientific than it actually is. Basically, it is often used for bookbinding, as well as for wallpaper. It is a very thick, clear, viscous material that acts like a glue. The advantage is that if you roll it out on soft paper – for example, softer handmade papers – it will make it crispy. You apply it all over the sheet before you start folding.

Blick Bone Folders and Scorer

It’s something we use occasionally to make very sharp creases with our paper – creases that aren’t possible to achieve with your hands alone. These are also good to have on hand if you are a woman who cares about your manicure.

Ultimate Origami Kit for Beginners

Origami artists Michael LaFosse and Richard Alexander have a nice starter kit that comes with very clear diagrams and a DVD tutorial for extra help. The paper, of course, is also included. A few of the origami models in the kit aren’t beginner models, but I think they’re challenging and worth the challenge.

Origami Page-A-Day Calendar 2020

Origami Page-A-Day calendars are pretty good for beginners. The pages are square and can be used for folding.

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