origami how-to
May 24, 2010 4:14 PM   Subscribe

What's the best resource for teaching myself how to do origami?

I mean a book, video, whatever. I want to learn some basics.
posted by fso to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I recommend stopping by your local public library and seeing what books and videos they have available.

Also this website has both easy to follow diagrams and animations of many different origami projects: http://en.origami-club.com/index.html
posted by amapolaroja at 4:34 PM on May 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

There's a virtually unlimited supply of books with origami patterns you can follow, and a lot of websites along the same lines (you did try Google, right?). It might seem like you need skill for these, but you don't really; you just need to be careful and follow instructions. You will mess up, because following instructions is harder than it seems.

The difference between following patterns and designing your own origami is like the difference between following a cookbook and making up your own recipes. I would suggest making a lot of origami from patterns first, then modify the patterns to make new ones. Record what you do so you can do it again.
posted by k. at 4:37 PM on May 24, 2010

The hardest thing about oragami diagrams in books and on the web is that sometimes the instructions get hard to understand because they're in 2D and you're trying to fold in 3D. I would watch some Youtube videos of oragami being folded, just simple things like cranes, so you can see the process in a less "flat" way, then try the same thing out of a book, and get used to the symbols and fold names, and you'll be able to decipher the more complicated diagrams.

I love Robert J. Lang's books but they're not beginner; they're full of 150-fold grasshoppers and the like, but my 13 year-old self did manage some of his designs.

Good paper makes you life way easier for anything involving more than 3 folds.
posted by slow graffiti at 5:04 PM on May 24, 2010

My friend decided to fold 1000 cranes for her wedding (some Japanese tradition, even though she's not Japanese). She learned from YouTube videos.
posted by radioamy at 6:50 PM on May 24, 2010

For a low-stress option get a kids book. Start with the silly easy projects like "cat face" and work your way up.
posted by debbie_ann at 7:05 PM on May 24, 2010

These are awesome recommendations. Thanks, everyone.
posted by fso at 7:08 PM on May 24, 2010

To learn/practice the basic skills, pick up a page a day origami calendar for your desk.
posted by superna at 8:07 PM on May 24, 2010

I'd check out Origami USA's resources for beginners.
posted by sdn at 8:16 PM on May 24, 2010

Also I'd check out some of Jeremy Schafer's material. His stuff is absolutely hilarious. His stuff really propelled me into the art in a unique way, and he seems like a great guy. He has an awesome book published too.
posted by makethemost at 8:38 PM on May 24, 2010

For Xmas, someone gave me the page a day calendar superna linked to above. It's been quite fun, actually, and has pretty decent instructions. I recommend it.
posted by widdershins at 5:56 AM on May 25, 2010

There's a huge conceptual disconnect between following a pattern and doing box pleating/circle packing/most other modern origami. If you want to learn the more detailed forms, Happy Folding had the best videos for me. Don't let the complexity scare you, it's my experience that with enough patience and pause-replay-pause anyone can follow their videos. For written stuff, you should also check out A Beginner's Guide To Crease Patterns and maybe one of those really intense Lang books.

For something modern and less painful, check out Vincent Floderer's mushroom.

(Btw, the documentary Between The Folds--I thought it was only "ok" but it does give a good overview of the different styles. I wouldn't buy it, but if you can NetFlix it or whatever...)
posted by anaelith at 6:00 AM on May 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

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